In four years Nathan will be nine

Yesterday, after going through the usual morning routine, getting Liam off to school, playing with trains, and a suspenseful game of snakes and ladders, Nathan and I headed out the door to vote. On our walk to the elementary school gym Nathan said "Mama, I really don't want our country to elect a bully."

This morning when Nathan got up I told him the news - our country elected a bully. He literally crawled back under the covers. He wanted to know why.

All morning I've been asking myself if our privilege means my family will get through the next four years unscathed. And if so, how we will use that privilege to serve those who are targeted and marginalized. And how, how on earth, we will raise our boys so that four years from now when we are again electing a president, and sixteen years from now when Nathan can vote for a president, they are still saying I don't want our country to elect a bully. In four years Nathan will be nine. Nine year olds have heard a lot and formed plenty of opinions. I keep thinking of those lines from South Pacific: "You've got to be taught before it's too late, / Before you are six or seven or eight, / To hate all the people your relatives hate, / You've got to be carefully taught!" I have some confidence we're doing pretty well on the not hating thing, so I'm less worried about who my children might learn to hate than that we won't teach them well enough how to love.

So as a person of faith and privilege the best I can figure is to start with St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Bread and Roses

There is the Ring Theory for times of crisis - Comfort In; Dump Out. Offer comfort to those in greater stress, closer to the crisis than you; Share your grief and pain and fear with someone further removed than you. In this way we are best supported and best support each other.

Today I take a deep breath and open my arms to be a place where those I love who have more to fear than I do can dump out.

The song in my head and in my heart all morning has been Bread and Roses. A union poem, a women's song, a strike anthem, but why today? And then I saw these powerful thoughts shared by an amazing MHC musician, scholar and classmate:

"Teach them to sing 'Bread and Roses.' Teach them to go marching, marching. Teach them that we also fight for men. Teach them that we want a strong economy that leaves no one behind, but we also want education.
In the face of fear, we still want bread but it has never been more clear that we must fight for roses, too."

This is not becoming a political blog (we can barely maintain a blog blog!)

When we found ourselves in the NICU almost 6 years ago, we started blogging to keep family & friends up to date and to keep our own record. When we launched this blog into the world we said we were preemie parents learning that parenting in the real world is really just parenting. What does that mean almost six years removed from our first NICU stay? I think it means learning to love and parent wherever or whatever moment we find ourselves in, even if it is not the place or moment we hoped for or expected – it’s still all the same learning to love because the real world is unexpected. I think that is why at this unexpected moment, this feels like a good thing to take up again, mostly for our own record. And maybe there will be some cute kid photos along the way.

Daylight Whatever Time YEAR TWO

We set the clocks back and then we had an election that could very well set the country back.

But in our little family Daylight Saving continues to be more a blessing than a curse. For whatever reason, the boys who were up excited for school in September are getting tired and ready to sleep in by November. And the clock saying it is an hour earlier than their bodies think is just the trick for smoother mornings. Now a week into it, feeling I'm sure the stress of the adults around them, by the end of the day they are exhausted, happily asleep by 7pm, but that's okay. Shifting the whole day forward an hour feels good.

These days Liam comes home from school singing new songs. Nathan is becoming an incredible artist. And while we're exhausted (both parents doing Christmas shows this year, what were we thinking??) and sometimes short on patience, this is a great season with our boys.