We could use a little more glow this weekend, couldn’t we? While Charlotte was at The Nutcracker, Anna and I enthusiastically but clumsily draped this poor young apple tree with every strand of lights available in the house. We started off trying to be systematic, but in the end, we just ended up hurling the lights to each other over the top of the tree so that every last branch was illuminated. We cracked up at how ridiculous we must have looked to passersby.
I hate that teenage girls often get a bad rap, because this one – and her circle of friends and relatives – quite often shine as brilliantly as the lights on this most tolerant little crab apple tree.
Our baby is off on her first big Daisy Scout field trip today. The whole troop and some of their families are driving an hour and half to the Clay Theater in Charleston to see The Nutcracker. She looks beautiful and her hair is curled and it’s going to be a fabulous experience for her. And I’m pretty proud that she so nonchalantly climbed into her booster seat and blew me a confident kiss goodbye through the tinted window.
Yesterday morning I was looking forward to having the day to myself to get things done that are challenging to do with a six-year-old running around. I usually consider myself a free range kind of mom, but this morning, waving goodbye to her, I was fully aware of how out of alignment I am, and that millions of parents are feeling the same way.
The last time I felt like I have today was 9/11. So much was the same: the little snippets of news (Breaking: Teacher Wounded in School Shooting)…it can’t be that bad, right? This thought is followed by the thought that something strange and not very good is happening… but it can’t be that bad, right?
Then, the truth: the enormity of the tragedy is something that comes knocking perhaps just a few times in a lifetime. It is indeed that bad. Facebook is filled with prayers and fake candles and rage.
I have a first grade daughter who has been trying my every last nerve lately. I’ve been frozen for most of the day, but two – and only two – bits of social media have really nailed it for me. Everything else is not working. The first was a status update from Honest Toddler. Usually Honest Toddler is a wise ass so this caught me way off guard:
“So many angels. Can you see them?”
And the other one, from the Huffington Post’s Parents page:
“I see many posts on how to talk to children about the tragedy. I’d appreciate one on how to talk to adults about it because I’m at a loss.”
Go ahead, click on that above link. I’ve wanted to write about this idea for a while but someone beat me to it and did a much better job than I could have done at describing it. The idea of feeling more at home in places where we’ve never lived or just recently discovered is fascinating to me. I am most at home and most myself in wide open spaces, like New Mexico…the Isle of Iona in Scotland (even though I was only there for an afternoon)…the Brecon Beacons in Wales…and my home for two years, Niger, West Africa. If you haven’t found that place yet, if and when you do, everything changes.
A few days ago I “liked” the “I love DIY” page on facebook and it seems like every five minutes a new eye-popping project appears that looks deceptively simple. However, I have tons of scraps around the house and probably a torn lampshade or two so this might be actually be something to try. Or not. I’m still deciding if it’s cute or looks like a lower elementary aged art project, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Why worry about things we can’t change, right?
It’s a damn good thing that every November I have no illusions that I write anything but 50,000+ words of nonsense because this morning I accidentally erased the whole thing and it cannot be retrieved. One of these days I may progress to writing something other than an extended autobiographical journal entry, but until then I’m not going to sweat the loss. I participate in nanowrimo for reasons that have little to do with writing something publishable. It’s enough for me to know that after ten years of doing this, I can still crank out those 50K words during a short, busy, travel-filled, often dreary month. The truth is, if I had to choose between not meeting the 50K challenge or losing the book, I’d lose the book.