Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SoCo Field Trip

We rarely eat out of the house mid-week, and we even more rarely travel out of our neighborhood to the more Austin-y areas of Austin, but tonight I just spent the most lovely few hours with my boys on the fun and fabulous sidewalks of South Congress.

JP called on his way home from an afternoon swim lesson to ask if pizza sounded good for dinner. As he well knows, pizza ALWAYS sounds good, and since it was Spring Break and the weather was beautiful and I felt like being a little crazy, I suggested we head to Home Slice on Congress. Within an hour JP and Landon were waiting out in front of my office and together we headed to SoCo with all the windows down.

Because we are no longer hip and with it (though really, were we ever?), we'd completely forgotten that South by Southwest was going on, so the streets were packed and live music was coming from every direction. While walking from our car to the restaurant Landon paused in the middle of the sidewalk to throw up his hands, tilt back his head and dance. He was feeling the music- his feet were shuffling, his hands were waving, and several (probably intoxicated) SXSW'ers and St. Patty's Day parties stopped to clap for him. I really miss that total lack of self-consciousness that you have as a child.

After eating some of the best pizza in Austin, we continued on our way up Congress, listening to the music and stopping Landon from enthusiastically petting every dog we passed without asking the owner first (we're working on this, but the child fears no canine). We stopped at the Mighty Cone trailer for some seasoned fries (absolutely delicious- some of the best fries I've had in a while) as a post-dinner snack for the baby, and then stopped at Amy's Ice Cream on the walk back down for dessert for JP.

It was a perfect evening- the kind of Spring night that reminds why I don't hate living here even though ultraconservative nutjobs do things like remove Thomas Jefferson from history textbooks because they don't like that he coined the phrase "separation of church and state" (never mind that he's the AUTHOR of the Declaration of Independence and that whole separation thing is GOOD and IMPORTANT, especially if you are a religious person and the changes are so ideological and frequently factually incorrect that I am left embarrassed and stuttering by my home state for a whole new set of reasons). But back to my lovely evening.

Landon was so fun. We've really reached that point where he's such an easy, fun, and giving member of our family. Rather than just being happy to get through an evening out with a child in tow, the whole experience is really more enjoyable because he's there. We're about to screw this all up again for about two years by adding baby #2, but for now I'm just enjoying the fact that we can sit down at a pizza place without a single extra child-related item, order off a regular menu, watch Landon drink from a regular cup and eat off a regular plate, and laugh as he talks non-stop about his trip to the lake house and how "daddy went on the jetski but he went TOO FAST and it WASN'T SAFE and I didn't like it and I slept next to Uncle Egick and I was very quiet and he didn't wake up!"

We finished off the night by tucking a sleepy Landon into bed and then hanging up almost everything in the baby's room. JP was super excited to be wielding a hammer under my close supervision at 9:45 at night, but now the butterflies have taken flight and the room is nearly finished. Pictures soon, I promise.


  1. Sounds perfect! Makes me want to make the effort to leave the house mid-week too!

    You will be surprised how quickly the second kid "joins the family" and becomes good company. I had the same thought but at one-year Wes is capable of eating off a regular plate, with a regular cup (sort of!), and requires little more than an extra diaper in the car. It is SO MUCH FUN!

  2. So what are you going to do about school when the time comes?

  3. Sounds like a great night! I am so jealous that you just happened to bump into SXSW-- how cool are you?

    I really want to have baby #3, but my 2 are so much fun and like humans instead of scheduled little beasts, so I am worried about screwing that up. Baby 2, though, (like Becca said) fit right in easily.

    Inspiration to juggle our weekly routine, for sure!

  4. Haha, Sarah, very accidentally cool I promise! But it was fun to be part of it, especially when I could listen to the music for free while eating french fries.

    And to jwg, I've debated making the textbook thing it's own post but for the moment am not- mostly because it takes me a lot longer to write anything politically related than to just talk about my family. But, to answer your question, nothing will change when school time comes. We pay $8,000/year in property taxes for the privilege of a fantastic public school system in our neighborhood and unless every textbook actually gets replaced with the Glenn Beck's authored works, Landon's going there. I think the proposed changes are absurd for the ideology and suppression of certain parts of history that they represent, but in truth I don't think they will affect Landon's education all that much. For one, in Austin he's far more likely to have a politically moderate teacher who will present things in a more even light than the textbook and who follows her own lesson plan anyway. And two, he'll have JP and I who will sure as hell tell him about Thomas Jefferson if no one else will. Also, I think Landon is far more likely to be influenced by what he hears JP and I talking about at dinner that who is or is not mentioned in a little box on one page of his book. Which is NOT to say this issue isn't important (or completely f-ing ridiculous), and I have drafted letters to the school board and looked for other ways to protest what they're doing, but for me it doesn't come near the level of contemplating pulling my child out of the Austin public school system. The schools near us are still filled with great teachers and they can only do so much with subjects outside of history. And there's hope- three of the most radically conservative members were voted out in the last election, maybe by the time the textbooks are reviewed again (in 10 years, still before Landon will use them) the Board will be a little more even. Maybe.

  5. I have to reiterate, baby 2 just fell into place for us. I have to say, though, with baby 2 I was a LOT more into babywearing comapred to baby 1. When baby 1 was tiny I'd just pop her into a hotsling. As she got older, it was the Ergo and I'd take her everywhere.

  6. That a babe Lag Liv, separation of church and state!

  7. It is so disappointing (and frankly, scary!( about the Texas school board. But I totally would do the same thing you're doing re school for Landon.

  8. LL I'm so bummed I didnt get to bump into you while you strolled right down my street! I live a stones throw from Home Slice. But I'm glad you and the boys had such a fab time in my 'hood so that will make it super easy to come back and hang with me. :) Freddies is waiting for yall (and the pups) whenever you're ready!

  9. I come to your blog every few months because I really enjoy your posts. Being in law school I don't have much free time to stay current, but I really enjoy your posts when I do get to read them.

    Although I've never commented in the past, I did feel compelled to comment (very briefly) on the textbook issue. My main reason for doing so is because I believe this issue has been given unfair representation by the media, because its choice of semantics leads readers to believe students in Texas will no longer learn about Thomas Jefferson. This is not true. Jefferson was removed from the world history curriculum but is still taught at various grade levels in U.S. history.

    I'm not saying I agree one way or the other, but I don't believe it's fair that the media has characterized the issue the way it has.

    Here are a couple of helpful links:

  10. Hi Anon- you're right, like much of the media, I wasn't fair in my characterization -- probably for the same reason as many of the headlines, because it was the easy way to highlight what I saw as the absurdity and wrongness of the school board's decisions. You're correct that Jefferson hasn't been removed from the history books, though I still think removing him from a list of influentual thinkers is ridiculous because he was of enormous influence during the revolutionary and enlightenment era. There's actually other changes that upset me more- many to do with minorities and refusing to recognize certain key Mexican and Tejano leaders, but they weren't as snappy or easily recognizable to write out in a parenthetical. (But seriously, Texas WAS MEXICO, and some of our great historical leaders who helped establish Texas as an independent country and then state were Mexican. Most of the men who died at the Alamo were what we would now think of as Mexican or Tejano - it was not a bunch of white guys and it's insulting to their memories to pretend otherwise. Argh!)

    So I do think some outrage is called for, but probably not over the issue I conveniently, though perhaps wrongly, chose to highlight in my post. And you were right to point that out.