I was fortunate enough this morning to be pulled from sweet dreams by a body slam from Sipe. Derek, what would I do without you? After that, we chowed down a healthy breakfast and for the first time the road trippers went different directions. I stayed home to hang with nephew Kaleb and nieces Ellie and Sophie. Faro and Sipe took to the road in search of an adventure in the Rockies. The boys said they had a great time hiking in the mountains. Safe? Smart? No. But it sounded like it was quite an experience.
Here at the Binger’s household in Denver, me and the kiddos read books, played with Star Wars legos, watched some videos, and had a good afternoon.
Sometime before lunch I took a break from the festivities and went for a run. I’ve made better decisions with my life.
In the middle of the afternoon I went with Holly (sister-in-law) over to the school to watch Kaleb’s last day of kindergarten. Today was water day, which meant that everyone in his class was having a water party to celebrate the end of classes. Kids were running through sprinklers all screams and giggles like something out of the 1950s. They also had a water balloon toss with partners – I doubt you’ll find it too hard to believe that before long this game transformed into cutthroat battle with splashy explosions. Another activity I enjoyed watching was the bob for apples. The kids never really understood the core principles guiding this game. Each time they dunked their heads in they seemed surprised to find water rushing up their noses and soaking their hair. As a result, the bobber would plunk his head from the brisk water, spit into the bucket, then drop in for another dunk. Speaking as a very germ-aware individual, this really only started to bother me in the third and fourth rounds of the game when the countless spit-backs starting mixing with the snotty noses. Of course, the floating chunks of bitten but uneaten apple and the random blades of grass only added to the cesspool. I thought about trying for an apple at some point then I was like, “Heck, why don’t I just take one of the half eaten cores from the garbage can, swirl it around a bit in the trash juice, and get the same effect.” Water day, though ranking low on the sanitary scale, was a good day.
But the best was yet to come. Kindergarten graduation!
Two fidgety lines of white and royal squirmed down the aisles in pairs. Miniature cap and gowns filled with miniature people surrounding by a swelling sea of zealous parents firing pictures like trained paparazzi. I’m surprised the kids didn’t go into epileptic shock.
The whole ceremony was pretty adorable. My favorite section was the Words of Wisdom from Kindergarten one where they revealed a kindergartner’s take on popular maxims. Enjoy a few we captured for your entertainment:
(First, the phrase as it really goes. Then, the edited version.)
Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. *Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t walk around naked.
Man cannot live by bread alone. *Man cannot live by bread if it’s moldy.
Look before you leap. *Look before you sit down.
The early bird catches the worm. *The early bird catches the later bird.
Fight fire with fire. *Fight fire with a hose.
Never say never. *Never say how old your mom is.
I’m stunned by the frankness and simple logic applied by these kids. Most of us (including me) could use another dose of a kindergartner’s common sense in our lives.
The post party went down in Red Robbin (by the way, the Whiskey River BBQ burger is a fine choice for anyone with a serious hunger looking to be quelled).
Tomorrow will find us in Utah at Zion National Park. Blogs and picture updates won’t come for a couple of days…I hope the world can cope. What with the economic downturn, we realize people need something to look forward to, a bright spot in their day. Since for a couple days we won’t be filling that role, let me suggest that you eat more ice cream or at least grab that bubble plastic packing stuff and give it a good twist: two sure-fire solutions for a quick pick-me-up.
Let me leave you tonight with some good wisdom, not from a kindergartner this time but the untouchable John Wooden. Sometimes people “get so caught up making a living they forget to make a life.” This following list of seven things to do Coach Wooden received from his father:
1. Be true to yourself.
2. Help others.
3. Make each day your masterpiece.
4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
5. Make friendship a fine art.
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
7. Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.
Finally, commenting on living up to his dad’s creed, Wooden said, “I am not in my eight decade and I would like to be able to tell you that I lived up to Dad’s creed, but I am more like the fellow who said:
I am not what I ought to be,
Not what I want to be,
Not what I am going to be,
But I am thankful that
I am better than I used to be.
“It’s important to keep trying to do what you think is right no matter how hard it is or how often you fail. You never stop trying. I’m still trying.”
- JD and the boys