Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Lucas loves Idaho

One thing that has absolutely astonished me throughout our move from California to Idaho has been Lucas's resilience. He's announced on more than one occasion he wants "to live here forever" and "never move again."

Part of this comes from a new friendship he's struck up with my friend Lisa's son, who is 8. His first playdate with M prompted Lucas to announce that his "best friend in the whole world" lives in Idaho. Both Lucas and M are about the same size, so I think they forget that M has 3.5 years of sophistication on Lucas. This is going to work out well as I try to nurture Lucas's nascent interest in reading: "Lucas, M reads at a third-grade level. Why can't you?" (I kid!) (Sort of!)

Lucas also started two weeks of swim lessons yesterday; his class consists of Lucas and one newly four-year-old boy. In just two half-hour sessions, Lucas has grown considerably braver; he's always liked going to pools, but never been a fan of putting his face in the water. I think it helps that the instructor has a ton of toys that distract Lucas from the fact that he's getting his face wet. Here's a glimpse from today's lesson:

Last week I took Lucas to the local state history museum, and he adored it. Really, truly adored it--and it's not particularly geared toward kids. After seeing so much of Fang emerge in Lucas, it's nice to see a little bit of me awakening in the boy's genes. In the museum's gift shop, we bought a couple geodes for him to smash open, but I have to admit I was also tempted by these:

Seriously. Click to embiggen.

He's not just interested in history, but in natural history as well. At one point on our drive to Idaho, we pulled over in northern Nevada or southern Oregon to stretch our legs, and we encountered thousands of grasshoppers. Lucas was fascinated by them (as was our puppy), so you can imagine his delight when he was able to capture a couple at a playground the other day:

He kept trying to shield the insect from us, as if we'd try to take it from him, though I can assure you I've never snatched a bug from the boy's hands, even though I may be quite fond of certain species.

Lucas really likes this particular playground, though he hasn't explored most of the equipment, which is of the increasingly trendy EVO type I'm seeing on more playgrounds. Here's one of the most conventional pieces on the playground; I'll try to get more photos on our next visit.

I was worried about raising Lucas in an overwhelmingly majority-white city, but I'm learning that there are places to go to expose the boy to more than just WASPs. We went to get him a library book today, and the children's section is packed with multicultural literature. And if we go to a particular WinCo supermarket at noon on Sunday, after the churches have let out, there's an amazingly diverse cross-section of Boise society there, in terms of both race/ethnicity and class. (Alas, the food there is not as ethnically interesting. You should see the number of fried potato side-dishes available in the freezer section!)

So far, Idaho is for Lucas a nature park, a science center, a history museum, a zoo, some nice parks and playgrounds, a new friend, a couple of pools, some grasshoppers, some backyard dirt to dig in, a bigger bedroom, a badger, twin fawns, and an armload of books checked out on his new library card. Fang and I may be hitting some bumps in the life-shifting road, but Lucas is cruising happily along.


Unknown said...

Isn't one of the best things in life the way your kid can make you view the world with a fresh eye? So glad it's all working out for Lucas!

Bardiac said...

So cool!

I live in a city that seems pretty white on first glance. But if you go to the public library any late afternoon/evening, it's packed with kids and teens of color. I don't know if it's THE hang out place or if there's a lot of study pressure, but it's packed and the kids and teens seem happy and busy(there's socializing, reading, and computer-using going on). Maybe your public library is a similar draw?

S said...

"You should see the number of fried potato side-dishes available in the freezer section"

This struck me as really funny somehow. Aren't fresh potatoes ubiquitous in Idaho? Somehow it disappoints me to learn that people in the potato state are so willing to rely on frozen potato dishes.

Glad the boy is settling in so well.

Breena Ronan said...

Maybe you can expose him to Basque culture? My friend is working on a master's thesis related to Basque culture there in Boise.

Leslie M-B said...

@Breena Done! We took him to sports night at Jaialdi last week. He thought it was a good deal of fun.

But yes, I should take him to the Basque block and museum. . .

Suzanne said...

OMG plush two-headed calves!

Leslie M-B said...

@Suzanne -- I know! Is that not awesome? It reminds me of this comment about a typical museum-studies graduate: "She is fortunate enough, through connections, to find a job as director of the local historical society in East Jesus, Texas. She has a 1,000 sf museum complete with a two-headed calf and the baptismal clothing of the first white child born there."

Too true!