Friday, January 23, 2009

Reflections On A Momentous Day

Tuesday was the kind of day that simply could not be spent in solitude. Every fiber of my being yearned to be in a public place, in as large a crowd as possible, all witnessing and celebrating together the dawn of a new era in America. So the three of us got up early, hopped on a bus, and headed down to Civic Center, where we watched the inauguration on a jumbotron out in the sunshine with a few hundred friends and fellow citizens.

I admit I had been feeling a little queasy about all the hype and hero worship, mostly because I feared our national expectations getting out of control. As far as I have been able to determine, Barack Obama is not, and has never claimed to be, capable of healing the sick (although if he can get the economy back on its feet, that would count as a miracle), raising the dead (with the possible exception of our international reputation), or walking on water (ah -- I got nothin').

But once we got out there in that crowd, I started tearing up and couldn't stop crying for the next two hours. I was struck, not just by the change taking place in Washington, but by the change taking place in ourselves.

Now, this is a town that is, to put it mildly, rather fond of protests. Everybody's got a cause. But on Tuesday morning, just for that one day, there were no "Stop the slaughter in Gaza" signs in the crowd, no would-be freers of Mumia, no anti-brown apple moth spray faction. For a brief moment, we weren't anti- anything. We were resoundingly and earnestly pro. Pro-democratic process. Pro-Obama, certainly. Pro-peace, pro-diplomacy, pro-family, pro-science, pro-equality. And dare I say it? Pro-American.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Stuff

So, Gabby's walking now. She took her first few independent steps on her birthday (despite the knock on the noggin), and a week and a half later she just started cruising across the floor. See ya, mom! I've got stuff to do, and I have to bring these two toys along with me!

She seems rather pleased with herself, and rightly so.

She sailed through her 1-year vaccinations, and I breathed a little sigh of relief knowing she's protected. Given how many people are choosing not to have their children vaccinated these days, the possibility of a measles outbreak was kind of a scary thought. I know it's not 100% effective, but it's a heck of a lot better than no protection at all.

Unfortunately, my little foodie-in-training has become an extremely picky eater. What kid doesn't like grilled cheese, for pete's sake? Or pasta? She won't eat meat or grilled veggies or quesadillas or pizza or mush of any kind. She turns up her nose at rice and lentils, scoffs at hummus, and has even rejected bread. She nibbles on fruit and crackers and the occasional pancake. Fortunately, one can sneak all manner of pureed vegetables into pancakes, and if I smear enough peanut butter on her pears some of it actually lands in her instead of just on her. It wouldn't be so bad if she were a chubby baby, but she's teeny tiny - off the bottom of the weight charts.

Well, I can't force her to eat, and if she takes after my side of the family, this may be the only time in her life she's underweight, so I'm just not going to worry about it too much. I have faith that one day she will bite into a lovely ripe epoisse with a little fig jam and say, "Oh, mom! I had no idea!"