Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Beatles

This week we introduced Charlie to Abbey Road. If "Here Comes the Sun" isn't the most perfect pop song ever written, I don't know what is. Charlie, like everyone else in our family, is really into music and he was just blown away by this album. This is exciting for me and Josh who both grew up loving the Beatles as the toppermost of the poppermost. It's one of those great things about parenting to introduce your kids to your most beloved things. It's also great when they introduce you to new beloved things that they have found.

I have a picture somewhere of me walking the cross walk outside of Abbey Road studios that was taken while I was skulking around London with my friend Krentz sixteen (16!) years ago. It make me think I'd love to recreate that picture with the boys. Astrologically, we have 3/4 of the Beatles in our kids: Nate is a Cancer (Ringo), Ellis is a Pisces (George), and Charlie is a Gemini (Paul). Perhaps we should try to have a Libra fourth child to represent John, our favorite of the bunch. There's something in my Rain Man-like mind that loves the idea of that.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Later, January

January came and sat on my chest and wouldn't let me up. It's almost over now and not much happened and a lot happened. Every season has its own rhythm and winter's tends to be one of just gettting through for me. I dial down activity to the basics of ordinary life, rely heavily on routine, and struggle internally the whole way through. I'm an action kind of girl. I like to do things - big things, spur-of-the-moment things, a bunch of things at once - but when the weather is basically trying to kill you and every activity is bookended with putting massive amounts of clothing on yourself and all your progeny to keep warm, it sort of kills the whimsy. I suppose that eventually, if I continue to live in places that have real winters as I have all my life, I'm either going to have to learn how to be as active as I like in the cold weather or learn to enjoy being less ambitious and a little more sleepy. Or I can keep bitching about winter.

Because I want to go to a place that's a little more grateful and a little less surly, I'm going to try the strategy of focusing on the good sweet little things that the slower life has provided this month:
  1. Most of my time out of the house has been spent at the YMCA and there's nothing like stretching out in the sauna after working out on a freezing cold day.
  2. Brown ale tastes pretty good when it's cold and there's this great Chilean wine called Crucero that our favorite wine store only stocks this time of year.
  3. Waiting for the school bus with Ellis is a little challenging, but on the days that it's milder, say in the 20's (which actually feels like a heat wave up here), Charlie and Ellis and I have a lot of fun trudging through the snow for a morning adventure. On the days it's too cold for Charlie (who probably hates cold more than I do), I get to stretch my mom worry muscles by letting Ellis wait by himself and show just how capable he is.
  4. There's something about shearling slippers, down coats, cozy pajamas, and layers of sweaters that feel good. So does using a deep conditioner and slathering lotion on your body. So does not being so conscientious about shaving your legs.
  5. There's a sweetness to spending a lot of time in a small space with the people that you love the best. We snuggle, we read, we marvel at all of Charlie's new words and Ellis's ability to have real conversations, we listen to music and sing along. We probably watch a little too much tv for those judgmental types who most likely live in places where December's snow isn't still on the ground in April, but I feel that if the Ingalls family had access to such things, PBS Kids would have been one of ma's best friends.
  6. Waiting patiently for my seed catalog so I can dream about this year's garden...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wishes for 2010

The idea came from Ellis to write down our wishes for the next year and put them in one of our Happy New Year hats. My addition was to use some of my cache of joss paper purchased at the Pearl River Market years ago when I lived in New York City. The wishes will be stored with the hats in an upstairs closet with the rest of the holiday decorations. Next year on New Year's Eve we will bring out the hats and read our wishes in the early part of the evening and see what came true. Again at midnight we will write our wishes for the coming year. Thus a new family tradition is born.
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