1 // 52

Lillia 1 of 52 (2016)
Zane 1 of 52 (2016)

“A portrait of my children every week in 2016.”

Lillia: It’s week one of another 52 week portrait project attempt, and you are now twelve years old! You love Dr. Who and the X-Files, feel guilty if you aren’t writing during every minute of your free time, and your favorite subject in school is Language Arts.

Zane: Right now you are four and half years old! You love building with Legos, playing imagination games, and helping mom and dad with any and all tasks — you don’t have to be asked twice to participate!

Looking forward to seeing what this year will bring.


40 // 52

40 // 52 // Lillia
40 // 52 // Zane

“A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Lillia: This week you had two days off from school for parent-teacher conferences. For each of your classes you had to do a self-evaluation and talk about your strengths and weaknesses, and your overall performance. In just about each presentation you mentioned that your biggest weaknesses were disorganization and the fact that you hate group work. You have a keen sense of self-awareness for someone your age. I think you were overly critical of yourself, but you have always been like that. The old adage “we’re our own worst critics” certainly applies to you! Still, you are doing very well in all of your classes, and all of your teachers really seem to enjoy having you as a student. I hope you continue on this path.

Zane: This week your school also had parent-teacher conferences. Your teacher, Melissa, said that you are a joy to have in class. She said she doesn’t think she’s ever had a student that loved school as much as you do, and I tend to believe that she’s right. She said you are really right on track in your development, and had no concerns. She said that some things that still challenge you are using scissors properly, and one-to-one counting of objects. You know all of your colors, can recognize in print all of the numbers up to 8, and most of the letters of the alphabet. You can write all the letters in your name, though not in the right order — your “E” has about 8 legs on it which is just adorable. I already knew that you’re a bright little boy, but it was nice to hear it from your teacher, too.


39 // 52

39 // 52 // Lillia
39 // 52 // Zane

“A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Lillia: This week was Michaelmas. We had a little celebration at home, but these special days don’t seem to excite or engage you the way they used to. For me, it’s a little sad to see what growing up really takes from us, and I do hope that someday you will get back some of the joy you’ve lost. The melancholic years of young adulthood seem to be worse for you — a person who was born world-weary. You are cynical in the way of an almost-twelve-year-old, and perhaps this level of apathy, distrust, and disdain is normal? I would be very hesitant to jump to any conclusions at this point. I do wish I could remember just a little bit better what it was like to be your age. Perhaps I should have a talk with your grandmother — I’m sure she remembers!

Zane: This week you really enjoyed helping me get ready for the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. Unfortunately, it was raining this year so we couldn’t go out in the woods together to gather flowers and colored leaves for our table. But, you did help me make all of the food! After dinner we read about St. George and the Dragon, and then you wanted to play knights and dragons with some little wooden figures we have. I love how children re-create their experiences in their play, re-living again and again the moments that made an impression on them.


38 // 52

38 // 52 // Lillia
38 // 52 // Zane

“A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Lillia: This week your school was invited to a “district-wide” dance in the neighboring village of Charlestown. Even though you knew there was a chance that none of your friends would be there, you still wanted to go. When you and your dad arrived you were feeling very nervous, and briefly decided that the whole situation was too scary. You were on your way back to the car when you changed your mind. On the second go-round you saw a boy who goes to the Walpole school standing in line, and so you struck up a conversation with him. When you finally came home a few hours later you said that you did have a good time, and that you met a new girl from one of the other schools. I am so impressed with your bravery — I would NEVER have had the courage to go to a dance where I didn’t know anyone. Every day you amaze me, Lillia.

Zane: This week I kept you home from school on Monday because I wanted to spend some time with you. Now that you are at school five days a week, I miss our little adventures. I asked you, “Would you rather go to school or stay home with mama?” You can guess what the response was. So, we spent the whole day together and we did all kinds of fun things — we went apple picking, we walked in the woods, we did some serious garden clean-up, and we played in the sandbox. I had such a good time, and I’m pretty sure you did, too. I know you really love school, but sometimes it’s nice to be home.


37 // 52

37 // 52 // Lillia
37 // 52 // Zane

“A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Lillia: This week we took you and your brother to the NH Highland Games at Loon Mountain. We thought you might enjoy seeing the sheepdog trials, since you are such a canine aficionado. Sadly, you really didn’t seem to enjoy much of anything — it was pretty hot, and there was a lot of walking involved — but you did eventually perk up when we rode the gondola to the top of the mountain and explored the glacial caves. You were scared to go in alone, so Daddy crawled around in there with you. Your mood really improved when you ran into some other kids your own age in the caves and had a bit of a chat. I have to remind myself that pretty much everyone is chopped liver these days, except other kids, and that the moods will come and go.

Zane: This week you and your sister stayed with Nanny at our house while Daddy and I were away. You seemed to do okay and didn’t miss us too much, but when I returned I was treated to a bit of a cold shoulder. I thought you might come running, but you just sort of shrugged hello and went on with your business. Except, about an hour later something rather insignificant happened that upset you, and you just absolutely burst into tears. You were pretty clingy for a couple of days after that. Two days is probably the upper limit to how long we can leave you at this point, and I’m glad to be back.