Archive | December, 2011

Christmas Lullaby

“Christmas Lullaby,” by Jason Robert Brown, eavesdropped after dinner early December last year. [Ed note: Once you start the video, double-clicking the image expands it to full screen, a decidedly mixed blessing since then you get more jostled by my improv’ed lo-tech iPhone cinematography.]

I couldn’t help but re-run this sweet gem which I first posted a year ago. Still sweet, still–with the exception of the diapers on the boy–true.  Love to all who reads and listens here.

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Regarding the carousel

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At the Tilden Park Carousel’s Christmas Extravaganza, Berkeley, CA.

 

We’ve been here before. (Back then, when she was two, and again then, at two and a half. Clearly it’s a thing for me: I just counted over half a dozen “carousel”-referential posts here.)

We come to Tilden Park’s Christmas Spectacular (ok, official title is “Fantasy,” but we rotate its name for fun) more or less annually, since she and her brother began to be big enough to not be overwhelmed by a carousel.  Okay, since they were old enough for me to not be overwhelmed by the prospect of holding their wee bodies on a moving zoo animal on a carousel.

We’ll be back every single year, until the youngest of them can no longer grasp enough of a wisp of his childhood self to enjoy the ride.

I really don’t know what to expect with these people. When they reach the tween verge, and the tug-of-war with their past and future intensifies, what will they do with these childish things? They are so full now, with such easy access to a wisdom most would attribute to advanced years, and an equally easy access to a weightless imaginativeness most would attribute to extreme youth.

What I want is for them to continue to hold that paradox, all the while being fully immersed in their present. À la the reformed Scrooge, who, at the end of his three-directional hell ride, vowed to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!”

A gal can, and does, dream.

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At the end of the tether

tetherTetherball at big sister’s schoolyard, Berkeley, CA.

 

Next time around it smacked Baba in the kisser. That’ll learn me to pay attention.

To wit (re: paying attention): I’ll be untethered from ye olde internet next week. Digital Sabbatical time, thank you GwenBell et al.!  Clarity, monotasking parenthood, and board games all shimmer like palm trees at a distant oasis.  Between now and the oasis: a bit of extendo family revelry, cooking a feast for a dozen, and the kids’ favorite holiday.  I can think of a few ways I could be more fortunate (one, two, three, maybe four more loved ones alive now that should be; rifts bridged; wounds healed).  Other than that, my cup runneth over.

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Fits, barely

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She fits in my lap, barely, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to cuddle there, nor does it stop me from hoisting her there and doing all I can to hold and preserve, ’til she’s ready to get up.

The bittersweetness of her disappearing childhood–gradual, utterly inescapable–is a taste she knows as well or better than do her mother and I.

Because she is so adept at putting her feelings into words, we know the acuteness of her awareness. She hears her mama’s or my casual reference to something she used to do when she was a baby, or watches her little brother play with a toy that was once hers (and now, for good reason, is no longer), and it all comes back in a rush: the longing for her own, lost, younger self.

And yet that feeling, powerful though it is when it comes, is wedged right next to its opposite: an insatiable appetite for new knowledge, longer words, more complex keys to vaster mysteries.  The grown-up girl-sounding statements, pronounced as much to hear what they sound like coming out of her mouth as for anything else.

She lurches forward, swirls backward, glides ahead, and then stops again and looks back, hand at her brow, shielding her vision from the bright light of the inevitable.

 

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Choosing love over everything

I got a note this morning from my kids’ “grandbaba” Sandy, herself no stranger to Salon, alerting me to a piece by Mary Elizabeth Williams there: A homophobic mayor’s lesson in love.

Michigan mother Amy Weber addresses Troy, MI’s proudly heterosexist mayor with the kind of loving, measured, dead-on appeal to decency that any of us would want to make, on our best days:

“I always like to think of challenges like this as opportunities to grow,” she said, introducing her children to the assembly. Weber went on to explain that in her family, “We talk every day about different families and different types of people, and teaching respect and kindness. That is the heart that beats in our home. It’s about being kind, about choosing love over everything.” She then showed drawings that the girls had done for Daniels with the words “love” on them. Weber even added, “I would love to see you at the next gay pride parade, leading the march, saying … these are my brothers and sisters just like everybody else.”

Here’s her brief testimony:

Check out Williams’ post for more.

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