Monday, April 29, 2019


I think many people go easy on themselves as they get older. There's this running theme I hear often: "I don't care what others think anymore. I will wear what I want, say what I think, do what is right for me."

I'm much more torn about all of that. And I do think that the older I get, the less forgiving I am of mistakes I make. It's as if in younger years I could always say "I'm learning," whereas now, I think -- "how many lessons do I need already!"

A small reminder of this was an incident from last night. Snowdrop and I were playing a spirited game of school. We were taking pretend naps and she was charged with waking me up. She let out a high pitched squeal. We laughed our heads off. I went down for another nap. Her second squeal was even more high pitched, so much so, that I immediately hushed her -- you'll hurt everyone's ears with that loud noise! -- words that came out of my mouth without much thought to how she would hear them. (Snowdrop is very concerned about doing well by others, Perhaps too concerned -- I ask her teacher. She laughs: it's easier to scale back than to open a child's eyes to hurt!)

You could have seen Snowdrop's face deflate last night, like a balloon that suddenly lost all its air. She retreated to another room, shoulders slumped.
What's wrong?
I was not polite or kind. I hurt people's ears.
Not even a hug, not a laugh, not a smile, not a cuddle could bring that spark back into her little soul. We finally settled into a quiet game of writing books. She left happy, but this Gogs was left thinking -- talk about mixed messages! I play her game, I laugh with her, and then I shut her down. Oh, sure, she was loud. But there were a million ways to let her know that without wilting her little spirit. I should have done better.

It's not only with kids. The other day, I let out an exasperated comment to Ed about tracking mud into the mudroom. I mean, you can't help doing it. We have mud, soggy wood chips, rotted leaves everywhere. You can wipe your shoes silly, but you're always going to be bringing in stuff from the outside. Ed pointed out -- in one sentence, you managed to complain about someone being critical and then firing off a criticism yourself.

He was so right. I should have done better.

If you haven't grown wiser in your dealings with other people by the time you're 66, you may as well give it up. You can go on being the person who says the first thing that comes into her head...

But in the alternative, you can be more careful.

I'm going to stick with the "more careful."

I write all this because it's one of those days when your attention is on details of the home and soul rather than on the garden and the outside world. It's cold and wet and it will remain cold and wet until April is over and done with.

Because it's Monday, Sparrow is here with us. Breakfast actually starts with just Ed...

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... then, as the big guy shuffles off to a work meeting and the little guy sits down to eat his meal. He's all set, pouch and spoon, ready to go!

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Our timed release "selfie:"

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His charming play...

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A guy who has been everywhere, seen it all...

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He studies the book ever so carefully. I tell him it reads a lot better right side up. He's skeptical.

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Twice, with Ed...

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Lunch with purple carrots...

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We never make it outside. Not until it's time for me to pick up Snowdrop. And the girl, unsurprisingly, has no intention of spending even a minute outdoors.

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I had wondered if she would find the new gate, segregating safe toys from unsafe ones for toddlers objectionable. Turns out she regards it as an opportunity for more stories: today, we play "next door neighbors." I stay in my "toddler space." She is in her "big girl space."

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Ha! All the good stuff slowly migrates to the "big girl space."

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Our final game is straight out of Mary Poppins (the movie): she's flying a kite of course.

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And then she goes home.

The evening is cool. Not freezing, but cool. Still, our kitties aren't going to be house bound. The garage is their base, but they are no longer happy just to sit on the blanket and watch the world go by.

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As the sun peeks out for a fleeting few minutes, so do I. It's wet. It's cold. But it's unmistakably spring.

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Ridiculous, beautiful spring.