I made a human.
By the grace of God and biology my body coddled and nurtured a human being, releasing it from my womb at the moment it could breathe air.
But my job was far from done.
Breathing alone wasn’t enough to sustain life.
Things like eating and burping and sleeping in the exact right quantities needed to be tended to. Each miraculous milestone followed by the anxiety of achieving the next.
After they learned how to not spit up their meal I needed to focus on things like reading and puberty and social dynamics and politics and being conscientious and being kind and being a good friend and not over-eating and under-sleeping.
All of these little life skills taught over and over again.
With the constant, age old hope that they will be decent human beings. That they will raise another generation of decent human beings.
I am flawed.
How can I not pass on my flaws to my children? As inevitable as the tide and the sunrise.
The best I can do is laugh with them, own my mistakes and ask for forgiveness.
Oh and love them, with all my human being-ness.
God bless Oliver, a boy with wit, silliness and sincerity. Observant and inquisitive, noticing all the details that make him thoughtful and make him worry.
Remember that time you blew out Oliver’s birthday candle? We had just finished singing “Happy Birthday” and before Oliver even knew what happened the candle was out. But I knew exactly what happened. With friends and family gathered around, with cameras rolling, this moment was documented forever. Look at Oliver’s and Penny’s faces, still waiting to blow out the candle that is no longer lit. But your face reveals your guilt. You were only five. Just a young child yourself. Unfair to ask you to be fair, unfair to ask you to be considerate of your baby brother, unfair to ask you to practice self-control. And look at my face, but worse, look at my hand. I have loved and hated this photo. I loved it for the honesty and realness of a mother in a moment of little patience with three children five and under and I have hated this photo because it captured me at my worst. Yet looking at this photo now as you turn twelve I have a different appreciation of this photo. Since the day you were born you carry our dreams and expectations. Your five was different than Penny’s five and Oliver’s five.
A multi-year campaign built by the Earth Day Network is to End Plastic Pollution. For Earth Day, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park hosted an afternoon of walks, talks and games to teach us how plastics impact our environment.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that allows students to use creativity and teamwork to solve a challenge problem with a long-term solution. For our first graders the theme was to create a cooking show. The kids created the script, scenery and props.
His first season of basketball he had never attempted to dribble a ball until the first practice. From chucking the ball when his dribbling skills slowed him down to going after every rebound and passing to his teammates his growth is a testament to the patience and diligence of his coaches and his tenacity.
The most intuitive of numbers, eleven, also symbolizes disorder, extravagance and rebellion. It comes after the wholeness of ten, a decade of childhood complete, but before twelve, the beginning of angst and separation. At eleven I can still kiss you on the lips, hug you in front of your friends and be the source of your truth. You laugh at my jokes, you patiently explain video games, anime and hip hop songs and you accept my reasoning and explanations for why things have to be my way. A golden time, I realize, soon enough I will be challenged to vie for relevance and coolness.
Hillwood Mansion and Museum celebrates the arrival of Spring with Russian Easter traditions. Crafts, games and music provide entertainment in and around the estate which was once home to Marjorie Merriweather Post. She was a collector of art, maintaining the most comprehensive collection of Russian imperial art outside of Russia. Her mansion is equally a museum as it was her home.