Saturday was a really nice, laid-back family day for us. With Christmas and New Year’s now over, we are on the slide toward returning to real life on Monday. I’m back to work, therapies start up again for Henry, Erin has clients and Amelia starts school again later in the week.

But there is still the weekend to enjoy the last remnants of holiday vacation. Erin and I mulled whether to do productive things like clean and go grocery shopping, but opted instead to punt it to another day and enjoy the waning bits of free time together.

It was also a really nice day outside, and kids and dogs alike were pretty antsy, so we decided to take a walk together. Islay is still learning the ropes of walking, but Asta is a good teacher, always trying to lead the way.


We took a walk around the park and we were remarking how beautiful the mountains looked, so the kids wanted to take a picture of it. First Amelia captured this one…


…and then Henry took the camera, and well…I call this “Clear Blue Sky.”


Halfway around the park, Erin and Asta parted with us to take a longer walk on the trail, while the kids and I took Islay back home. She isn’t really ready for longer walks yet, and I frankly wound up carrying her most of the rest of the way. But it was a fun walk home, and the kids were having a great time together.


Henry also wanted to take a picture of Islay and me, and I’d say he did pretty well.


As we got closer to home, we lapsed into playing superheroes, and Amelia told us we had to get back to our ship (the house) before it blasted off without us. The kids took off like a shot!


I had one of those moments of deep appreciation of how well they play and imagine together. Earlier in Henry’s development journey, he didn’t really seem to participate very much in imaginative play, but now he does it quite a lot with his sister and with Erin and me, and it’s great to see.

We all spent a little time resting in the afternoon. Henry frankly got pretty cranky and it was clear he needed a rest. I used the excuse to lay down with him and grab a bit of a nap myself.

Later we had some dinner and then all sat down to watch Soul together. It was really beautiful, clever and touching, and Henry really connected with it, but we could tell Amelia was less enthused. When it was finished, she first told us she really liked it, and then later she confided to both Erin and me that she in fact, didn’t like it all that much.

First of all, I can’t say I find that surprising. It honestly felt to me like a movie much more aimed at adults than kids. And even I would probably give it about a B or B plus. It’s good, creative and the end is definitely moving and thought provoking, but by no means did it knock my socks off.  

And anyway, as we both told her, it’s OK to like and to not like things! Heck, anyone who knows me knows that I have NO trouble expressing negative or positive opinions about movies when I see them (apologies to anyone who had to listen to me rant and rave about Signs back when that came out). So we tried to use it as a teaching moment to help her understand that her opinions are always valid and she shouldn’t be afraid to express them.

That said, to the grown ups reading this, I do recommend checking out Soul. It is definitely worth 90 minutes of your time, if for nothing else than it offers some really good perspective on people and purpose. And if you don’t like it, like I told my daughter, don’t be afraid to say so.