Monday, January 28, 2008


In my previous entry, I alluded to some thoughts for a blog entry on change. It was sidetracked/derailed by the demands of motherhood but has continued to burble about in my brain.

As I look out onto the mountains, I see that change is a-coming, weather-wise. The two days of spring-like temps are going to yield to what looks like a snowstorm arriving a little sooner than expected. Evening flurries was the forecast upon which I encouraged my son to bike to school this morning. Oops!

On a grander scale, though, the election year brings on change as a major theme. Everyone I know (in this protected Boulder bubble) is more than ready for a presidential change, and many of us are cautiously hopeful at the fresh face of the Democratic candidates. A woman and a person of mixed race --wow, now that's change. I don't think even MLK could have thought we'd come this far this fast. (Not that the work of social justice and civil rights is complete by any means.)

It is of course too early to tell what might happen in the presidential arena, but at least it is good to see diversity in the candidates. Given the past two performances, there is no guarantee of anything in our electoral system.

From the macro to the micro, I am often in awe of how change manifests itself within our own individual lives. Having our now-adult daughter home for the holidays started me thinking in this direction. To watch a person grow up is an incomparable joy (tinged with some sorrow at times), and our daughter is certainly breaking out of her cocoon into a quite amazing butterfly. For example, I mentioned summer vacation plans and she quickly snipped, "I am going to have to work this summer." Spring break at home was dismissed right off. What was I thinking?

But the most personally relevant change is the one I remember hearing my mother and her peers talk about oh-so-many years ago. "Oh, she's going through the CHANGE," they would whisper. It all sounded so mysterious and scary. Will she grow horns? Turn green and wrinkly? What is this change that seems to happen to women of a certain age?

As I near that age, I approach it with very mixed feelings. Of course, there is the uncertainty of how my body will react to the hormonal swings. Whether I will be a candidate for the various hormone replacement therapies is yet to be discussed. It is all so confusing--one study says they may prevent one cancer but another suggests they may promote a different one. What to do? Whom to trust? Reminds me a bit of the hoo-haw over birth control pills when I first considered taking them.

So, maybe it is important to remember that the more things change the more they stay the same. Change is the only constant. All those other trite-isms .

And like the snowstorm that seemed to be looming when I started this missive, if you just wait a few minutes, it will change. The sun is out once again, and the future looks oh so promising.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Sound of Silence

Ah, the quiet.

The noise one child can make is quite astounding. Especially when combined with a sibling.

One, you see, cannot bicker without the other.

At least not yet. It's only been an hour since my youngest son went to his best friend's house for a playdate.

This is my re-entry into normal life, which officially begins tomorrow when school starts again. It has been 16 days (18 hours and 15 minutes, but who's counting) since the start of winter break -- and forced family togetherness.

Don't get me wrong--it has been a wonderful holiday. We've had some nice times. Decorating the Christmas tree with longtime friends from Texas, reveling the the snow with my Texan brother and his family , the New Year's Day gathering with a few friends with matching siblings for ours. All in all, a great way to celebrate.

It is just the almost constant bickering of my boys where I lose patience. "Well, he started it" echoes in my brain endlessly. I hear my mother in my response: "I don;t care who started it; I'm going to end it." I do, however, stop short of knocking their heads together as she did.

Nonetheless, it has been impossible to maintain any sane strain of thought during this time. Taking the ornaments from the tree on the day after Barack Obama's awesome win in Iowa, I mentally composed an entry for this blog on the important role of change in society. Out with the old, in with the new, I wrote in my head.

But before I could get pen to paper (or more accurately, fingers to keyboard), I had to don my referee stripes and mediate yet another tragic consequence of brotherhood. After raising these two, I think I could go into foreign service negotiating peace agreements.

No one said parenting would be easy, but then no one ever mentioned it would be quite this challenging either.

Anyone up for year-round schooling?