Bowling.

Tonight we went bowling.

Over the last few days, the Boy and I have been rather homebodyish. It’s beautiful outside–after a day of rain, the last few days have had a glorious golden glow to them. Today was downright hot. It’s not very wintery, and I resent that.

I know, I know. Those of my friends who endure winter in places with snow plows and drainage ditches that are actually necessary would laugh at my desire to wear a wool cap in 50 degree weather. You would scowl at my whiny mewlings about “hot” and “golden” and “too sunny.” But there has to be a down time, when you curl up in your house with the elements held at bay outside and warm beverages and intriguing plotlines inside. When it’s lovely and growing outside, it’s almost too much. It makes one feel guilty for staying inside.

And yet, stay inside we did, on Wednesday, and again on Thursday afternoon after a morning spent running errands. We stayed in, and read, and snacked, and I quilted. I’ve had a tremendously strong desire to have a closet full of quilts to smother guests in when they visit (don’t be afraid, really). So I’m working on that, and while I ran my machine until the bulb burned out and the engine ran hot, I would occasionally peep out into the living room, where the Boy plowed his way through some of his favorites, the first three volumes of the Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers. (He doesn’t know about the rest of them, which is good, because it gives me things to search for and give him and delight in his joy.)

Occasionally, as I peeped round the corner, I’d say hesitantly, “Are you okay? Do you need anything?”

Murmble.

“You sure? Can I get anything?”

Murmble.

So I’d go back and work some more.

Well, there’s only so much guilt a mother can handle. This morning, after breakfast and morning things were attended to, off we walked to the zoo. By the time we got there, we didn’t have much time to actually wander about, but an hour or so later we started walking home and I felt that at least he wasn’t going to die of rickets today. After a quick lunch, more reading, locking a manic cat in the bedroom (lunch was cobbled together of random cat temptations like nori, cheese, and corn), we headed off to the park.

Yes! Park play is good. Park play is outdoors, in the aforementioned golden afternoon. Running was had.

And then? We went bowling. Oh, bowling, the activity of the gods. We went with Chris’s coworkers to a bar with the cutest widdle bowling alley in the world, five lanes of sweet bowling goodness (topped, it must be said, by the most frighteningly graphic television-and-ad screens, but luckily the Geeklet was too busy hi-fiving most people to notice. Later, he merely commented that the screens had been “scary” so he stopped watching after he saw the monsters. Such a practical guy). It was his first time bowling, my first in a long, long time, and Chris has only ever been an intermittent bowler. Boy was pleased with the idea of special shoes to bowl in. He thought they were pretty stylish. It was the first time I’d seen velcro on a bowling shoe.

They raised the gutter barriers for him, and he went to with a will. As his 6lb green ball wuh-wuh-wuh’d it’s slow and meandering way down the lane, we’d just stand there and watch. Inevitably it would only get one or two from the sides, but as the game progressed, he’d get five. It didn’t matter. He’d hi-five everyone, saying how great they’d done no matter how great they’d done, tell them, “It’s okay. It doesn’t matter how many pins went down! You did well!” And generally, he made me all sorts of mama-proud. Between turns, he’d eat a few french fries and sip orange juice, but mostly, sat on his tall stool, watching the bowlers on our team. When he scored a strike, he was so overcome by the congratulations that he buried his head in Chris’s chest and just shook for a while.

Then, Thai food. And home, and Plum Creek, and sleep, oh, quick and deep and delicious sleep. I felt the glow that doesn’t come from sunshine, but comes from having fun together, and pride in my Boy, and knowing that we’ve probably earned another day or two of homebodyness, if we want it.

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He’s Leia, I’m Yoda.

A conversation that just twisted the knife in my Waldorf-aspiring heart:

Me: Sweetie, you do not have to hide that you are reading that Star Wars book. I’m not going to be mad.
Boy: You’re not?
Me: No! I’ve loved Star Wars since I was little. I saw it when I was five. I consider myself a big fan.
Boy: I’m a fan, too. You and me, mama, we’re fans of Star Wars. In terms of Star Wars, we’re the same.

[Note: he’s never seen the movie, just heard the story and looked at a book we received this week entitled The Sounds of Star Wars by Ben Burtt. Before you get all outraged, yes, he has seen movies recently, no, he’s not a pariah, he’s just protected and, until recently, not really interested. As far as Star Wars goes, he’s in it for the story so far. It helps that his uncles bought him a plastic gun. Thanks, uncles.]

Later, we’re outside. He’s Leia, I’m Yoda. After much negotiating, I must add, because he really only wanted me to be a character that would “carry a gun” and “fight”. I had to convince him that I didn’t need to carry a gun to fight. Of course, it meant that I spent the afternoon avoiding green cars (Darth Vader’s ships) and talking in a modified Yoda voice (not that it mattered to him, having never seen it). Each cross-street was an asteroid belt, each block was a planet and each rain-puddle was a cell of the Rebellion. Splashing in the puddle meant you were transferring vital information to that rebel cell. When our ship would break down (as all good ships do), we did 3x and 4x skip counting (using the sidewalk squares) to get our ship back in order.

Just in time. All those white cars are full of stormtroopers.