You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

(in no particular order)

1. Fantastic clients that are doing outstanding work, including the Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, the Black Philanthropic Alliance, PBS Teachers, the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, and the Hispanic Committee of Virginia. It’s a privilege to contribute to their efforts.

2. The community at Journeyoga, especially my main teacher Sabrina. And Sarah Lynn, the owner, for creating the studio and the opportunity to learn there. While I haven’t been as relaxed and serene as I would like to have been this past year, I am convinced that without yoga I wouldn’t have survived at all.

3. My friendly neighborhood acupuncturist Allison Kitchen with dcmindbody. I have long been afraid of needles and the idea of acupuncture totally freaked me out. But when you’re desperate, you’ll try anything, right? Many people recommended acupuncture to me this year for fertility issues, and I decided that I might as well try. So far Allison’s treatments have focused on calming me down so I could deal with day-to-day life well enough to even think about trying to get pregnant again. And that works for me.

4. Parenting Playgroups–their teachers and founder Rene Hackney. Zoe is at winter camp there even as I write, providing me with a much-needed break and providing Zoe with new friends to make, toys to play with, songs to sing, stories to hear, dances to dance, and a generally wonderful place to be. She attended summer camp there as well, and Randy and I have taken several of the insightful parenting workshops too.

5. Libraries. In particular the Mary Riley Stiles Library in Falls Church where I work while Zoe is at camp, the Arlington County public library system and its online catalog which allows you to reserve books from home, and the Fairfax County public library system which issues special library cards for kids. If you live in Arlington you are entitled to a library card in both Falls Church and Fairfax, thus wildly expanding your reading and browsing opportunities.

More gratitude to come…

While many friends of mine who have young daughters have experienced princess invasion and the seeming possession of their¬†daughters by princess mania, I am not worried. It is possible this behavior is yet to reveal itself in Zoe, but I don’t think so. For Christmas Zoe received a Disney princess castle, a Disney princess kitchen, and Cinderella figurines (none of this from us). She¬†plays camping in the castle. She cooks food for us in the kitchen (ignoring the burner that says “help Snow White make breakfast for the dwarves” — Randy told her sometimes the dwarves make breakfast for Snow White too). She creates scenes where Cinderella gets married, but she’s marrying a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Tommy. The other Cinderella (not sure why two came in the package, both wearing fancy dresses) is the officiant at the wedding. Then Cinderella who’s getting married and Tommy T Rex have a baby, who is a bunny. And Cinderella reminds Tommy T Rex repeatedly to listen for the baby crying and to give the baby bunny a bottle or blanket. So there may be some domestic tranquility (or not, since the baby is always crying) but no stereotypical gender roles are being enforced. Princesses are nice, but no more exciting than dinosaurs. So far so good.

Our family’s Christmas epistle is finally in the mail. Once again we have fulfilled the requirement of encapsulating a year in 500 words or so each. We know the reputation of Christmas letters and yet we persist, believing ours rises above the fray with wit and insight. As has been the case since we’ve had six adult contributors, it’s late. I figure people will have more time after Christmas to read it at their leisure. Or not.

As Christmas cards to us have arrived each day, mostly photos of cute children and sometimes their cute parents, I have felt a bit of envy that all they had to do was find a good picture and upload it to a website. But we have a proud tradition, says my dad. And our family doesn’t have that many traditions, so I suppose this is one worth preserving.

This Christmas is the first I can remember where we are neither traveling nor receiving out-of-town guests. Sure, we’re cooking, but it all feels surprisingly easy. It is a blessing that my sister and brother-in-law now live in our zip code, so it’s easy enough for them to show up. And my parents are 11 miles away. I can’t help thinking about the 30-some years of Christmases in High Point, North Carolina, where my mom grew up. I miss my Nana and Papa and Aunt Millie. I miss the love feast at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, complete with a delicious bun, hot tea, and a candlelit Silent Night. I guess what I really miss is being a kid, and being the one expectantly wondering what Santa will bring instead of the one playing Santa. Of course I am thrilled to create wonder and excitement for Zoe. I look forward to her joy. But my joy is too tempered by the weight of adulthood, especially lately. I am sincerely hoping to cast some of that off this Christmas. Maybe I should spend more time in the princess castle that arrived in the mail the other day. Who can be unhappy in a princess castle? Unless you’re imprisoned in one, I guess.

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