Monday, January 30, 2017

There's a madman at the helm!

The past 10 days have been hard. Trump/Bannon . . . what a nightmare. This isn't the America we all know and love. I can't believe that all the protests we're seeing in the streets aren't images of some foreign country but of right here in the USA. If there is one good thing to come from a Trump presidency (that's hard to say), it's that people are awake and involved.

I'm sleeping poorly. Too much news. I'm involved locally helping to head up a group of over 200 people who are all resisting hate, running for local office, energizing the base, organizing events, fundraising, protesting, you name it. There's a lot of work to be done. Seems like more and more every day.

Kate and I were going to go to the march in DC. We had friends who were going to stay the night and drive down the next day. I was really nervous about it but also wanting to go and support Kate's desire to go and get involved, too. She got sick and we stayed home. It ended up a good thing that we didn't go, though I do feel like we missed out on something amazing.

So we marched in solidarity in our own way from home. We came up with a family "resistance" plan, watched feminist and activist movies, and donated to organizations that help women. I'm proud of my kids and their desire to be informed and involved.

I can tell I'm stretched thin, because the other day I went to cut a slice of homemade blueberry bread to toast and when I reached in to grab the loaf, there was already a cut slice there and I felt like that was a major win as well as a big relief. When an already-sliced piece of bread can make you feel that way, you may be doing too much. :P

Everything is in full-swing with a return to a more normal schedule for us, which was a weirder adjustment than most years because going into the holidays and coming out of them, we've had house guests.

Mark's parents came for a 10-day visit that included Thanksgiving and we loved it. We had such a great time! We played games and ate a lot of good food. It was so nice to spend the holiday together. It was pretty low-key overall, except that we did go to New York City and they took us all to see a Broadway play ("Something Rotten"). It's extra special that it was Max's first play on Broadway as well as Vivian's, so they got to experience that together. We had so much fun! They also helped us decorate for Christmas and took us out for Mexican and Sushi. We celebrated their birthdays. And did I mention we played a lot of games? Well, we did. And it was lovely.

And then Mark's brother, Michael, came to visit after Christmas and was also here for 10 days. Guess what we did. Yep, food and games and food and games and politics and games and food and politics and games. It was great. It was especially nice for Mark and Michael to get good brother time together - they went out to eat, caught a movie together, hung out at Mark's work, visited Wilbur's Chocolates, stopped at our local bookstore/gamestore.

I loved seeing my kids enjoy time with an uncle like that, too. They played so many games, talked about stuff, joked around. It was really fun. Seeing them in the role of niece and nephew like that makes me so happy. Every year at Christmas, the kids get a gift from an uncle's family (we rotate) and we got to see them all at the reunion in California. The uncles keep in touch on various social media. Since the reunion, 2 different uncles have come to visit, as well as grandparents. I'm grateful for this. It means a lot to us.

Kate is taking a fairly full load of classes at the local community college - 13.5 credits, including a science class with a lab. She's loving it. She is also preparing for the SATs and practicing driving. With all this, she's taking a well-deserved break from working this semester and will go back after that. We're looking at doing college visits, too. And she's busy preparing for various writers' groups and camps. She volunteers at the local theater to help usher people to their seats for plays and shows. It's neat, because she gets to stay and see shows when she wants, too. She just got asked to yet another school dance, so we're getting ready for that as well. Always neat stuff going on! Oh, and she's recently won more contests and awards! Her writing blows my mind. Sometimes I have to sit and catch my breath while I try to absorb her immense talent and depth. I'm so lucky I get to be her mom!

Max is taller than I am now. I swear, I can SEE him growing before my eyes. Yesterday, for the first time, I thought I could hear his voice getting deeper, too. He's also transforming from little boy to young man. I remember seeing Kate make that transition from little girl to young woman. It's a very poignant and distinct transition that you can see, observe, and embrace. It's bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. I love seeing who they are and what they love and hearing their thoughts on things. I love seeing them mature into adulthood like this. They're amazing people.

