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Aiden Rides A Bike. Fast!

In just a few weeks Aiden has transitioned from his balance bike (a dirt bike with no pedals designed for learning to balance) to a full on bicycle with no training wheels. It’s exhilarating to watch him biking up and down our street, and do circles in our driveway. I never wanted to live vicariously through my children, that seemed to be a greedy way of experiencing life as if I would be stealing from their pleasure. But now, as I watch his joy at learning something new, and the raw joy of going fast, I can’t help but share in his enthusiasm.

Last night, while watching him circle me in our driveway, I took a series of snapshots. I tried to match his speed and direction with my camera arm so that he could be somewhat in focus while the background was blurred. It worked fairly well — exceptionally well if you consider the pictures were taken at dusk on my iPhone!

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Found Footage: Original Movies from Josh & Tony

If you want a trip down memory lane, and a few minutes of entertainment from a couple amateurs, you might enjoy a movie Tony Barrese posted on YouTube today. The first part is a star wars re-enactment created by Tony. The second part is a stop-action animation Tony and I created in 1995. The movie was lost during the Bush years, but when Obama was elected, we decided to re-engage in the hunt for this lost footage and sure enough, hope has prevailed. I’m now pleased to present this footage to the public for the first time ever.

Enjoy! And I would love to hear your comments 🙂

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A Movie For Parents, And Children

This weekend I spent a lot of time with the kids while Anne was practicing Qi-Gong with a visiting taoist master. (I met him only briefly, and figured he was around 65 or 70, but Anne later told me he’s 91! His master lived to 116. Maybe I should find a babysitter and start practicing myself?)

The weekend was great, although I didn’t get any photos since I usually had my hands full. One of the highlights was on Saturday when I told Aiden that he wouldn’t have to worry about his mostly deflated helium balloon flying away. He bounced it around our yard while I sat outside with him eating my breakfast. Soon the balloon was stuck, wedged between the house and a big lilac. He watched with growing astonishment as I shook the tree, freeing into a gentle gust of air that took the balloon, up, up over our house, higher, farther, farther away. “It’s getting so small!” he exclaimed. “Why doesn’t it come down? You said it wouldn’t fly away! Poppa, can you get the balloon?” And then tears, crying and more tears.

What could I say? I told him I used bad judgment to suggest the balloon wouldn’t fly away. I was sorry that I told him that and sorry that the balloon was now gone.

“Will it fly up to space?” he asked. And then, “Maybe it will fly to Holly’s house, in Portland, Oregon?” he said.

The tears subsided. He asked me to buy him another green balloon, and I said I would. But as I said I would, I wondered offhandedly if it would really be necessary. He was already busying himself with a pair of old deflated red balloons. The moment had passed. Kids move on.

That night while shopping for dinner (potluck birthday party with the cousins, up the street) I saw that the Mother’s day balloons were on display. I hesitated remembering the morning. Then decided that even if he would eventually forget the promise, it meant something to me to keep it. To keep my word to my kids and to therefore be careful about what I say. I found the most un-Mother’s day of the balloons–a large inflated sun.

When I drove home Aiden, Anne, and Juniper were in the driveway waiting for me. Aiden loved the balloon. More that I could have imagined he loved it. I don’t know if it was the excitement of something new, the transmutation from something lost to something found, or the realization that I said I would do it and I did. He loved it so much that he didn’t want to leave it at home. He wanted to walk with it to Joseph’s house for dinner. And he would share it with Joseph. And he named it “Sunrise”. So, after triple tying it onto his wrist, at Aiden’s request, we made our up the street to Joseph’s house. The whole time Aiden held is one arm our stiff, as though carrying a falcon, and with his other hand he pinched the balloon string between thumb and forefinger. It is safe to say that that that balloon had never been so loved and cared for in it’s life.

“I’m happy” Aiden said.

“Why are you happy?”

“I feel happy in my heart, here,” he said.

Now, three days later, that balloon is still holding a special place in Aiden’s world. It follows him around that house, sleeps in his room, and is joining him at pre-school today.

Earlier in the week I met with a friend and likely client who told me, everything’s in transition. I agreed. Life is just one big transition between birth and death. I’m so glad to have little people in my life to remind me, and show me how to enjoy every moment.

This YouTube movie is really worth watching. It reminds me of Aiden.