Yes, life is busy. Yes, summer is always full. Blah, blah, blah…Ginger. Tell us something new.
I’m behind on gratitude postings, so I’m getting on it with!
Day 20: The puzzle
My girl has had a rough relationship with math due to a learning disability. One of the things we know from her diagnosis is that seeing things spatially is difficult for her brain. When she was very little, I couldn’t get her to even try to do a basic little kid puzzle. But after 2 years of working with an incredible math tutor and having extra help at school (and her own damn hard work and determination), she is finding ways to learn math – her way. Seeing things spatially and in relationship to each other (think numbers lined up in columns), which is something many of us take for granted, does not come easy for her. So killing this 200-piece puzzle was HUGE! Next up: a 500-piece horse puzzle that she picked out.
Look at that proud smile!
Day 21: Long-time friends
This is definitely more fodder for a book. Last week 2 of my very favorite and dear families came to MSP for a week-long visit. Our kids re-connected immediately and hardly skipped a beat. WE reconnected immediately and hardly skipped a beat.
My brilliant friend (damn her!) Erin was recruited by MIT. She is one of the foremost scholars on work-life/family issues and their business school courted her relentlessly and made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, so she and David and their boys moved to Boston last summer. Our boys are best friends, which enabled us to have all kinds of reasons to spend time together when they lived her. And the happy result of that is my dear friendship with them. They are one of the few couples that I feel my ex and I share custody with very well. They are loving to and respectful of us both – and we’ve found a way to make all our individual friendships work in spite of my divorce.
I hate that my lovelies Michelle, Liem and clan live in Austin, TX. They were such an integral part of my life for the early years of parenting, I have nothing but deep love for all of them. We refer to the days they had here in Minneapolis as “Camelot.” We had dinner together every Tuesday for almost 2 years. “Hippie Tuesday” is one of those things that got all of us through the long Minnesota winters with small children. I have so much more to say about them. My heart aches whenever I say goodbye, and yet I’m profoundly grateful for the work we put in to keeping our connection strong over the miles.
The kids together again.
Day 22: Real life
Last week was lovely (see above!) and also full of pain. I guess that’s a microcosm of what life really is, right? The joy and suffering all mixed together in one big heap of living. I won’t blather on about all the sources of my angst last week, but Glennon’s words came to my Instagram feed at just the right time. The Universe, she is looking out for me.
Day 23: Ice cream
WTF? I was craving ice cream like a pregnant lady (I’m NOT!) and managed to stuff my pie hole with ice cream 5 (FIVE!) days in a row last week! Who does that? Piggy McPiggerstein does, that’s who! Still can’t figure out why I’m up 3 pounds now….But man, it was a delicious run.
Day 24: Freezer cooking
My pal, Jilene, and I powered through 2 hours of freezer cooking while listening to Bob Dylan in her gorgeous kitchen. What a fun way to spend time together and get some stuff done!
Freezer cooking has been a game changer for me. Half of my loot, above, included 4 pounds of sloppy joe meat and 3 pounds of taco meat. We threw in the cukes to balance out the photo.
Day 25: La Semana culture camp
This never gets old! This is Year 6 of day camp for me and my chick. 500+ adopted kids from Central and South America all converge in a Minneapolis suburb for 5 days of culture camp.
My little muñeca lights up like a firefly when we go here. She LOVES camp – learning about identity, talking about race and adoption and loss, learning Spanish, singing songs, making crafts and most of all – dancing. She will be on stage in two different Latin dances at the Fiesta on Friday. Heaven for my girl.
I always take a week of vacation to volunteer at camp. I enjoy talking with all the other moms and learn so much. It’s like a fun intell gathering mission every year and I come away with more ideas, tips and a feeling of camaraderie with all those other Mamas.
Day 26: Minnesota – you can’t make up this shit
This was going around my FB feed last week. We can proudly (?) claim the potential of a bi-polar 164 degree temperature swing over the course of 6 months. From 116 to -48.
Can your state do this?
While I can’t claim that life in a temporary blast furnace is something I’m grateful for, after 27 years of living here I can agree with the MN natives: “well, at least it keeps the riff-raff out.”