Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Hearts aren't just for Valentines, tulips are just for spring. Sleep doesn't come just at night and sometimes at night, wakefulness creeps in and sleep is lost somewhere in the quiet hours before sunrise. In other words, rhythms and events aren't set in stone and the predictable is never really fully predictable.

Even though our breakfast is somewhat predictable. (Thank you, NYTimes, for recognizing what I keep emphasizing here on Ocean: eating breakfast together is fantastically simple and immensely rewarding.)

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After breakfast, I am with Snowdrop. I dress her in her heart dress (everyday is February 14th!) and she runs around in it as if she were in competition for the fastest toddler this side of the Mississippi. Telling her to slow down only makes her speed up, not because she is contrary but because a snail's pace comes only when she is tired. The hours of the morning are not typically (that word!) her tired time.

Straight out of the tub:

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Caught in the act of running:

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But both of us have a wistful pull toward the outdoors. She may be thinking of a stroller ride. Maybe even of the coffee shop.

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Let's try something else this morning: a walk toward the lake, where there is, this week, an international ice boat competition.

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February days aren't always good days for ice racing -- on the first day of the competition there was absolutely no wind.

Well, this day delivered! The gusts are so strong that Snowdrop and I do not linger. Enough to catch a boat zipping past the skyline...

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... and then I spin the stroller around and head home.

But just because it was too cold in the morning to continue a walk doesn't mean that we shouldn't go out again come late afternoon. I see it in Snowdrop's face -- that restlessness, that desire to explore (or am I projecting?). And I see the smile as I take out her snowsuit and cap again. She gets into position right away, I zip her in and we're off, trying to move away from a lake that is windblown and probably a good dozen degrees chillier than the neighborhood blocks.

Just because it's this, doesn't mean it has to be that. It's an interesting thought to carry with you during an ordinary day that actually doesn't feel very ordinary at all.