"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Last week my girls were sick. Lavender was merely under the weather, but Geneva was sick-- fever, headache, chills, and no desire to leave the couch. Because of this, we ended up watching an unusual amount of television, including a documentary about Yellowstone National Park. Geneva, as horrible as she felt, was riveted. When the documentary ended she asked me to get out paper and pencils; she wanted to write a book about Yellowstone. As she sat on the couch and told me about elk and geysers and birds of prey, I took dictation and then read back to her what she had written. She made a few changes and added facts as she remembered them. When we were finished, she had indeed written a book. Wow. A book.

Here it is. I know this is a braggy post but oh well. I'm just so damn proud.

Yellowstone, by Geneva Zoglman

Wolves are clever. They hunt elk. They live in a pack. They are very interesting. They can survive a hard winter.

Coyotes are as clever as the wolves. They eat elk, too. They eat little bison. Their tails are puffy. The fur is golden.

Bears are very sensitive. They hunt bugs and fish and honey. They have the same parts as people. They have a head like we have, legs, a body, and claws. We don't have claws. They live in a den or a cave.

Bison are very big. They have a big head. Bison have fur and horns. Little bison are weak, but big bison are strong. They can live in hard winter.

Rocks are very hot, because of a volcano. There are geysers. A geyser is water that spouts. They are very interesting. There are hot springs, too.

Hawks and eagles are birds. They fly and flap their wings. The eagles have wings and white heads. They eat deer. Something else killed it and they ate it.

Elk are very interesting because I like their things that point up: antlers! Elk make a funny sound. That is how they talk. They live in a herd.

Yellowstone is very interesting. People can visit there someday.

And that is why we are planning a road trip to Wyoming sometime in the next year or two. I predict it will be, as Geneva says, very interesting.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nurse, Rock, Breathe

This afternoon after a long day of running holiday-related errands, Lavender had had about enough of that nonsense and was ready to call it quits. She wanted to be away from the people and the noise. She wanted to cuddle. She wanted to nurse. She wanted time with just me.

As we sat in the peace of our own home at last, nursing in the glow of Christmas lights, I gazed down at my blissful child and realized suddenly, painfully, that a day is coming soon when this will not be enough to make her happy. She will need more than what I am and what I can give, which is as it should be. Still, the impermanence of our quiet moment together was almost heartbreaking. She will grow, and I will have to count on others to be gentle with her heart and to nurture her sweet spirit. She will want to be apart from me, to go out into the big, uncertain world with desires that neither I, nor perhaps anyone, can fulfill. And I will let her go. How can I do that? How can I not?

Little Lavender, today you are happy just to be held. You only need what I can offer, and so your contentment is whole and complete. Here in our quiet house, nursing and rocking and breathing together, you are not thinking of anything more. You don't know that this will change. Someday you will not drink my milk. You will not want to pet my skin. You will pull away, and consciously you will forget ever having wanted those things. It is a loss-- an aching loss-- that only I will feel.

It will have to be enough, then, for me to remember days like today when you are big and far away. You will be so strong and independent that it will be hard to imagine that you ever fit in my arms, but still I will know that today was real. It happened, and nothing can erase it. You will not always feel the whole, complete contentment you feel now, but it will be there just the same. It will be a part of how you grew, of how you came to know the world. It is a memory I will never let go. And a part of us will forever be nursing, rocking and breathing.