Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2006. We took Mattie for a walk on Roosevelt Island, and in typical Mattie fashion, he was our trail blazer. He was very comfortable on the Island and he particularly loved the board walk. On the board walk, we always spotted something whether it be a deer, a lizard, a snake, or a duck. The Island never disappointed, nor did Mattie's reaction to whatever we spotted!
Quote of the day: Success in the affairs of life often serves to hide one's abilities, whereas adversity frequently gives one an opportunity to discover them. ~ Horace
Last night the Washington, DC area experienced a horrible storm. Actually one of the worst storms we have seen in all the years we have lived here. The rain was so intense, there were white out conditions. We couldn't see any of the monuments around us. That was bad enough, but it was the wind that was horrific. It was so loud and intense, that it almost sounded like there was a constant whistle and rumbling outside! Typically, in DC, we rarely experience much damage, but last night, Peter went out in the pouring rain and was retrieving our flower pots which went flying all over our deck. As he was outside, all I could think of was if Mattie were alive, Mattie would have been just as excited by this natural occurrence and would have been right along side Peter.
This morning, I got to see the aftermath of this flooding and wind. The first surprise was we were being attacked by an army of ants, who helped themselves right into our home and into my kitchen. Hundreds and hundreds of ants. Though this is the last thing I wanted or expected to do today, clean up was very necessary. I learned two things from this. The first is ants dislike clorox. It kills them instantly and breaks up their scent trail, so others don't follow them in, and second, I will never keep maple syrup in a cabinet again without a ziploc enclosing it. The ants honed right into the syrup and the sight of them on and in the syrup was one I won't forget anytime soon. A sight Mattie would have appreciated, but one I could have done without.
This afternoon, I spent over an hour outside cleaning up flower and dirt debris that was flung everywhere. Some of my plants snapped off, but fortunately most are intact. It was a tiring day in the heat, but fortunately we did not lose power unlike the over one million other people in our region. Peter and I went to a shopping mall today, and what we saw there was beyond memorable. I have never seen one of our malls spontaneously transformed into a shelter. There were people sitting and lying on the floors EVERYWHERE. People even brought power cords, their laptops, and phones with them and plugged them into ANY available electrical outlet they could find. I mean any outlet. There were people sitting on the floors inside and outside of stores, and if there happened to be an outlet around, a crowd of people were sitting around these outlets! To me this looked equivalent to an airport, an airport that had numerous flights cancelled or delayed because of weather. The noise level in the mall was beyond overwhelming and all Peter and I could think is...... is this what Mattie heard when he came to the mall? Mattie hated malls because of the crowds and noise level, which are the reasons we rarely visited them.
At the mall, we had lunch together, and Peter used a phrase I hadn't heard in a long time. The phrase was.... "let's talk about it!" But it was the way Peter said it. He said it just like Mattie did. It brought back many memories for both of us! Mattie owned many of my phrases, which actually would catch some adults by surprise. Because most five and six year olds do not walk around, asking you to process your feelings and thoughts! But this was a strategy I implemented early with Mattie. He was bright, curious, and strong willed. I learned that parenting him had to be a democratic process. He needed to be heard and some rules and guidelines needed to be discussed and explained so he understood them. Naturally that did not happen with everything, since I was his parent, but when things could be discussed they were. It certainly took more energy on my part, but I believe at an early age Mattie developed an empathetic thought process, that happened because he was being challenged to logically think through consequences of his actions. So I end tonight's posting with the wonderful words of Mattie. When you are in doubt or things seem unclear with friends or family members, just turn to them and say............... "let's talk about it!"