Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Reflections and Echos

He didn't know it

(she, not quite a shadow, 
because a shadow must follow)

He didn't know how
 she walked along
 beside him, 
behind him,
 all the while watching

from the corners of her dazzling blue eyes.
Eyes that take it all in,
and keep it somewhere deep

where it will grow like a vine
and leaf out,
maybe years from now,
through little windows 
of personality
of moral fiber
of style and attitude and humor.

A reflection in his steady pond,
a sapling under his sturdy branch,
an echo in his canyon.

If I listen
 I think I can 
already hear her.

(A visit to artist's studios during Art at the Source in Sonoma County)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lovely Ladies

These two beauties,
with pale blue eyes,
and freckle kissed cheeks,
have a sweet and tender bond.

Everyone in our family has a special relationship with little Nano.  But that between she and Ellie is unique.  Ellie is Nano's other mama.  When I can't come, Ellie is always there to wipe a nose or bummy, to feed her and play with her. To be there for her.

But one thing they both love is bedtime.  They share a full sized bed in our crowded kid room.  After jammies and teeth are tended to, I snuggle little Nanobot (if I don't, she is sure to march back out of the room and laugh, "Mama!  You fohgot 'nuggle me!  Sihwey!")
(that means silly, Silly!).

And when we are done, she gives me a kiss with the tiniest, little wet pucker, beeps her nosie on mine; "Beep!", and says,
"Nah-night, Mama.  I wuv you!"

Then she trundles off down the hall to find Ellie.  She snuggles in close and is read to, then drifts of to sleep beside her big sissy.  

I know some folks would disapprove.  
Let them.
I used to state statistics, quote studies, and describe other cultures that embrace co-sleeping, listing at length the benefits both to the child and their community.  Not anymore.  I don't care what anyone thinks.

I know what I know.

I know that I love snuggling.
I sleep better when my sweetie is there to comfort me after a nightmare.
I feel safe on the long nights when I can't fall asleep, just listening to his humming breath sounds.  And if I, as a grown up (or one who pretends to be), benefit from a closeness to my loved one when the moon comes up, how much more so might a small person who only has made a few short trips around the sun so far?

At worst, I figure, Nano will have learned to rely on having someone she loves and trusts near by.  Yeah, that's probably terrible.  It'll ruin her for sure!

Yup.  It might turn her into a trusting, loving human being.

It may even teach her to nurture and tend to little people later on in her life.  
Seriously bad parenting move, here.

A cynic would declare that we don't all have someone later in life.  That training her up like this might make her dependent in a weak, can't-take-care-of-herself sort of way.

Ellie slept with me till she was about three, as did the others.  
Turns out that it did not damage her and make her crazy dependent on me.  And she's not alone in that.  Every one of our children had the same beginning, and I promise you not one of them crawls into bed with us now.  They're pretty independent kiddos.

I sincerely hope that each of the kids will maintain the sweet and tender relationship they have with Natalie as she grows into a more opinionated, certainly more rambunctious kiddo, but I think that her bond with Ellie will be the strongest.

And as I watch Ellie grow from child to woman, I am impressed to see how easily she slips into the role of caretaker.  It is nothing to her to take Nano potty, to dress and feed her, or to comfort her when she's sad, without even being asked.  She (usually) doesn't even complain about the added responsibility.  And it is teaching her so much about life and the world around her in a way that most young ladies simply wouldn't have the opportunity to experience.  I'm proud of her as I witness her growth.  Sure, she rolls her eyes once in a while, but more often she is just learning to be a good person as she bridges the gap between girlhood and the great beyond. 

And all the while, there are little people watching and learning from her example.

It's just lovely.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

To Answer Your Question

Just in case 
you ever wondered if it was time to visit California
(Jackie, Kathi, Melissa, Sarah, Ellen, Amanda, Caroline, Heidi)..........

The answer is YES. 
 Yes, it is.

And the Holman Family B&B would be happy to receive you,
 as long as you don't mind that all of us would be sharing one bathroom. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Bottle of Mud

See, Jonah-boy likes to make potions.  
Well, sometimes they're science experiments.
He calls it school.  
There is always water,  
There are usually a variety of botanicals;
 leaves, grass clippings, flower petals. 
Far too often,
  illicit food coloring is involved.

  Always, the concoction is carefully brewed in a plastic water bottle.

When it's a science experiment, I'll often find it on a table top, a bookshelf, or in a cupboard.   Now, potions on the other hand, they might be in a drawer, a treasure chest... under a pillow. 
Cuz, you know, 

This time it involved a boy's best friend; dirt.
(you do the math: dirt + water = ____ )  

I don't know if it was molecular or mystical, because I never saw it this particular fusion first hand.
 I only saw the aftermath...

A seriously clogged drain. 

 I called Jonah in and showed him the cistern of slop.  
His mouth dropped open when he realized the mechanics of mud in pipes. 
 "Oh, Mom, I'm so sorry."

And he really was.
And he figured that was the end of it, 
so he turned to walk away.

"Hey, buddy, guess what?


"Today, you get to learn how to unclog a drain."

Talk about natural consequences, baby!

(fast forward past the extraction of the six inch girl-hair plug that turned out to be the real problem, cuz' EWW!  I gotta say, though, Jonah was really proud of how he wrangled the tangled tresses out of the drain with a shish-kebab skewer. 

But, as any home-plumber knows, the end of the clog does not mean the end of the job.  As I was putting the plug assembly back together, the tired old plastic pivot nut snapped.

Hence, on to...

...the internet (to learn that it's called a pivot nut, because the guys at Lowe's look at me funny when I call things Doo-Hickies).

...the hardware store (to learn that they don't sell pivot nuts by themselves.  Of course. Because that would be too simple).

...home, with my new drain assembly (to learn that the new pipe is an inch too short).

...the hardware store (sigh.  Seriously.  It's a conspiracy)

....home and under the sink...
with another little helper.

So Jonah learned how to unstop a drain, and also that the magic leaks out of the potion once you dump it in the sink.  I learned that Guy is right.  Plumbing is stupid.  And expensive.  And a conspiracy.  And, I hope, Nano learned somewhere in her little brain that girls can fix things.

All that learning from one little bottle of mud.
Not bad.
I guess Jonah-boy is right.  It really was school.