Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Some Summer Fun July 29, 2015

Well, we’ve all had a little too much fun, and have the summer colds to prove it. I think Seamus got it first (I also blame him for the lice, so he’s batting a thousand), at Summer Fun camp, then I think he passed it to Porter, who sneezed green beans all over me yesterday. Then Patrick and I woke up with it this morning. The family that plays together….

We don’t let it get us down. Our friends invited us to a DC United game, complete with tailgating. It was so much fun! We were concerned when Philadelphia Union scored two goals in the first four minutes, but it worked out okay with a win in the end. Seamus was glued to the match. He asked questions, and ate a little popcorn, but mostly he was intensely interested in the action on the field. We had good seats for him to see too. I chitchatted with my friend, and at one point, I think we had four children crawling all over us. We tried to shunt them down to their fathers, but they kept coming back! It was a five o’clock game, which meant it was perfect for a bit of tailgating and then we didn’t get home too late. I am actually really surprised that one of my children turned out to be a sports nut. He likes all the nerdy numbers of it. And the competition. Who am I kidding?

Since, Patrick is still working, I’ve had the kids from 11:00-6 most days. On Monday, I decided to take them to the zoo. It was hot! But we had a lovely time, with Seamus pushing the stroller, we managed to be in the shade quite a bit. They were excited to see the wolf, seals, and otters. We went into Amazonia, and Porter was thrilled with this turtle that swam up to him, and away, and back. Then we heard the thunder. We took shelter in the food area, got a snack, and started to wait out the storm, but it lasted a long time. An observation: Five minutes earlier, the kids were complaining about how hot they were, so the went gleefully to play in the tidal area at the seal exhibit, then they headed for the misters. But when it began to rain–hoo boy, they complained about the possibility of getting wet.

On the way back up the hill, we stopped at the Ape House because it had opened up again. They complained mightily about the stink. The orangoutangs were playing peek-a-boo. So human. Later, they said this was their favorite part of the zoo. Then, at dinner, we teased them about leaving them in the Ape house forever, behind one of the glass windows. They thought that was hilarious and announced that they would “poop everywhere and show our bottoms to the people watching.” And I thought, yes, there’s a very fine line between the great apes and humans…

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