Sunday, January 6, 2008


Hard to know what angle to work from on a Sunday night before going back to work (school-vacation-style...):

1. This weekend it was rainy (actually, it was "STORM 2008"!) here in our normally 'weatherless' we were strangely cooped up. And Dad was out of town. To pass the time, we visited an elderly neighbor who fosters kittens for the Humane Society, puddle-jumped and then took warm baths, made paper snowflakes, painted, baked cookies, did papier mache projects--from a kit--made forts in the living room, had crepes for breakfast...and lest this sound a Little Too Wonderful...also watched A Lot of TV and Drove Each Other Crazy. Okay, mostly it was I who Went Crazy.

2. Snapshot: Last night, time for Daughter B to go to bed. This little near-two-thing loves physical contact. So she threw herself into my arms, and lay down, cradle-like, and I cooed, "Do you want me to sing you a lullaby?" Once upon a time, she let me sing her songs. But those of you without kids need to know that there is a very weird stage of parenting wherein one's child controls All Singing. So my first attempt was "Like a Ship in the Harbor," which was one of my favorite Girl Scout Camp(fire) songs. She rejected it. Then I tried the lullaby I debuted on her, my Baby #2, "If I Needed You" (Townes Van Zandt song, heard--and loved--by me at an Emmylou Harris Concert). She wagged her head NO to that one too. So I gave up, and burst out with: "SHOT TO THE HEART, AND YOU'RE TO BLAME. YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME."

My older daughter thought that was hilarious. Much to her chagrin, I really didn't know any lines past that first one.

3. Kenya's "president-elect," Mwai Kibaki, appears willing to broker some kind of power-sharing leadership for Kenya. Echoing (inaccurately, I am sure) part of an interview I heard with two Kenyans on NPR, I'll say, something good may come from all this strife (and death and diplacement and disillusionment)...

4. Imagine this scenario: you're the (single) mother of a 16-year-old girl (and two other young children), and you're about to move (imminently!) as the Navy is transferring you across the country. But right after Christmas, your daughter runs away. And now she's missing--missing yet within arm's reach--spotted often enough in the very same county that you know she's alive. But you also know she's in trouble. Using drugs, without money, without a phone...without her family and her future, really. Apparently not concerned about being left behind.

It's what's keeping me up at night.

5. Tonight, my eldest daughter was in the car, singing to herself a song from the Anastasia movie soundtrack, when all of the sudden, she cocked her head and asked me: "Mom, how come every Santa I saw didn't know who I was, even though He Was The Same Guy? And he sees me when I am sleeping?"

What I wanted to answer was, "It's January 6. Are you really analyzing SANTA???" But I said something feeble, like, "Santa's busy...Santa has so many kids to remember..."

My mother, Santa Skeptic Expert, had this to say: "Didn't you tell her about SANTA'S HELPERS? i.e., that Santas in malls, etc., aren't the Real Santa, that He IS TOO BUSY TO BE EVERYWHERE?" My lame response to this interrogation: "Uhhh, Mom, I didn't anticipate having to use this kind of defensive artillery so soon. She's only four..."

6. I read a short piece in Time magazine about Benazir Bhutto...about how rather mediocre her leadership her ideals weren't backed by her actions. I am not sure yet how I feel about this analysis. More on this later, maybe. Or not. Maybe I will just continue to mourn a woman who, however flawed, seemingly put her life on the line for her country.

Off to work tomorrow. Cheers!

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