He was always thoughtful and curious. Two qualities I observed early on that were echoed throughout his childhood in the questions he asked, the friends he made, the conversations we had. I remember swimming with him in the ocean, off the coast of Belize, chatting away as if I were talking to a friend, he was all of 9. Six years later we spend hours in the car talking about relationships, the creative process, gratitude, challenges (both his and mine), global politics, race issues and what inspires us. He doesn’t like conflict, doesn’t like to be scolded or reprimanded and therefore will use his humor and charm to calm an upset friend or an angry parent. In the past three years he’s grown tremendously in size, strength and ability. I look at this boy that is taller than me and bigger than me and I see the young man he is becoming. But at times I’ll catch an expression, a fleeting glimpse, and suddenly I see my 9 year old staring back at me and am reminded no matter how tall he grows he will never outsize that thoughtful, gentle heart.
On January 21, 2017 millions marched around the world in reaction to Trump’s inauguration. The Women’s March was a worldwide protest prompted by the fact that several of Trump’s statements were considered by many as anti-women or otherwise offensive to women. It was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Four years later women once again took to the streets because a basic human and health right is being threatened by a too far reaching government. The government can’t mandate people get the COVID-19 vaccine but yet they can tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her own body.
“Hope was a tchotchke sitting on a high shelf along with other fragile things. Every time a train went by, the house shook and things fell off the shelf. Each time this happened they were replaced by cheaper and cheaper things until nothing was left but a collection of cheap unbreakable plastic junk.” – Laurie Anderson
In recent years we’ve experienced a new “museum” from the Color Factory, to Sloomoo, to Happy Go Lucky and now the Museum of Ice Cream, these museums and exhibits offer an experience for the new generation. While each has their own distinct concept and execution each foster “IRL interaction and URL connections.” Hands-on, multi-sensorial, picture-worthy and with minimal reading these have become the new favorite, and norm, for museum experiences for my kids.
I believe the magic and wonder of Christmas is fully realized through the belief and expression of children. So what happens when they stop believing? First it starts with more questions than usual, skepticism in their eyes as they take my answers. We both know it’s over but neither of us say. And the next year they go through the motions, they write the letters and speak of Santa, partly for their younger siblings and partly because who really wants the magic to end?