Sunday, February 6, 2011

For Posterity's Sake: Week in Review 107

The snow has covered our surroundings again - that beautiful fluffy anything-could-be-hiding-under-here snow. As it turns out, ours is hiding inches of ice, and the planks of our raised bed, which Audrey noticed had gone missing yesterday with a gasp of "where's the garden!" It's the type of scene that, I imagine, stirs a different response in each of us, as to what that scene outdoors and the hidden landscape beneath means. I see a snowy reminder that nothing is quite as it seems and no two snowflakes (or interpretations) are the same. (And, goodness, a fresh layer of paint - or snow - can do wonders for an environment, but that's besides the point.)

The week past (including a dinosaur lesson in which we learned that the T. Rex is, in fact, a relative of turkeys and chickens - see the little wishbone-shaped bone toward the bottom of the ribcage pictured above - and might have gobbled just as easily as roared, no one really knows) was a lesson in perspectives. Four often different perspectives that kept us laughing (and one crying every now and then, poor teething little man) and made our house a nice one in which to spend a snowed-in week. Here's our sampling of the moments (and many ways in which the little ones among us viewed their experiences) last week:

Sunday morning, Audrey pulled herself into our bed and under the sheets to snuggle. She rested quietly a few minutes looking up at the ceiling. "I don't want to die," she said. "I like this house."

Monday morning, we stopped by a local elementary school, the back of the car loaded with our recyclables. I pulled up to the designated dumpsters and jumped out, only to find them full. As I climbed back into the car, I told Audrey we'd try another recycling spot.

"But God might have performed a miracle," she said.

"I didn't think of that."

"How could you not think of that?" she said.

Recycling taken care of, we stopped by the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art for a little adventure. We walked past an exhibit of looms and utilitarian art such as rugs and baskets. "Isn't it neat, they made all this stuff with their hands or looms." I said.

Apparently, I didn't speak clearly. "They bought it at Lowes?"

As we left the museum, we could see a new hotel, the JW Marriott, its blue glass-covered walls rising high in the distance. "Mom, look at that tower!" Audrey said. "Is that London?"

Thursday, I snuck in a little prenatal yoga video as the kids played next to me. During a butterfly pose, the instructor said, "Bounce your legs up and down, really let them fly." Nathan, listening to the video as he walked around, began bouncing up and down.

Friday, Nathan (who has been teething all week) was miserable. I took him upstairs to try to calm him down for a nap. I was singing to him (most likely "The Way You Look Tonight," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," or "The Nearness of You" - my three go-to "lullabies" for him). Nathan had finally closed his eyes after two hours of fussing. Audrey must have heard me. She came upstairs, burst through the bedroom door, and began belting out a rather high-pitched version of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up." I'm not gonna lie. I laughed. Nate did not. His eyes flashed open and he cried. For thirty minutes.

Friday afternoon, Audrey cut out what looked like a stop sign to me. When she asked what I thought it was, I said a "stop sign." She then surprised me by sounding out "STOP" (with my help) and writing the word herself (the "ST" is written in a dark pink, which makes it a bit hard to see). This is her first intentionally spelled word, as far as I know.

Saturday morning, we decided to brave the snow and crowds and drive to the Children's Museum for the opening of a Dora the Explorer exhibit. I had not told Audrey where we were going yet. Once in the car, she requested I make up a story, as she often does. She wanted it to be about Dora and Boots. Jason and I decided to use the story as our way of telling Audrey where we were going, so Jason said, "maybe they have to travel through snow and maybe there should be dinosaurs."

"Yeah, snow dinosaurs," Audrey said. "That's excellent, Dad."

We got to the museum to spend an ill-timed couple hours in line waiting to meet Dora and Diego (forty-five minutes of which, the characters were on break while the line stood still). We had been in line thirty minutes when the first 15 minute break was announced. The characters came back and took pictures for thirty more minutes before they announced that they were once again going on break, this time for thirty minutes. We were third in line. Jason and I might have exchanged a look that read "we've officially reached our lifetime quota of waiting in line for fake people." Jason told me he would wait with Nathan in line while I took Audrey to the bathroom and to go see the actual museum exhibit. Audrey and I went to play in the exhibit while Jason supervised a dancing Nathan in line. That evening, at dinner, we were talking about our favorite parts of the day (luckily, Audrey mentioned meeting Dora and Diego), but then she said her favorite part was "when Daddy had to stay while the characters took a tea break." I asked why, feeling a bit bad for Jason. "Because I got to go to the exhibit," she said.

Saturday night, Jason tucked Audrey into bed. While they prayed together, Jason gave thanks for our family. Audrey said she needed to start her part of the prayer over. Then, she began to pray for her new baby brother. "Please make the baby's face black," she said, "because sometimes babies are black and I like that color on my friends." Jason (who, like me, is not black) kindly opted for a "well, I guess we'll see" response instead of, your mother would have a lot of explaining to do.

While I know this week of ice and snow has come with challenges for many, this mama can't help but see that buried garden out back and feel a bit of gratitude for a week out of the ordinary, for stolen days with Daddy at home, for no place to go and the freedom to spend long hours piddling in the kitchen, curled up with books, and witnessing the magnitude of nature's reach and power and the generosity of neighbors looking out for one another. Of course, as quickly as the weather, we change course, out to seek adventure and journey forth, even if that journey finds us at the back of a very long line. In those moments, I'm just glad for the perspective of my two little snowflakes, cut different from every other, who show us that as the adults roll their eyes in discontent there might still be a reason to dance.


  1. Oh my goodness, these stories really hit my funny bone. The Bursting in singing "You Raise me Up!" literally waking Nathan up, aw, I'm glad you laughed too.
    And Clearly, Mommy, you should have considered a Miracle WHILE you were waiting in line for Fake People. :)
    And when I was 3, I told my mother to take my little sister back and bring me a brown one. She still tells that story, and it took me a good couple of decades to realize I might not have been happy with that situation. For years, I still wanted to trade my sister in.

  2. Kudos to you for waiting in that line for Dora and Diego. When we got there the line was wrapped completely around the railing. Which meant when we were at the back of the line, we could see the back of Dora and Diego posing with other people. I told Michael that the line was really long and asked him if it was good enough that he saw the back of them. He walked over, took a look, and said, "Yes, now let's go to the exhibit." Whew! :)