Birthday assemblies

For the second or maybe third time in a row I am missing Faro’s birthday. Early June seems to be traveling time – though I suppose every month is traveling time these days.  We decided to spend a good part of Memorial Day weekend with Sita and Jim so I could give Faro his present. As it turned out, I also got enlisted to assemble his parents present to him.

Our present was a little nostalgic – a scooter.  Not the dinky little foldable one with the tiny wheels, but one with air tires. It looks like the scooters that were around when I was a child, except much fancier. It has handbrakes (my brakes where my feet) and a skull and crossbones on the step plate. It came in a box on Thursday and I assembled it under the watchful eye of Axel and Woody and with the help of a martini and some wrenches.

Scooters, in my youth, were called “autopeds” or a “steps” though sometimes we called them “autosteps.” They are actually neither autopeds nor steps as there is nothing auto about the propulsion. It’s actually very hard work, especially when going uphill (no uphills in my childhood), and even more so when Faro decides it is much more fun to stand on the plate and let Oma do the ‘stepping.’

We spent two very hot days in western Massachusetts, sometimes wishing we were on the eastern seaboard and cooling off in Lobster Cove – it would certainly have been several degrees cooler there. But Western Massachusetts is an attractive place to be. We (including Sita) sometimes fantasize about renting out our house on Lobster Cove for oodles of money and getting a small place in western MA. The fantasy is postponed until I don’t have to commute to work anymore – maybe within the next 5 years.

For kids Sita’s neighborhood is wonderful. There is Look Park in Florence, with its train rides, picnic areas and playgrounds. There is also the river with its perfect river beaches and swimming spots that have enough of a current to stay relatively clean, a sandy bottom and little fish to chase after.  Faro has been going to swimming lessons, a Christmas present, and I was curious to see his progress, which was not as great as I had hoped.

Faro’s parents gave him a Bucky climbing structure that needed assembly. We worked on that with sweat dripping down our brows – it was a little bit too hot to do so in full sunlight – but we persevered and had it up in less than 24 hours.  The structure is about 10 feet wide and 6 feet tall. Faro got the hang of climbing on to the lower parts in no time, still a little anxious about swinging like a monkey. I would have loved to have a climbing structure like that when I was his age. We used trees instead.

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