~a month in the life of a lifelong learner~ my backstory is yes

Three parties and a dance, not bad for a birthday month!

Quinn got to have a sleepover on Sunday of MLK day weekend. Sunday afternoon Aragorn invited Quinn, Legolas and Goldberry over, and they played D&D. He described some of the action to me, and a lot of it seemed to center around Legolas’s character’s tendency to eat foreign objects in his environment, which strangely is a tendency the real-life Legolas has been known to exhibit. His character got eaten by whale, only to eat the whale from the inside out, and so on. It sounded like Quinn had a ton of fun. Goldberry of course left before sleepover time, but I love that she was there up until that time. I suggested to Quinn that he could invite the three of them for D&D on his Sunday birthday, but of course without sleepover since there will be school that Monday.

Pancake W came for a visit (Christmas observed)! She loves Quinn so much. She wanted to eat his Hawaiian burger, used him to push herself up to standing a million times, held onto him for balance, crawled over to him and climbed onto his lap while they played with the big duplo legos.

He is so good with her, and she already adores him like B and Z seem to do. He is a big enough kid now that he is game to build things for her to deconstruct, because that is the phase she is in developmentally. As soon as he heard that, he built structures all night for her to take apart. He just laughed as she opened his Christmas present for him. Rich and I reminisced about how he was a bit less flexible when B was the baby pancake deconstructionist, and Quinn was only five. Q got a lesson in backgammon from his brother in law; my game knowledge is finite, so it’s good he has a large pool of adults to glean games from!

Another find-out-at-last-minute middle school dance, this time Rio theme. He said, “I think bright colors?” I loaned him my Hawaiian shirt that I bought in Fiji twenty years ago which FITS HIM and he put on his gray owl hoodie over it and no one ever saw what he wore. He said Goldberry wore all black, the boys just wore their normal stuff but friend M wore light blue. Apparently, M and Legolas are “together” so that was the big deal of the evening.

same shirt size, but his hands are now wider than mine.

mammoth tooth

baby mammoth femur


We went to “fossil fest” at the marine science visitors center. Quinn spoke with a few people who have found some cool fossils in Oregon, including mammoth teeth and bones, parts from sharks and turtles. He had me take pictures of coprolites and some of the fossils and send them all to him. One guy gave us his card to call him so we can send Quinn floating down the Yamhill river with him looking for fossils (including snorkeling – which inspired some “I’d better practice snorkeling!” on the way home) over the summer.

Lots of building lego robots this month. Still to come: the programming of said robots!

We got to go to a friend’s birthday party being hosted by Goldberry’s mom, and when I asked if 13 year old boys were wanted at this party, Goldberry’s mom said “Goldberry would love to hang out with Quinn.” I had been wanting to connect with their family more… they are also theatre folks (Goldberry’s mom was dear sugar in tiny beautiful things). I let them know Goldberry was invited to Quinn’s birthday party in two weeks and they said she can come!

The biggest deal of the weekend (for me) was Quinn started independently cleaning his room! I mentioned on Friday that he’d probably want to think about cleaning it this weekend, since when he gets home the next time, it will be time for his birthday party and having room for friends would be good. After we got home from the party he really started turning onto the idea of cleaning, and Sunday he worked at it a whole bunch. “I knew how to clean a room, I just chose not to.” He’s being thorough, putting things in reasonable places, pulling things off his desk, organizing it, making it so he can use the surface again, organizing legos into their cases, thorough. All this time I’ve been invested in my hippie approach of not nagging/requiring room cleaning with the optimistic hope that one day self-motivation would actually occur. It is a wonder to behold. He’s doing it cheerfully!!!!!

It may seem that not much academic learning is going on; it is, and it’s not that it’s unremarkable to speak about, it’s that time is racing by. I have these funny images of Quinn letting me know how he knew the exact dimensions of the unit of measurement “hogshead” and if I had not taken them, I would have completely forgotten the hilarious memorization moment of him showing me the inside cover of a composition book.

We had a Friday night karate class with Sifu Diaz (our sifu’s sifu).

Then a Saturday trip to go to a birthday party for pancake W. Cuteness overload, and a special big sister got Quinn and her little W each their own special giant birthday cupcake. She said, “I hope he likes lemon…” it’s only his favorite!

Then on Sunday we had a Quinn birthday!

His friends are so cool. Goldberry showed up first, just before 2:00. She was so sweet, “your house is so nice! I love it here!” and loved our cats, too. She did the same with Quinn’s room, “oh your room is so awesome!” and he gave her the tour of his (clean!) room. I was still baking cookies but eavesdropping of course. She gave him a card and a pack of peeps! “I didn’t know what to get you for a present!” I thought her choice was perfect.

Legolas came next, and his present was also food: ramen! Ahh, he must have had good memories of last year’s Naruto/ramen birthday. Then Aragorn showed up, and he gave Quinn a tiny 3D printed D&D figurine.

Then the snack bowl emptying/D&D playing began, and Aragorn had my guitar in his hand as soon as I gave him permission to use it and apologized for the old strings and out-of-tuneness. He can play quite a few tunes! After they worked on their characters (and emptied all the snack bowls) for a while, they took a break and went out and swept off the trampoline and jumped.

They came back and worked on characters some more, the conversation was entertaining. Quinn was being dungeon master (“DMing” is the lingo) but the other three were making characters. Legolas had John the paladin who apparently ate his family. Goldberry worked on her dragon-born bard Bob, who played death metal on his ukulele. Aragorn didn’t have a character because he had been DM the other times they played, so he made up Swaylor Tift, a ranger. “My backstory is yes,” he announced. They drew stick figures of their characters in the box provided, and Legolas and Aragorn both had pretty pathetic drawings, but the banter about their stick people was gold: “he missed leg day; he has muscles on his muscles; he has a keleven-pack….” just hilarious. One of them said something about Bob, I don’t know which pronouns were used (male for Bob or female for Goldberry?) but she responded, “don’t assume my character’s gender!”

There were singalongs galore. All star, Africa, Bohemian rhapsody, etc….

At dusk, the teens just came inside briefly to stack pizza on plates and take it back out to the trampoline – it was dark out! I couldn’t help feeling like they’re such teens already!!!! Wahhhh! I finally lured them inside with ice cream and lemon cookies, and every one of them had seconds. All cookies gone.

After they left, I asked Quinn if he wanted to blow out candles but he said that he had done that the day before, and one wish is enough, but that lit candles would be nice. He finished his thirteenth birthday reading by candlelight.

1 comment to ~a month in the life of a lifelong learner~ my backstory is yes

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>