Oh Merrick

Merrick is a character. He’s a squirrel, he’s a rat, he’s a boy with an enormous imagination. He loves food. His life revolves around the next meal. He will eat dinner and ask about breakfast. In his school lunches he packs food like he’ll be gone for a week. I think in another life he might have been starved.

Today while driving to school I listened to the older boys discuss their plans to spend their summer earnings from working the shaved ice hut. They were talking about kayaks. Barrett told Merrick he had enough money saved up for an inexpensive kayak. Merrick asks, “Is it the kayak with the food pouch?” Barrett look confused and asked him, “What do you mean a food pouch?”

“You know. The kayak that has the food compartment.”

“No, you don’t have enough for that one.”

“Oh, well then I don’t want it.”

Is that really a determining factor for purchasing a kayak? It is if you’re a skinny tooth pick boy named Merrick.

We dropped Barrett off at school and Merrick changed subjects without a moments hesitation. Now we’re talking about him becoming an actor.

This kid! He’s a character!

1 Reason We Need To Go To Church Again

During the summer we stopped going to church. Before Kierran and I left Valdez for Fairbanks we stopped attending the church we were attending because I didn’t care much for the pastor, there is a lack of children’s church and I don’t care for a particular part of the weekly service.

Finding a new church was on my list of things to do but got pushed to the back burner during the summer chaos.

As we sat eating dinner tonight Kierran tears off a small portion of the tortilla and said, “Look mom, it’s like that small bread. It’s God’s meat.”

I suppose if we’re going to drink his blood it makes sense to eat his meat. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’m concerned instead of raising a christian I’m raising a cannibal.

The Acting Bug

Late into the summer a friend told me about a 2 week acting camp that travels from Anchorage to Valdez every summer. It was expensive but it was 2 weeks, all day and Merrick has voiced a little interest in acting so we gave it a try. I’m sure we found Merrick’s gift.

They did acting games, voice warmups and auditioned for a part in the play Charlotte’s Web. Merrick wasn’t sure about Charlotte’s Web but when I told him he’d make a good Tempelton he became obsessed! His eye was set on the prize or being Templeton the rat and he got it! Along with Mr. Arable, Fern’s dad. They practiced their lines everyday and had costume fittings, stage practice and even learned the superstitions of the theatre. Merrick learned about stage props and how to do on stage combat or fake fighting.

There were two showings and I attended both. We went Friday as a family and Saturday my mom and Brian came to town to watch. He did such a great job! We couldn’t have been more proud. We will definitely enroll him next year! It’s too bad there isn’t a kids theatre here during the winter but I have a feeling he’ll continue to practice his acting. Like this morning when Merrick tried to convince Linus he was hurt and was yipping. Linus wasn’t buying it. I told him Linus knew he was playing and he said, “Ok, I can do this. Mememememe. 6 O-clock, 6 O-clock.” (clears throat) then lays on the ground and starts whimpering. I’ll hold off looking for a condo in LA for now.

A Summer Apart

Kierran and I were in Fairbanks this summer while I attended my first semester of grad school at the University of Fairbanks Alaska (UAF) to get my teaching license.

We were separated from Scott and the boys for 6 weeks. The first portion of the separation Kierran didn’t appreciate being the only child and really missed his brothers. When he spoke on the phone with his brothers he had a huge smile on his face and talked a mile a minute. I overheard him arguing with himself in the backseat of the car a couple times while we drove around town. Scott said he was probably trying to keep his arguing skills sharp for when he was reunited with his brothers. On Fathers Day weekend Scott and the boys made a surprise trip to Fairbanks. Negative for Scott because I had no plans for Fathers Day but positive for every other reason. Kierran was overwhelmed with joy! It was a wonderful surprise for the first two hours then the boys settled back into their regular arguing pattern. Kierran walked over and whispered into my ear, “When are they leaving?”

HA! The second half of our separation Kierran took full advantage of being the only child and never spoke about missing his brothers.

School went great for me and none of it would have been possible without the help I received from friends in Fairbanks. One week Kierran attended a day camp but for the rest of the 5 weeks he was watched by friends and a friends daughter. He had a wonderful time and I knew he was in good hands which allowed me to fully focus on my school work. I tell you what, it couldn’t have worked out more perfect.

It was such an undertaking for Scott and I to separate for almost 2 months, find a place for Kierran and I to stay, secure inexpensive childcare and everything a single parent experiences. It all worked out perfectly. Scott’s half-brother’s dad (did you follow that?) let us stay with him which was such a blessing! My friends came to my aid and took up childcare days for me that I was still in need of and oh my goodness I need to pay homage to my car also. With 112k miles she powered through the summer despite, what I think is, her failing transmission. That is an expense we can’t handle at this time.

I was also in love with spending a majority of my summer in Fairbanks. It’s so warm there and there is so much to do! Kierran and I were always busy.

With every small detail working out so perfect, this straight A student 😉 felt that becoming a teacher is my calling. A calling that GOD has made a clear path for me to follow.

In a couple weeks I start my second semester and student teaching! I’m very excited!

It’s France for Fantastic

Kierran has had me in stitches lately. His personality is growing into this tall 6 year old body of his. Last night while I was tucking him into bed he asked me the same question each of his brothers still ask me EVERY night, “What are we doing tomorrow?”

It just so happens that we were meeting up with a friend of his and her mom from his Kindergarten class, Brooklyn, at a local coffee shop. I knew he would be ecstatic. He didn’t give me the reaction I had assumed he would give me but instead said, “Mom, can you buy me a boys dress and some boy lipstick?”

“A what?!?”

“You know the fancy boy dress with the bow tie?” He’s making hand gestures like he’s straightening a bow tie around his neck.

“You mean a tuxedo?”

“Yeah, with a bow tie and a hat and boy lipstick.”

“You mean chap stick?”

“Yeah, I need all that.”

“Well, we can see about that but I won’t be able to get it as soon as tomorrow if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“Yeah, I was thinking I’d wear a tuxedo with a bow tie and a hat.” He lifts his head, folds his arms behind his head and says, “Hellllloooo Brooklyn.”

I’m so used to these boys saying crazy things I can usually hold it together and roll my eyes but that conversation took me off guard and I lost it. Though it’s typical of him to want to be dressed to the nines or as he puts it, “Fantas-teek” which he tells me is “France for fantastic.”