Recently Ryan started going to parkour classes. It’s something that both boys had been interested in trying for a long time, and when we finally did it, Ryan loved it. (Nathan found himself less interested.) We’ve been going back nearly every Saturday since then.

If you aren’t familiar with it, parkour is about moving around a series of obstacles in a skillful and efficient way — it’s like the obstacle courses you did in grade school, taken to a whole new level. In Ryan’s classes, the instructor generally introduces a couple of moves and has the kids practice them for a while. Then he sets up a course for them, where they need to vault, jump, balance, and roll their way around the various obstacles. Sometimes he’s trying to tag them at the same time. There are frequent breaks for water, where Ryan comes up to me, flushed and sweating, and tells me about how much fun he’s having before he heads back for more.

The persistence we’ve seen in Ryan (which, in some contexts, has felt infuriatingly like stubbornness) really shows in these classes. When he decides that he wants to do something, he keeps at it — if he needs to go back to the start of a tilted balance beam five times, he will do it, until he gets the result he wants.


When I started looking for work again, I put it on my list to get a good photo taken of myself. In theory I could use a recent casual snapshot, except that since I am the only member of the family who typically takes pictures, I am in very few of them. The few recent pictures I could find all involved me holding children, which wasn’t the professional image I was trying to create. So I planned to take something new, and I even talked to a friend of mine, who is currently going through cosmetology school, about helping to fix me up for it. And then things happened, and life was busy, and the scheme was shelved for a while.

But it did eventually happen, largely because Alana is extraordinarily generous. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the extent of her knowledge (and equipment) blew me away. In the end she spent three hours making me look like (as she put it) the best version of me, and it is a testament to her skill that I could hardly stop looking at myself afterwards. I will probably never look like that again, but it was fun while it lasted, and I have pictures.

Final bonus: when I got home, Dave said he needed to take me on a date looking like that.

It was very tasty!

Recently, the morning after a rather hectic day, I messaged Dave the following:

Not sure if you noticed, but I brought home a little treat from Missionary Chocolates last night.
It’s in the paper bag on the small counter.
Save it from the children, please; it should be doled out and savored.

Dave wrote back almost immediately, and much of his response was a real-time transcription of Mica’s words:

Mica found it first.
She tells me “It was so low I could reach it”
“I got it by sneaking. I tricked you.”
“I only ate one.” As she holds up a finger.
“It had a marshmallow in it!”
“It was very tasty!”
I found the bag under the kitchen table.

Fortunately it turned out that she had only eaten one, and the rest of them could be appropriately doled out and savored.