Summer is finally upon us. Last week was a full week without school, except for Mireille, but that’s daycare - even though she calls it school. The temperatures as of last Thursday definitely represented a shift into the ungodly hot area, though in Denver, if you can find shade, you are in good shape since the humidity is very comfortable. As a family we are definitely settling in more and more as the years have gone by.
Ethan, having been out of school since before Memorial Day, has turned 16, is just about ready to take his driver’s test, and has started a small lawncare business with his buddy using Next Door. They’ve had steady work since they put themselves out there, though now his buddy is vacationing in Mexico, so they have put their work on hold for now. Meanwhile he will be working for me while we prep and build our new deck!
Quinton finished school the week after Memorial Day. He switched into St. Pius X Catholic school at the third trimester and had to get used to being graded for the first time ever! While his grades weren’t great, he made the transition very admirably and is well setup for success next year and for the years that follow.
Mireille just graduated from PreK last Friday night with her friends at the daycare we go to. It was a very cute ceremony where they sang a song from Frozen as well as a remix version of a popular song that I don’t know the name to, but you would certainly recognize it if you heard it.
After the songs, each child was announced and came to the front to receive their diploma where they were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. A lot of kids said they wanted to be a police (not a police officer, just a police). Several said they wanted to be teachers, or moms. One kid wanted to be a transformer, and another a ninja. I didn’t really think Mireille understood the question, and I’m still not sure. When she responded she said she wanted to be a “race car.”
We also just finished our annual summer weekend camp, African/Caribbean Heritage Camp this past Sunday. As with all years, the kids go off and have their own program while we adults congregate and learn all about topics that we might not otherwise have delved into. It’s a great experience to be immersed in an atmosphere with so many people in such a similar situation as ourselves. As with most years, one of the most difficult things also turns out being one of the reasons the camp is so good for us - it’s WAY more difficult to pick out our kids in the crowds because there are so many other black kids! Quinton made a good friend from Utah - Mireille had a much better year and is much more comfortable going to her class and playing with all the kids and the counselors, many of whom are adult adoptees themselves.
On Saturday, we picked the kids up from their groups around 4:00 when our programming was completed. Upon picking up Mireille, we asked her how her day went and she said, “some boy pooped him’s pants on the table.” I love that phrase for several reasons. One, she still has that funny pronoun thing going on, though she has started using “she” on occasion. For another, she is really getting comfortable in the language to the point where you can hold conversations with her and have them make sense. And lastly, her sense of humor is so twisted that the only thing she wanted to mention about her day at school was about some kid crapping himself. That’s got to be nurture, right?
Last night, after camp had wound down and we were back in the comfort of our home, Quinton, Jenny, and I were playing a rollicking game of Monopoly, the cashless variety, which is just slightly different than the regular game. Quinton was laying waste to us, as he typically does, owning much more than half of the real estate. At one point, Jenny pulled a community card that granted herself and one other person of her choosing $200 for something or another. She chose me, which made Quinton a little sore since he was her son. I mentioned something about playing against the game bully and called him a little Donald Trump. A few minutes later, he was mad about something else in the game, and told us he was going to build a wall, “right here, and right here.” It always amazes me how aware he is of the world around him even though I always presume he is not listening or paying attention.