Children, Children, What Do You See?

The line is a familiar one if you’re a parent or a teacher. It’s from a sweet book about a brown bear and purple cat and yellow duck and a blue horse. It has singsong phrasing and can be memorized after only a couple readings. Yesterday I pulled it out to read with my 4-month-old before his afternoon nap. He was cooing on my lap as I read the question about each animal, Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? and so on. But that last question caught in my throat. My mind was not on the book filled with colorful animals and creative pictures. It was instead on our world filled with hurting people and hateful ideologies.

Children, children, what do you see?

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From One to Two

“What was the hardest transition for you? Zero to one? One to two? Two to three?” This question was posed at a baby shower for my friend who was pregnant with her fifth child.

I was pregnant for the first time so I listened in eagerly, rubbing my 4-month baby bump and silently taking notes.

“Definitely from no kids to one kid,” she answered. “But maybe that’s just because my first was a difficult baby and she never slept.”

I braced myself for a tough transition five months down the road. And then Norah was born.

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Anticipating a Son

Can I tell you a secret? I’m kind of scared to have a son. I always thought I would have two daughters. Obviously, there is no reason for this. It wasn’t even a longing, a hope, or a wish; although there is some comfort in being a “girl mom” that would bring a bit of familiarity to having two children of the same gender. Mostly though, it was just a thought that cemented itself more and more firmly in my mind over the past four years raising a daughter until I started to envision a future with two little girls in tow. I didn’t really believe that first ultrasound picture that clearly (at least to Brett – I still think all ultrasound pictures look like creepy aliens) showed that a boy was growing in my womb, not a girl as I had thought.

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Construction on Both Sides of the Window

A school is being built outside our apartment window. Every morning at 7:00 an air horn signals to the construction workers that it’s time to get to work. The structure is slowly stealing our view of the Hudson River. At certain times of year we can stand in the corner of our living room and still see the sky painted pink, purple, orange and red as the sun dips lower over New Jersey, but for the most part, our view is now of silver beams and orange netting as the building climbs skyward.

 

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Understanding

Everyone in our family voted on Tuesday, even my three-year-old daughter. She, along with her classmates, voted for cupcakes. Chocolate or vanilla.  Since she is my daughter and was therefore born with a constant craving for chocolate, she was confident in her vote and that the outcome would result in eating a delicious, chocolaty cupcake with her classmates on Wednesday afternoon. I didn’t do much to prepare her for the unexpected outcome of vanilla being the winner. She was giddy and energized when I dropped her off, ready to let her voice be heard.

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