I see Max getting even more responsible - doing things without being asked, staying on top of responsibilities, etc. He loves to play outside with the neighbor kids and he's often online with any number of different friends playing any number of different games. He's a social, happy kid. We've been having fun celebrating his birthday and enjoying his birthday party. He loves learning and especially enjoys math and science. Both kids know their stuff when it comes to politics, government, and current events. He is loving piano and taekwondo. He designs games, plays games, draws, takes pictures, and writes music. He can talk about anything. He and Kate are getting involved with a local, teen theater group and both are excited about that. He volunteers and helps teach kids at the taekwondo studio as well as the library when they need help. He loves the show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and we all enjoy listening to that podcast. He enjoys political satire, as we all do. He's doing great with school stuff and also gearing up for getting a job. And it's coming up on comic-con season and checking out summer camp opportunities, so that's all exciting. And in all this, he loves to snuggle with me, hug me, and put his arm around me. I love this kid!

Scout gives us so much joy and so many snuggles. She is, at turns, feisty and demanding and sweet and cuddly. She constantly makes us smile and laugh. We adore her. She is the best!

Mark is busy with work and family. There's always stuff going on here. He's reading a lot about race relations and listening to lots of audio books. We've been working on various projects and goals. Always learning. He does a good deal of the driving around to evening activities for the kids, too, as well as participating in taekwondo with Max and seeing action movies with Kate. And we're both busy homeschooling our kids and generally keeping up on all the things! We're in the middle of so many things and yet are trying to do less for sanity's sake. The old van is on its way out, so there's car shopping to do soon, too. It feels like it's always something - oil changes, dentist appointments, dress shopping, errands, work, activities, meetings, projects, etc.

In summary: thank goodness for finding that someone has already sliced the bread. Every little thing, right?


Jimmy said...

And yet you managed to sit down and write this post! You might be keeping yourself a little too busy.

That's funny about the already sliced bread.

I went to the rally here in Albuquerque. Just me. Not my wife and five daughters. (My college aged daughter told me she wanted to come after the fact.) So anyway I ended up going with some friends from church. I didn't think Joy would be comfortable with it so I never really invited her, just told her I was going. And though I doubted it would happen, I worried that some protests turn violent and I didn't want my daughters to be exposed to that, especially if my wife had some apprehension. So I went. It was peaceful and fun and diverse and I ran into people from work--they would have never expected to see me there and I would have never expected to see them there. There were old grandmas who sang and young children and I was proud of Albuquerque because the tone was uplifting and celebratory of women and not negative and hate-filled. It gave me hope. And I had the same thought you did--if there's one good thing about the Trump presidency, it's that it's moving us to awaken out of a slumber. My feeling is that even those that did support him are still on alert. And that's good I hope.

I'm so frustrated with Facebook and all the division it drives. So thank you for still blogging.

Dr. Mark said...

So THIS is why we keep feeling tired. Great recap and description of all our goings on. As exhausting as it is, I'm looking forward to lots of advocacy from you and our family. It feels good to keep standing for the principles that mean so much to us. Thank you for your example!

Jimmy, that sounds great. Good for you for marching. It's going to take good people everywhere to stand up for what's right and fair.

LMW said...

Thank you for the update! I'm so glad the family is doing well and that some of Mark's family made long visits! I'm sure it did your hearts good.:)

It's so awesome that you went to a march! I didn't go to one, but I was there in spirit for sure! Great that people from church went with you too!!

Boquinha said...

Jimmy, I'm always pleased when I can sit and write a blog post. Doesn't happen nearly enough. That's so great that you went to the rally there. Thank you for sharing with us about it. Looking back, do you wish you'd taken your girls? I understand the apprehension and worry. I had some, too. And thank you for always being glad we blog. :)

Mark, thanks. :)

LMW, thanks! Yep, really good visits.