Friday, September 24, 2010

Sammy's still my baby. My 7 year old baby.

Sammy looks up
Originally uploaded by V'ron
Yeah, the Bay View Bash was last weekend, and yeah, I took lots of pictures, but first things first.

It's Sammy's birthday today. He's seven. He's seven already. How did this happen? I just had him, what was that, last fall? He's seven. And he's come a long way this year. Just two weeks ago we took the training wheels off and he got the hang of riding his bike around the ball field, confidently telling me, "I don't need you to hold on anymore. I can do this!" And he's off.

He's always been tenacious like this. He has this stubborn streak in him that will hammer at some kind of skill until he gets it. Sometimes his stubborness makes me crazy, but overall it will serve him well. But he is, as many of my friends who know him, an old soul. You can see it in the way he gets (and uses sarcasm). You can see it in the way he finds and meets friends. You can see it in the care and gentleness with which he approaches animals. There's a wise old man in there, but he's still my baby.

He doesn't even mind when I refer to him as my baby. He still will accept a hug or a cuddle at night and he cannot contain his thrill at things like amusement parks, surprises, and of course, his own birthday. He's overcome with joy that all his buddies can make it to his birthday party. Joy, I tell you, joy. You'd think Spiderman himself was coming the way he reacted every time a positive RSVP came through. He lives to crack the eggs into the cake I baked for him. (Mostly because that's a skill he masterd this year -- took him forever, but there's that tenacious streak again.)

And what a year it's been. He can ride a bike. He can skate (roller and ice). He's tall enough to ride all but a handful of rides at Six Flags -- and he grew the balls to ride them. (Although that first run on the Viper was a bit dicey...). He's reading well and he can write his name in cursive, so now he has a library card. He can add and subtract, and he can count his money. (Lord, can he count his money!). He can shoot baskets and he understands the game of hoops well enough to enjoy (or not, depending on which game you hit) the Bucks foray into the playoffs this year. He wants to learn how to play the drums, and he wants to learn Tae Kwon Do. But he's still my baby.

He's my last baby, so I savor those moments -- that first time he rode the bike, all wobbly but nevertheless rode it -- by himself; him stepping up to bat and whacking the living daylights out of that T-ball as though he were Prince Fielder himself.

He still has that heart I've bragged about, that heart the size of Lake Michigan, that heart that shows his concern for the well being for any mammal that crosses his path. He's just, fundamentally a good guy. Every night, I tuck him in and tell him how glad I am that he's my kid. And it's not just to give him self-esteem and such. I mean it. I'm really glad he's my kid .Because one minute he's mouthing off and being basass to some bear at the zoo (and he IS a badass), and the next, well, he's still my baby. I just love him.

Happy birthday Sammy! I'm so glad you're my kid!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm admitting it's not summer anymore

Massive Butterflies
Originally uploaded by V'ron
And as it's mid-September, it's about time, eh?I FINALLLY got myself up early enough to see the monarch butterflies nesting at sunrise over at the monarch trail on the old county grounds. Massive, I tell you. Just like those photos you see of the monarch migration in Califronia, but why they stop here, I don't know, but I'll take it. The sunrise shadows are tall, (yes it's fall) and the sunlight gently wakes the monarchs up, slowly, they start to slap their wings, like they're warming up that mechanism.

Cebar's tomorrow sound
Originally uploaded by V'ron.

So we wrapped up Chill on the Hill with the Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound a couple of weeks ago. Every time I see Cebar, I think of that Woody Guthrie quote about how he hates a song that is out to make you feel that you are no good. Because Cebar does just the opposite. He's all about partying, celebration, but it's the people's party. I've known him and his music pretty much since I've moved to this town and his philosophy has been to dig, dig everywhere and and find great songs out of all sorts of american influences and cook them up together into something that just akes people smile and party and dance. He's like this rocking folkie, except he's not a folkie in the coffeehouse respect. He's more like a guy who understands the "folk" part of music, music that's made by and for the common folk, and he plays it. What a treasure he is. These days, I'm happy to see that he's got Mike Frederickson on the bass. I shamefully missed Frederickson's art opening yesterday, but he's another Milwaukee treasure, between his artwork and his other band, the Moseleys.

Nah, yesterday, I was at Rollaero, an old school skating rink with the kids. Hardwood floor, DJ playing the latest hits (I'm kind of depressed at what is popular hits these days-- OK, it's bad enough that your verses are rather droney but can't anybody write a chorus besides Gaga?), and flashing disco lights. Also a few (obviously regular) hot dogs skating too close to my son the beginner, and trying to impress my daughter the cynic. "Mom, that guy is really starting to creep me out," Stella said. Ah, I told her, in every skating rink there's a hotdog who spends the whole night trying to hit on underage girls (although this rink's hotdog was underage himself, unlike my generation's/rink's hotdot). It wouldn't be an oldschool rink without him. Just ignore him. He won't go away, but oh well.

Clear Cut
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
The final kicker for me that it's not summer anymore is the annual Labor Day parade, and the All City People's parade was out, but it didn't seem as spectacular as last year's group was. Maybe they ran out of steam or something. Yes, there were some good floats, but it still didn't have the same oomph. Maybe they were told not to be as radical last year (like artists would have stood for that), but a few floats -- like this one -- made their point really harsh (like this nation seems to need these days) and some were sweet. But there wasn't AS MUCH. And not as much music. If you're going to make a point with the common folk (which is what Labor Day is all about), you might want to take a tip from Cebar, and start with planning the music FIRST.

Well, if the sun clears, I'm off to the Bay View Bash. I lvoe the Bay View Bash (as well as the Locust Street Festival) because both wait until the fall. We still need a good street festival, but at least it's into the fall, for those of us who aren't ready -- despite the kids being back in school and work hunkering down -- to admit it's not summer anymore.