A big week for the Penner family

– Sydney and Katherine will be back in the UK on Wednesday after a month in Nova Scotia.  Judging from my conversations with them, the rain and the cool temperatures here will be a shock to their systems.  Katherine, in turn, is likely to be a bit of a shock to me after a month with her more docile brother.  She’s, ahem, gotten a bit wild with so much travel this summer, so we’ll be working hard to restore a modicum of discipline in the house.  There are now two beds in what was Katherine’s room, and Nathaniel is nicely settled into what was Katherine’s crib.  Changes afoot . . .

– Wednesday is also the day that Nathaniel turns eighteen months old.  He’s become a huge talker, carrying on a steady stream of words and sentences and noises on our walks through the park and, much to the grandparents’ delight, when I call family.  He is quite intent when he plays, making it clear that my services are not needed for certain activities (even politely discouraging me from joining in), and then climbing up onto my lap with a stack of books to alert me to the fact that he’s ready to learn and wants my help.  Bless him for it: his mother is not the most discerning adult on the block, so I appreciate his forthrightness.

– On Tuesday Sydney and I celebrate seven years of marriage.  Seven.  For someone who not so long ago had neither men nor marriage on the brain, I am really quite surprised to find myself not only married but happily so.  And seven seems like a lot (yes, Mom and Dad, you can quit smirking even if you have been married six times as long).  I was thoroughly overwhelmed by our busy house last fall, so I failed to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries as I would like, and I’ve learned my lesson: since we didn’t mark them, they didn’t really sink in, and both Sydney and I have been going around thinking he’s one year younger than he really is.  So, this year, it’s time to re-establish our celebrations.  Since we will be preoccupied by both jetlag and two small children (no, no babysitter), our celebration may be on a fairly small scale, but it is already significant that we’ll all four be in the same place at the same time, so that’s a start!


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