After a recent Friday night drive around our beloved Steel City (see picture above) we decided we were hungry when Kevin thought of the perfect place to take us. He wouldn't tell us where until we pulled into the parking lot - Benihana! Would you believe I had never been to such a place? I've always been curious about those knife wielding, food tossing, fire breathing, (okay, so there wasn't fire involved, but you catch my drift) destinations. I was very excited about this new experience until after being seated the hostess mentioned that we might be joined by other folks during our meal. Whaaaa? You mean . . . strangers . . . that, like . . . I'll have to talk to? Did I hear that right? Sure enough within minutes a couple sat down to our right, and shortly thereafter another couple was seated to our left. There we were. All 8 of us. Strangers. Three adults on each side with two smallish boys with chop sticks stuffed up their noses wedged in between. Yep. Work. It was going to feel like work.
Kevin, the ice-breaker champion of the universe, started out with the usual questions: what part of town do you live in, have you been here before, blah, blah, blah. You know me, I wanted to stab my eyeballs out. Within minutes, Chatter box Charlie Kevin and the couple on his side of the table are in conversation about how we all lived in DC. Then it was: what street were you on, we should have bought 8 condos back then instead of one, working on the Hill, yadda, yadda, yadda. Fun stuff! Then the guy next to me is all, have you tried this wine before, and please, have a sip, and your kids are so awesome I could just sit here watching them watching the chef, and may I suggest you check out the Canon 70-300 lens for your camera, and I just got back from Ireland, and where did you stay there, and oh my God, I think we trespassed the same guy's field to check out the abandoned castle. Get out! No way!
Before we knew it, Drew the chef was tossing around knives and pepper grinders, the boys were transfixed and speechless, all of us were having really great conversation and food, and we topped it off by singing Happy Birthday to a rather song-resistant Julie. Doesn't singing Happy Birthday to a stranger make you just as happy as singing it to someone you know? Or am I just a sap? And isn't unexpected joy the best kind of all? Maybe it is okay to talk to strangers once in awhile.
The boys are both playing on the Little Pirates league now, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the city. Watching Teddy running, throwing and catching makes me realize that maaaaybe Elayna is right. (Although, he still asks to be carried to the van after practice. Carried. Like a baby.)
Teddy running the bases, concentrating on hitting the inside corner.
As I sit at the kitchen table waiting patiently for the boys to complete a mandatory time out for mind numbing unruly behavior few moments of quiet before heading out to check out a new play space in Squirrel Hill, I thought I would post a couple pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Fourth of July. I love that day. It's the political science nerd/proud American in me. More importantly, it marks the anniversary of our first date. Washington, DC, 1996, under the slim shadow of the Washington Monument I fell in love with Mr. Acklin. So on Sunday we were playing around with sparklers when I asked Kevin to "write" something in the air as I set the camera on a slow shutter speed as a photograhic experiment. I asked him to write something cute like a heart, etc. As he was writing I couldn't tell what it was but there was lots of waving of the arms going on. As soon as the camera snapped I looked at the view finder to find the most romantic message - his damn name. It's okay. Men raised without sisters have it hard. He's working on it.
Jumping. Another experiment with the camera. George particularly enjoyed this. It's not every day that I'm encouraging him to jump off the furniture into a mountain of pillows.
I found this vintage children's book the other day at a flea market:
Then came upon this little scene yesterday:
Remember playing the foot game? The book tells us that although brothers can drive each other freakin' nuts, the good news is brothers are never lonely. True, very true. Especially the freakin' nuts part.
The story is precious but seems to be missing something. Some important element forgotten on the pages. It took me awhile to figure out what it was. Then it dawned on me. Oh, yes, that's it - a little whimiscal drawing of two shirtless brothers sharing one bicycle sporting superheroes underpants on their heads. Now why aren't I writing children's books?