Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

Thinking of you today reminds me of why I became a teacher, and thinking of tomorrow's historic inauguration of Barack Obama reminds me that (some) progress (even a little) is being made every day.

It's amazing to me that your day is still one of those sort-of holidays. Congress originally enacted the day as a day of service, but many companies don't recognize this day at all. Oh, and then there's Arizona -- the state that didn't want to recognize Dr. King. This day should be returned to its original dual purpose: to honor a man who gave of himself to change this country and to encourage all of us to do something too. Our President-elect has called for this spirit of volunteerism to be renewed today, and many can't participate because they work for companies that think their business is too important to take a break for a day.

Since my job at the moment is to care for my two babies, I can't be out painting a school or picking up trash at a park. I will spend some of today, however, working on the volunteer project I've had for many years now -- reading the writing of inmates at a state prison and (hopefully) encouraging them to enact progress and change in their own lives. What will you be doing?

We've opened our society to people of color and ensured that their civil rights are secure. This doesn't mean, though, that racism is a thing of the past. I'm sure Dr. King would acknowledge how much more work there is to do. Think of all the snide remarks you hear -- I'm still shocked at how common it is, actually. People who fancy themselves educated who still don't think of people who look different as their equals. I'm lucky I grew up with different values (better, I'd argue) that didn't allow that sort of prejudicial talk -- or, more importantly, think.

So what to do? Be the change you want to see. Go on now!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dear Phone Gods,

Where is the f#*&*@g old cell phone that Josephine wants? I can't find it, and I've looked in what seem to be to be all the obvious locations in this dump of a house. She's in her crib, but won't settle down until she has this old phone. It's funny -- she liked it for a long time when she was younger, but then she wasn't interested in it at all for a long time. UNTIL someone let her take it to bed with her a few nights ago. And now she won't nap without it? Oh, if only you understood how we have struggled for regular sleep habits with this dear baby. Toys are not good sleep buddies. You must know that. That's why we invested in the Lamby as transitional object -- as a sleep symbol the baby could understand, if you will. Well, now she's been crying for over an hour for the broken down old cell phone she loves again as a toy. She must be awaiting a very important call. Someone will have to take a message.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

As if I didn't have enough going on with two under two

We're having our kitchen renovated. Can you say dust, noise, money pit -- NIGHTMARE!?!? Two crying, pooping, hardly-sleeping babies just wasn't enough for me.

Yesterday was day 1, and it actually went better than I expected. We've set up a makeshift kitchen in the dining room, and we're counting on frozen foods, takeout, and the kindness of strangers for the next three weeks. Last night, we actually had homemade vegan chili that I'd made over the weekend. I have a few more meals like that stashed in the fridge, but after that I'll be phoning it in.

We have a carpenter who seems very understanding of the small children situation, and he not only does his best to clean up, but he even takes a few minutes to chat with the babies so they aren't freaked out by him. Nice, huh? There really isn't a good way to get these things done, but it doesn't help to have creepy people around. And now? Amidst demo, both babies are asleep, the little one in her bassinet and the big one on the floor of her room with her giant plush puppy. Was it the noise? I hardly ever get this lucky without reno!