Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fynn turns 9

Let’s hear it, parents: “I can’t believe my baby boy is nine years old!!” Hmmm. Nine is just a number. He’s still the great little boy he’s always been. This summer he seems to have grown up quite a bit, though. After spending two weeks at day camp on the Marienburg on the hill behind our house, he went to a three-day soccer camp with 55 other boys and girls. The third day of the camp was his birthday, which he let the coaches know. That morning he was called into the middle of the circle and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to him. I think this kind of high-focus attention would have driven him to tears a year ago, but he said he enjoyed it. Plus, they gave him an official EM 2006 soccer ball, a T-shirt and a big bag of gummi bears! I think it was nice for him to have a lot of attention on his birthday because we’re usually on vacation then, so he can’t have all his friends over. This year several of the friends he invited were on vacation themselves.

We celebrated his birthday the following Sunday. He wanted to play soccer with his friends at the Marienburg. First we ate cake and Fynn opened his presents. A new soccer ball! A VfB water bottle! A yard tennis set! All great presents. The wrapping paper from the ball was a big hit.

Bianca and I had set up a treasure hunt for him and his friends. On that hot August day, I rode around the neighborhood, drawing arrows on the sidewalk with chalk which showed them the way - sometimes the wrong way. At five appointed places, they had to find a yellow envelope with a task in it that they needed to solve before they would get the treasure. So with water bottles in hand (it was in the high 90s), they headed off on the big chase.
Fiona seemed to have the best eyes for finding the envelopes. And now that she can read, she was a big help in solving the mysteries.

After an hour of soccer, Bianca helped the boys learn a funny little poem by heart (one of the tasks) before they headed to the last stop on the hunt. In typical pirate fashion, the last clue was written in code, so they all helped break the code so that they could find the treasure chest, which was filled with bags of goodies.

And all the time Julia took it easy in the Baby Björn.

When we got back home, the boys had hot dogs and lots of juice before they headed home.
The Turning

I would like to invite you all to visit my exhibition in Stuttgart in October and November. The Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum is hosting an autumn exhibit of works by Tiffany Estrada and me entitled "The Turning". It will be much more than just an exhibition, though. Storytelling, an installation and a photo walk on October 30 are all part of the fun. Come join us on October 14 at 6 p.m. for the grand opening or view the works on your own time Tue.-Fri. from 9-1 pm or 2-5 pm in the DAZ at Charlottenplatz 17. The show will hang until Dec. 3.