A Ray of Hope

If there is one thing that I have learned this week, it's that I have no idea what kind of person Mila is. On one hand, ZOMG. THIS KID. SHE'S SCARY.

There was this thing that happened. There was a waffle. It fell. It ended up in our driveway and stayed there. Mila noticed the waffle in the driveway about an hour later, which was probably half an hour after a four-legged thing found it. A fat little field mouse discovered the treasure and was darting around the driveway grabbing nibbles.

Mila decided it was a rat, which, whatever, but she also decided she wanted to kill the rat. She stood at the window watching the little mouse BEGGING to kill it. For several minutes. And she was serious. To be fair, she wanted to stuff it in a jar and use it as a Halloween decoration, so she's not totally a psychopath. Just mostly. o_O

I mean, don't all four-year olds beg to kill a mouse and then describe how you should decapitate it and put it in a jar? No?


Okay, so, well, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised, but suddenly it's clear that Mila does care if she makes a mistake. She has started to burst into tears when she gets in trouble. In the past, she has thought it was funny, so basically I have discovered that there is hope for her staying out of jail. She got fussed at for being too loud and totally melted down because she felt awful for it. She spilled some cereal on the couch and wasn't upset that I yelled at her - she was genuinely upset that she made a mess.


So maybe, just maybe, Miss Mila will be okay after all. I just have to make sure she doesn't start going around murdering rats.

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On This Day

Everyone who is of a Certain Age has memories and a story to tell about 9/11. It's not a contest. There is no need to point out that you were closer or more deeply hurt or remember the bestest of anyone. We all have our things and our ways of dealing with the day.

It's fine.

So, it's not a contest but I have two things I think about endlessly on this day every year. First, a little back story. I flew into Boston the morning of the attacks for a work thing. I crossed through security at nearly the same time as some of the terrorists, going the opposite direction, and ugh. By the time I got to the office and walked up the stairs, we knew. It was already clear that A Thing was going on and what do you say when that happens? I opened with, "Oof, what an awful day," and the person who greeted me went on about, "Yeah, the weather and blah, blah, blah" and she complained about a whole bunch of nonsense.

She didn't know.

And there was this long minute where I stood there and listened to her complain about dumb stuff and I didn't know whether to interrupt her or not. Oblivion was a happy place to be right about then, but I also didn't want her to feel dumb later when she replayed the conversation in her head.

In a full day of panicked phone calls and staring at a television and ending up stranded in Boston, THAT is what rises to the top of my memory.

The other thing that rises to the top is the days that I spent at Ground Zero. It was a few years after the attacks and by then I was working for a different company. That company was one of the contractors doing excavation and rebuilding work at the site, so I spent a few days in the hole. I took photos of the slurry wall that is now part of the museum. I stood staring at a sign that simply said, "We remember" outside of the work trailer. And I think to the check-in place where all of the construction workers were to take any small pieces of anything that they thought might be human.

That was a thing. Construction workers had a place to go when they found a small thing that they thought might be human bones or whatever. Everything about it was awful.

Some of the photos I took while I was there showed up in my LinkedIn feed today because that employer included them in a blog post. The moment I scrolled and caught that was exactly as jarring as you would expect it to be.

Maybe someday this day won't make the woman who didn't know and the days in the hole come to mind immediately. Maybe it will always be this way. Regardless, it will always be difficult to explain the unease that comes with this day to people who aren't of a Certain Age.

It just is.


I Blame Alexis

WELP. It has started. Again.

It was just over 10 years ago that a tiny little girl (except that one wasn't so tiny, alas) turned to me and said she wanted to dance. She meant it with every fiber of her being, so it wasn't long before she was enrolled in dance classes. The rest is history, or rather an ongoing nightmare because ZOMG do I not fit in with dance moms.

At all.

Alexis really super loves it, though, so now I spend my free moments plotting a move to a new dance studio because somehow it has started to matter that she's at the RIGHT studio that will support her as she learns the skills she wants most (ballet, acro, lyrical, and jazz -in that order- for those keeping score at home).

Mila, though. Mila was my shining star of hope in a sparkly world of dance and cheer. That kid is a bruiser. She's far more likely to be caught shooting a puck into a net than wearing a tutu. And she will, because the kid has taken a few deck hockey classes and is going to take more. She really super likes it.


She also went to a dance camp for a few days over the summer and I'll be damned if she didn't catch the bug. She has spent the weeks since that camp telling me, "I feel you should sign me up for dance class," and ugh.

I gave in.

I signed Tiny up for a ballet/tap/gymnastics class. She had her first class over the weekend and HOOBOY IS SHE IN LOVE. She really super enjoyed the class and she's begging to do more and suddenly I have two girls who won't stop dancing in my kitchen.

The good news is that Alexis is four years away from driving. If things stay the way they are, at least I won't have to be the one doing all the driving. I'll have a glorious two year gap where I can make the big sister pay the price for lighting the dance fire under her little sister.

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