Since Michael is still in NYC most of the time, I’ve had lots of solo time with the boys. This photo was taken on an outing to a nearby town for “A Day Out With Thomas” — a rail-themed family-centric festival. Part of the fun included a 25 minute train ride.
On the eve of our big move, I have this need to honor, to remember, to sanctify, somehow, the home in which we spent the last two and a half years or so. As always seems to happen, I have this fear that I’ll forget, and somehow deny the significance of, all the marvellous and challenging things that happened in our duplex apartment on Warren Street, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. So, without further ado, let me reflect and record my memories.
When we moved from temperate California, winter had its frigid, wind-whipped but decidedly solid grip on our little neighborhood in Brooklyn. I remember our first breakfast out at a cafe on then-desolate 4th avenue — everyone else had taken shelter from the cold — wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into. The first few nights, we had to sleep on an air mattress that lost 90% of its loft as we slept — me 4 months pregnant, and thankfully not yet in the most uncomfortable stages of pregnancy. Our possessions arrived on Christmas Eve, and we made an effort to decorate, and celebrate, our last Christmas as a family of three.
Spring came, and, under the snow, we found a gorgeous, inspiring community garden across the street, wonderful neighbors with kids near ours in age, and a vibrant neighborhood full of unique restaurants and shops — some of them even kid-friendly.
Goodbye, Warren Street, we will miss you!
Intrepid readers of this site (if there are any left), may notice that I haven’t yet given any updates on Rory’s burgeoning vocabulary, as I did with Callum here and here. It’s not just because I’ve been so busy, what with two kids and all. It’s because Rory, at 22 months, doesn’t exactly have a burgeoning vocabulary.
We’re not seriously worried about him, especially not about “the A word,” because he’s super cuddly, interactive, and seems to understand most everything we say in a simple way. He can point to things in books, when asked. “Where’s the crocodile?” we prompt, and his little fingertip immediately pounces on the green toothy creature in his favorite book – Dora saves the Little Duck. But not a single word has passed his lips. He sometimes says “uh oh!” and there’s a lot of “dah” and “buh.” Still, no “mama” or “dada” or anything particularly resembling a word.
Anyone who knows me (or who read the title of this post) will wonder why I didn’t try teaching him sign language. Well, I did. Of course I did. And, every once in a while, we’d get a sign out of him. He’d say “hat” or, occasionally, “milk,” but he somehow didn’t “get” that he could express himself, either with sign language or with words. Until yesterday.
Yesterday, the dam broke. He was outside with his father and Callum. Michael did the sign for “water” and Rory did it back. One sign led to another. Turns out, the kid knows, and can do, TONS of signs. Besides “water,” he knew”milk,” “dog,” “apple,” and “bath” right off the bat. It’s like he was just soaking it in all these months. You can imagine my reaction, I’m sure. I was beaming, laughing, clapping — so relieved he is learning to express himself… finally.
In the last few months, we’ve had him evaluated twice and he’s finally qualified for speech therapy through early intervention, so we’ll continue to pursue that. But, what a relief to see him say these words we’ve been teaching him all this time. Our little boy has words, at last.
We finally got a little video footage of Rory walking. Here we’re at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, where he got a chance to really stretch his legs.
The last few months have been busy ones with lots of exciting adventures. On Mother’s Day, Callum ran his first ever running race, while Pamela and Rory did a 1.2 mile charity walk. The whole family enjoyed Memorial Day at the beach on Fire Island. We celebrated Rory turning 1 with cupcakes at home. We planted and cultivated a kitchen garden of carrots, tomatoes and various herbs. A colorful inflatable pool (with a dinosaur head!) took up temporary residence in our back yard on sunny days. Callum finished his first year of real preschool. And now we’re busily making preparations for Callum’s birthday and a visit from Uncle Jim, Aunt Marion, and Cousin Aimee from Scotland next month. So, now, without further ado, some photographic evidence.