Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daughter Mine

It's been a big year for Squidette. She will complete her first year of high school in just a few days (poor kid has a final today). All indications are that it was a good one. She came out of it as she went in, a sweet, caring young lady, one who can always find the joy in life.

I could list all that she has done, but that would be bragging and I try to model how I wish my children to be -- modest about their accomplishments without downplaying them too much. Basically, shes done good. (Bad grammar intentional.)

She's a Hebrew School dropout who spent what should have been 3 Sundays a month of service with her peers, serving in her own way, in a long-term project that was more meaningful then the random ones chosen for the group.

She's a High School celebrity, handling the constant inquiries of "are you Mr. Z's daughter?" with grace and charm. Just wait until next year when many of her counterparts actually have Mike as a teacher!

She's a loving and devoted daughter, always willing to lend a hand.

She's a caring sister, willing to put up with the occasional absurdities of Little Squid.

She's a devoted friend -- who will allow her self-made study guides to be wrenched from her hands just before today's final.

She's my daughter and I am very proud to be her mother.

Happy Birthday, Squidette!!!

Child Mine

(From left to right: Lil' Sis, Older-younger Bro, Younger-younger Bro, Mom, Daddy, Big Sis and me)

This afternoon was spent with my parents and youngest sibling. While Squidette and Little Squid played in the pool, the adults chatted about a wide variety of topics, from the necessity of Lil' Sis wearing pantyhose while teaching her sample lesson (Yes kiddo, suck it up and just wear them! 2 hours in hose in the heat will NOT kill you!) to my father's difficulty printing same sisters story. (A tale for another day.)

Somewhere over the course of those 4 hours my dad called Squidette "Puss." Now Puss is an endearment that my father has used on both of my sisters and myself over the years and I found it charming that he now uses it on his granddaughter.

Just a short while ago I found myself using another fatherly endearment on the same child. "Child mine," I said, "put this away (handing her some laundry)."

Which started me thinking ... the expression "child mine" is one I have heard probably thousands of times over the years as my father used in on anyone of his five children. It seems only fitting that I make a public acknowledgment of the origin of this phrase on Father's Day.

Somethings just get better as they get passed though the generations.

So from my family to yours, and to my Daddy ... Happy Father's Day.

And as for that child of mine ... she turns 15 in just a few hours. Watch out world!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Squid on Wheels: Circling Manhattan ... Counter clockwise

In the past, when we have chosen to circumnavigate Manhattan, we've done so in a clockwise direction, starting on the west side and riding north.

Today, however, three out of four squid refused to ride clockwise, citing the hill at the G.W. Bridge (aka the Little Red Lighthouse hill) as the main point of contention. Let me just state now, and for the record, that there are other hills, almost as bad, elsewhere on the ride and you find them regardless of the direction of the ride. What goes up must come down and visa versa ...

Oh, and we also decided to leave lower Manhattan, with its throngs of tourists, out of the ride, a move that cut about 8 miles and well over an hour, off the total.

First stop, the U.N. where we got a good view of the statute of St. George slaying the missile-dragon and where a kind passerby agreed to take a family photo. (First, however, a not-so-kind passerby refused to take our photo. Well, this is New York.)
Four Squid, Four Bike Fridays

Next stop, Hells Gate. The Hells Gate bridge is the arch-shaped one in the background. The really long one is the Tri-boro. (Or the RFK Bridge if you have a newer map or GPS ... but it will always be the Tri-boro to us real New Yorkers.)
Then a nice view of the Highbridge water tower ...
and on into Inwood Park.

Following Inwood Park, we headed back south, stopping to pick up a new rearview mirror for my glasses and continuing down to Fairway where we saw these people.
And then saw them in the river.

They were headed on a 2-3 mile swim uptown. The finish line (cove) was just south of the Little Red lighthouse.

After they headed uptown, we headed downtown to cool drinks and showers.