Thursday, October 15, 2015


When the sun hides behind the clouds, the landscape looks undecided: green in part, with a dusty tone, but autumnal for sure.

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We're to have a frost tomorrow and so anything that's blooming now is having its last hurrah. Oh, day lilies!

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It's brisk when I go out to free the cheepers. But beautiful, too. The soy is not yet harvested. The sky is Midwest-magnificent.

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We do eat breakfast this early morning, but it's hurried -- so much so that I forget to take that commemorative photo. Ed's sleepy, I'm a bit distracted.

In the middle of the night he and I chatted about girls who don't act like girls. I'd been reading the article in the NYTimes on tomboys, and as I spend time with Snowdrop, I think about the new twists and turns in the gendered world she inhabits. I myself was a tomboy -- loving my skateboard, wanting badly a pair of PF flyers so I could leap further and faster than those around me, feeling inclined to discuss politics loudly at recess, gravitating toward athleticism rather than what was then regarded as feminine.

I loved breaking "girlie" expectations and felt tough and strong in my roamings around New York City, or later -- the rural landscape of Poland.

The problem was that I also loved boys and being tough and strong seemed then not so desirable to, say, a high school or college guy. (That changes over time, of course, as some men like strong women, but surely I felt that in chasing boys, I had to tone down the strength and develop something akin to demureness. I was convinced that boys liked demureness.)

I think about this as I watch Snowdrop take on her own robust challenges. Who knows how she'll approach gender expectations. (They don't call girls who violate them tomboys anymore -- they're "gender non-conformists," but honestly -- that just doesn't sound very empowering to me and in any case, we are more accepting of girls who follow differing paths now, so who knows what it even means to be a non-conformist. Too, if you're a gender non-conformist-strong girl who wants to hold hands with boys, I don't know that you'll have an easy time of it, no matter how grounded and confident you are.)

So with this in the back of my head, I give you Snowdrop on this day. Sweetly confident, ferociously curious, strong and tall. Wouldn't it be grand if she always liked herself this way!

After her bath, waiting for breakfast.

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Going right for the abacus.

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Waiting for our next game.

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And finally, a whole series on what I would call "being tempted by the apple."

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standing up

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sitting down

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finally taking to the floor

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way overrated!

Later, much later, I am home at the farmette. The wind is strong, the temperatures are falling. I tell Ed not cooking dinner tonight would be very nice. We eat take out Indian. I'm feeling very fortunate.