Monday, November 26, 2012

Seven Months

He's a strong sitter this month and takes advantage of his new favorite position to grab toys with his hands and bang them. There is a sweetness and a gentleness to this boy that is starting to surface. I love to listen to his cooing sounds and bask in his gaze that bespeaks a pure love of mama. My favorite memory this month, though, is watching Charlie kneel down to hug him and say, "Best friends, best friends, best cuties," and seeing Isaac smile back at his brother. How lovely to be claimed at such a young age.
With a first child, there seems to be such a hurry to meet every milestone. The third time around, I want to savor every moment, remember what it feels like to lift him out of his crib and hold his little body, knowing how quickly he will reach the point that he will be running full steam ahead into his own independent life.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012


The first time he went to Aikido, he sat on my lap and watched the whole time because he was too scared to participate. He conquered his fear and decided he wanted to go back the next week and try it again. That was two years ago, and today he tested for his orange belt.
And so it is that we all grow, with a little courage and a lot of practice, supported in community.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gender Part II

None of my children has been particularly rigid on the gender spectrum for picking things to like and dislike. I also have never felt that because they are boys that we would have little in common or the ways they are like me or not like me have anything to do with their sex.

Right now, Charlie has been exploring a lot of different shows on our Netflix streaming account. Since they have a specific "For Kids" channel, I give him free reign to pick shows (although sometimes that means I have to watch things that make me want to stick a pen in my eye). In addition to superhero cartoons (many of the same ones I watched as a kid), he also likes shows like "My Little Pony" and "Strawberry Shortcake." Currently, he likes a show called "Cake" that is about three girls who do crafts together. Today, we had this conversation:

Me: What do you like about "Cake"?

Charlie: Because she's a girl.

Me: Do you like girls?

Charlie: Yeah.

Me: What do you like about girls?

Charlie: Because they have a heart and they love people.

When people ask me about raising feminist sons, I always caution them to say, it's less about what you teach them, and more about the way you maintain the sweetness they come with and foster their natural desire to love and be loved.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rite of Passage

We all went together, proud that there are now three voters in the family. Nate's not as wonky as his father and I, so he was in a hurry to get back to hanging out with his friends, while we can't wait to start watching results coverage. To paraphrase one of my facebook friends: "it's like Christmas for policy wonks."
Voting with Nate today made me think about the first time I voted. Twenty years ago to be exact - Clinton vs. Bush 41. I have vivid associations with all the presidential elections I've voted in. Riding the bus to the polling place from my first adult job in '96; procrastinating on a Church History paper in graduate school while watching the '00 election results incredulously with friends; being an election judge in '04; staying home with baby Charlie in '08 while Josh and Nate went to a Bob Dylan concert. This year, I'll remember being proud that for Nate, like me and his dad, it wasn't even a question as to whether he would go vote.
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