Sunday, May 26, 2013

Peas in a Pod

When we bought our house seven years ago, we planted a garden. It was a disaster. We planted everything too close together, our dogs ate all of the peas, and all we were left with was 264 squash. Black thumb, check.
Since then, David has been committed to giving gardening another go. Most of our friends are some version of urban farmers and they make the whole thing look quite easy; from my perspective, this alone is the biggest indicator that we are going to fail.
I wanted to capture a few images of the plants before they died were in the ground, only to discover David and Morgan were already hard at work.

They had laid everything out,  being careful to give the tomatoes plenty of room.

David would dig a hole, Morgan would place the plant. They took turns filling in the gaps, talking about the vegetable that will probably never eventually grow.

They went through each of the plants they'd chosen, David repeatedly reminding me that he did not plant any squash or zucchini. Morgan told me that the soil was full of worms and did I know we were planting in ACTUAL COW POOP?

As I watched the two of them work, I couldn't help but notice just how much Morgan's becoming like her dad. They share the same passion for the outdoors, the same interest in learning how things grow, the same excitement to make our own food. They share the same mannerisms, the same voice inflections, the same facial expressions.  Morgan even made me stop taking pictures so she could go get her baseball cap. "Mom, hold on. I need to match dad while we're working together." Of course you do.

Oh yeah, and they look identical. The more Morgan grows, the less I see myself in her and the more I see little bits of David in everything she does. The apple clearly didn't fall far from that tree. Let's just hope she doesn't start growing a beard.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mean Girls

Dear Morgan,

Your dad called me at work on Friday, extremely upset. One of your teachers approached him when he was dropping you off at school and asked if they "could talk for a few minutes," a phrase no parent ever wants to hear. They met for a little while, and your dad learned that you and one of your friends had been mean to another girl in your class. Not just unwilling to share, not just cutting in line at the slide, but the kind of mean that made that little girl feel unwanted. You told her she wasn't welcome, wasn't part the group, wasn't good enough.

We were devastated. As a teacher, your dad takes bullying very seriously. As parents, we were mortified that our daughter would ever intentionally hurt another person. And as someone who was bullied when she was little, my heart broke to think of the sadness in that little girl's eyes and the heaviness in her heart when she realized you weren't going to accept her. Yes, I know you're only four, but these moments are the beginnings of how mean girls are made.

We are raising you to be compassionate, caring, and sensitive to the needs of those around you. We are trying to lead by example, demonstrating love and friendship in our marriage and in our family. We want you to be the best little person you can be, no matter how tempting it might be to fall in behind those who make poor choices or define their own happiness at the expense of others. Morgan, we want you to be strong, strong enough to make your own decisions, strong enough to know how to stand up for yourself, and strong enough to help protect those who can't.

Before he left you, your dad talked to you about all of these things, trying to convey them in a way that you would understand. We spent the day wondering, worrying, thinking about whether you really understood the gravity of what had happened and how important it was for you to give that little girl a soft place to land.

When we picked you up, this was the note stuck to your cubby:
(Yes, I erased the little girl's name.)

Your life is going to be filled with opportunities to either lift others up or tear them down. Today, you lifted someone up. My dearest Morgan, I am so very proud of you.

I love you.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

And Holding

Yes, today is Mother's Day. And yes, I adore my mother (see that, Mom? I even put it in writing!) - but today is also another important day for our's Daddy David's birthday.
Today my precious husband turns 39. We spent much of last night talking about the things we need to get accomplished by the time he turns 40. It's going to be a busy year. Real busy.
In all of that planning, I want him to know that the single most important thing he can do this year is just keep doing what he already does every day. Continue to be an amazing father, continue to be an inspirational and motivating teacher, and continue to be the best part of my life. Okay, and maybe get a hair cut. Maybe.

I love you, David. More than you can ever imagine.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Modern Marvel

Popcorn is one of my favorite foods. I have no idea why; it was my dinner through much of college (okay, that and half a box of wine...yes, I said box. I was poor -Franzia and I got real close). When I was little, we had an air popper. My dad would break out the machine, a stick of butter, and our salt shaker and get right to work. In a matter of minutes, he had filled our giant Tupperware bowl (in harvest gold, of course) and we were settled in for a night of J.R. Ewing and the rest of the Dallas clan.

For my birthday this year, my sister surprised me with my very own popper, complete with 45 ounces of corn. Let the madness begin.

If you have ever used an air popper, you know that things get very buck wild very quickly. The whir of the motor turns to popping craziness in a matter of moments. Kernels begin exploding and you spend much of the next few minutes trying to frantically reposition the bowl so all of the popcorn doesn't end up on the floor.

Just as I flipped the switch on, my two sidekicks came rushing into the kitchen, jockeying for a better position to watch the action. I expected Morgan to be excited about this new contraption, but David was absolutely awestruck.

 I wish I could tell you this photo was staged. It was clearly a big night for us.

In just a few minutes, we were ready for movie night. My ongoing quest to relive my childhood through my daughter was a success, other than the fact we spent the next hour watching back to back episodes of My Little Pony. Morgan had no desire to find out who shot J.R.

Given how excited everyone was about our fancy new machine, I can't wait to show them how the flush terlet works.