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This Wonderful Life

September 10, 2009

This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls?

There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.



Like my daughters, they can spend hours drawing and coloring or watching DVDs about princesses and adventures. They even answer to my daughters’ names.



And yet, I ca’t help but be suspicious about their true identity because these girls have been nice to each other.



Mornings around Schoolhouse Farm are always difficult. There is only one bonafide morning person in our home, and that’s Bee.



The rest of us do what we can — Papa at a determined pace, me in a fog of overnight caffeine withdrawal, and Posey with either a mischievous clown face or an outright scowl.



For her part, Bee doesn’t have much patience with people who aren’t morning people.



So I was dreading the first day of school just a bit.



In her excitement to start the new school year, Bee had planned her ensemble down to the smallest detail, and declared the night before that she was going to wake up early, get dressed immediately and make her own breakfast ``because that is what first graders do.’’ (Clearly, she hasn’t met a lot of high school students.)



Her unmitigated enthusiasm for school is wonderful, don’t get me wrong.



And her self-sufficiency is even more admirable.



But in a house full of non-morning people, it’s wise to keep the one morning person occupied.



I set my own alarm extra early so I could be on top of my game. I predicted that Bee would be up and ready to board the bus approximately one hour before it arrived. That would give her plenty of time to get antsy and look for a diversion to fill her spare time - something like parroting her little sister’s conversation (``Stop copying me!’’) or reminding her father and me of some vague quasi-promise we may or may not have made three years ago whose fulfillment has become urgently and immediately necessary (``Remember that time you said it would be fun to go back to that museum in Philadephia? Remember? Remember when you said that? When are we going to do that?’’).

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This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009