tilly is having a tough time with snow. it snowed in seattle a couple months ago, enough to delay school two hours (doesn’t take much), and i took the girls in the backyard to play. tilly was furious that we thought she’d enjoy being pulled around in the sled. she didn’t want to touch the snow, didn’t want to walk in it. she wanted to sit on the snowless steps with me and watch joey play. she also doesn’t want to be riding in the stroller when it is pushed over icy sidewalk. she doesn’t even want to step over a crack in the boardwalk at the pond that has a bit of frost in it. sigh.
fear of snow really isn’t the hardest thing to cope with in seattle. it is harder to avoid when you are planning a family trip to a very snowy place for half a week. then you start to wonder whether your child will spend the entire trip looking in fear out the window at the vast whiteness…
so we went to the mountains as a bit of snow therapy. it didn’t go horribly but it didn’t exactly go well. tilly’s normal mode is cheery, silly, goofy, happy-go-lucky. however, she did not crack a smile in the hour and a half we were in the snow. her happiest mode was something i would call “not crying.” poor kid. the rest of us had a great time. well, as great of a time you can have when someone in your party looks like this:
Words soon, I promise. This blog needs more words. And more photos are on flickr.
josephine is off all week (yippee?) for thanksgiving break and we made the bold move of going to the aquarium when all elementary students were out of school. luckily, not too many other people took the risk and it was a rather mellow day there. tilly might have noticed that she was surrounded by tanks of fish, otters, and seals; she was quite busy jumping and running. but we got her to appreciate a few creatures. and josephine came home committed to redouble her efforts to care for her fairly neglected beta fish. she’s working on a watercolor portrait of him as i type. and now to figure out the plan for tomorrow’s entertainment…
A week and a day ago, I was feeling so optimistic, so sure. I thought I knew who was going to win the election and I was mainly concerned with exactly where I would be when I found out that we had elected our first female president. Later in the evening on that fateful Tuesday, I was curled up in bed, crying and telling myself that I didn’t have to throw up over an election. But I wanted to. That visceral reaction has faded, thankfully, and I acknowledge the privilege I have that enables me to focus on day-to-day minutia while I let the grief fade a bit into the background. But the overwhelming emotion is still there. I find my eyes welling up and my throat closing when I let my mind linger too long on who has been elected and how scary the future looks. I feel so grateful that my girls are too young to be fully aware of what happened during the campaign and the ramifications of the election. (Josephine says that when she sees a picture of Trump she thinks it looks like he’s about to come alive and say, “I hate you” to her.) I shudder to think what we’ll have to explain to them over the next four years.
While we try to wrap our minds around what has happened and try find hope in what may come, I’ve been putting a little more energy into creating comfort. I’ve been working to make the house cozy; burning candles, keeping things bright, encouraging reading under blankets on the couch. We had a fire in the fireplace over the weekend and it was like a magnet we were all drawn to for a couple hours. We’ll do that again soon.
We’ve been trying to eat well. I made our menu for the week and realized it was all carbs and dairy — extreme comfort food. I’ve been making sure my belly is full and hoping that helps the rest of me feel less stressed. (Finding a healthy balance remains a challenge. There is still way too much Halloween candy in the house.)
I’ve been thinking about building community. We spent time with friends in the days immediately following the election and look forward to more friend time over the weekend and Thanksgiving. It’s a little thing, but I’ve been making more of an effort to smile and say hello to people I encounter in the neighborhood.
I want to follow through on feeling motivated to find avenues to volunteer my time, both with the girls and independently. Whether it’s through Josephine’s school or with local organizations, I’d like to be more engaged in the community.
I want to read more and better. I rarely read non-fiction, but this list the New York Times compiled makes me want to branch out and challenge myself to learn more. I want to be more informed on world news. For the girls, I want to make sure that the books we read at home continue to feature diversity. Related, I want to continue to insist that the amount of violence we’re all exposed to via movies, shows, and books is practically nil.
We will continue to give money to Planned Parenthood, the local NPR station, and the library, and will find a few more local organizations — ones that support refugees, maybe? — to support.
What have you been doing to keep yourself hopeful and healthy? Sending love out there…
Now that it’s November (and I’m attempting to tamp down election anxiety by updating a sadly non-updated blog), I should probably post a few photos of the girls’ birthdays. Josephine’s seventh birthday has been covered — a beautiful day in Mazama. Tilly’s second birthday was celebrated with a family trip to the zoo (Josephine fell in love with an orangutan) and huge pieces of cake…
…peach cake that was leftover from the birthday party! I convinced Josephine that a joint party would be great (Tilly expressed no opinion on the matter) and it was indeed. One party to plan, lots of friends to play with, beautiful weather, a huge cake, and two wonderful girls to celebrate.
Tilly was quite upset about being pulled from a game she had been playing when it was time for cake. But then she saw the cake and instantly switched moods (she’s two!) and started exclaiming, “My cake! It’s my cake!” It was quite gratifying.
Halloween was low-key and fun this year. We did our traditional trick-or-treating with Meera on her block. Meera dressed up as a donut from her favorite local donut shop. Josephine and I collaborated on her (and Rose’s) panda costume and Tilly resurrected Josephine’s old monkey costume. (Sadly, Tilly recently started pronouncing “monkey” correctly. I had really been hoping she’d be a “mumpey” for Halloween.)
Tilly took a death-defying tumble off Meera’s front steps as we were leaving to trick-or-treat. Watching it, I thought perhaps we were headed to the hospital. But she shook it off and toddled off down the street. Instead of “trick-or-treat,” she preferred, “I want some!” Josephine and Meera were excellent Tilly escorts, stopping her from running into random people’s houses and trying to minimize her excessive doorbell ringing. And now there’s lots of candy for me to eat after the girls go to bed.
Tilly: I’m the best sisters! I’m the best sisters!
Me: You have the best sister.
Tilly: Yep! Her name is Joey.
Me: Joey is your sister.
Tilly: And mama is our friend. I love you. I love Joey, too. She likes to play Farming Farm with me.
it sounds like a magician’s magic word: MAZAMA! it’s nearly as magical: a tiny town tucked in a little valley in the north cascade mountains of washington. and, even more magical, our friends — meera and her family — have a house there and they invited us to join them for labor day weekend. it was josephine’s 7th birthday while we were there and being on vacation with her BFF made it an extra-special celebration. ned and i celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary here, too, and got to go out to dinner. just us! no kids!
i don’t think i need to add much narrative to these photos. it was a fun-filled, beauty-saturated weekend.