Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bits and Pieces: November

Aside from the election, which clouded my feelings about many things this month, we had a nice November at our house. It was mostly just the usual routine. And Thanksgiving, of course.

At the beginning of the month, I went away on a girls' weekend to Duluth. We ate, drank and walked by the lake. It was a beautiful November weekend in Duluth, and I love being on Lake Superior. I am so grateful to have found a group of friends to do things like this with. It was a much needed break.

Christopher and I went to the Como Zoo by ourselves a few weeks ago. Josie was with her other Grandma. It was so fun to spend time just one on one with him. We looked at all the animals. He especially loved the Polar Bear, which he was able to see up close through the glass. The giraffe was inside, probably because it was a bit chilly outside. Christopher looked at it for a few minutes and then said, "He looks sad." It was heartbreaking, because the giraffe did seem sad. Kids are so intuitive sometimes.

We had Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Katie, Andrew and Josie were there, too. We had a great time. Thanksgiving was filled with food (all of the usual dishes) and drinks. We went to my aunt's house the day after Thanksgiving to see my grandma and celebrate her 89th birthday. My cousins were in town from Los Angeles, and it was nice to see them, too. Saturday I met my friend Christina for lunch. And Sunday we joined the thousands of other people on I-94 heading north. Yeah, the ride home was long, but it was worth it to have that time at the Cuckoo House.

The kids are both doing well. Christopher is turning into quite a comedian, and he loves to have an audience. He has been struggling with the darkness in the morning - it is quite confusing for him that we have to get dressed in the dark. Clare is doing well in school. They have been playing together a lot, which is great, even if their favorite game is coming downstairs with no pants on and demanding I call them "little bare butts."

I am having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, which I think might be because of the weather. It is too warm for November! I never thought I would complain about that, but it is disturbing me. I have to say, though, that so far I have remained very zen about the Christmas tree lot next door. They finally moved their party area further away from our house, and it has helped a lot. At least so far.

One thing I am excited about is the new episodes of Gilmore Girls! I've only watched the first one so far, and am watching the rest with friends tonight. It's the little things, right?

Happy December!

Polar bear!

Ready for dinner. Except when it was actually time for dinner he declared everything "yucky" and left the table.

Decorating Meema Jo's tree.

He hung all of his ornaments on the same branch.

Throwing decorative gourds into the woods. An annual tradition.

Happy Clare. She had the best time over the Thanksgiving break.

Friday, November 11, 2016

What's Next?

I am grieving. I am dismayed, worried, and sad. Clare came home from school yesterday and told me that another little girl in her class told her that "Donald Trump wants to kill all the girls." Sick. The good news: Clare quickly assured me that she knew that was NOT true and she told the girl so. My girl is strong and is not afraid to tell people when she thinks they've said something wrong or untrue. I hope she never loses that.

The fact remains that hate won on Tuesday. I feel devalued as a woman. I worry for the safety of my friends who are not white men. I am concerned about the environment and what the planet will be like for my children when they are adults. We need to grieve, but then we need to ask, "What's next?"

For me, in the short term, it's going to be this.
1. Write a heartfelt email to Hillary Clinton, telling her how much I admire her and how sorry I am that things ended the way they did.
2. Help my sister with the get together/fundraiser she is hosting. The plan is to gather a group of like-minded women to support each other and hopefully raise money for Planned Parenthood or the Battered Women's Coalition. (Local folks: I'll be in touch.)
3. Hug my kids and talk to them (again) about kindness, and how important it is that no matter the person's sex, skin color or religion, they deserve our kindness and respect.

In the long-term, I don't know. I think that's part of what is scaring me right now. I just don't know. However, I will do my best to make my little corner of the world a better place. I won't sit back. I will be writing representatives, joining protests, and doing whatever I can to fight for the causes I believe in.  And I will look to the future, and hope that in what feels like the darkest of days, we will do better. We have to do better. For them.

For all of us.