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Essie

Essie

Pinkie Pie

Pinkie Pie

When I work in downtown Minneapolis, I drive home past a boarded up store spray painted with: “REST IN POWER, GEORGE FLOYD.” Invariably, I read it aloud to myself, alone in the car, and it gives me some hope. After the inhuman, brutal, cruel murder of Floyd in May, I was so relieved to see a national and then international series of protests. Judging by their duration, intensity, and organization, this could be what it looks like when the baton from the Civil Rights movement is taken up again to continue and escalate the fight against the inextricably intertwined institutions of United States racism and United States policing.

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Burning

In the style of Glennon Doyle…

Essie,

There’s a time in your life when you’ll be striving, reaching, seeking. Every new subject, every new interest, every new person will crackle with the possibility of sparking and bringing alive a part of you that you didn’t know existed. It’s the kind of ride you’ll know you’re on when you’re on it. It needs no label. And what’s more: by definition, you’ll enjoy it. It feeds the ego. For most, it occurs in late teens, early twenties. For some, it’s delayed by loss but ignites later in life, when there is time and space. For still others, tragically, it never happens.

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Pajamas

I just said this tonight:

“Essie, I’m going out to vacuum the gutters, and I want you to have your jams on when I come in.”

And I have never sounded more… ADULT… in my life.

Honestly, if you had told me seven years ago I’d be talking about pajamas and gutter vacuuming, I’d have said — whose pajamas, and I don’t have any gutters NOR any interest in gutters. Life moves pretty fast.

Sometimes Fun Floods In

Essie wrote a song on our bike ride today: “Sometimes Fun Floods into Your Day.”

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Smallness and Finitude

I have no wise words to offer during a time such as this. I never dreamed of such a scenario in my life; I always imagined the more mundane disasters: hospitals, accidents, bankruptcy. I’ve had a brush with none, and yet here I am, with all humanity, in this disaster.

Have I, this whole life, been picking my way through a labyrinth, each choice sending me down another corridor of choices? Or was I launched from a canon, my trajectory unknowable, and yet fixed? Am I the latter, thinking I am the former? Do I write silly questions, straw men in dual, false dichotomies, the truth an ineffable middle-place?

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Easter

Easter

Spirit

*The opening montage of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron begins playing*
I just HAVE to run at this part, Dada! I have to run when the horses are running!
*Essie runs many laps around the first floor of the house.*

Decorating

Decorating

We got a Siberian Fir tree this year and the smell is SPECTACULAR. Mykala said the smell is slightly fruity, which is precisely what the articles online say. Essie is helping to trim it here. It’s our first Christmas season in the new house. More to say, more to write, more to post, but she’s sleeping soundly upstairs and we’re watching a Christmas movie down here and maybe it’ll all be alright.

Greta Thunberg

Transcript: Greta Thunberg’s Speech At The U.N. Climate Action Summit : NPR:

This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

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Eggs

A few weeks back, Essie found an egg at the base of one of our front yard shrubs — we haven’t seen the mom of the egg at all, and Mykala and I are pretty convinced that this egg isn’t going to hatch. Why should we share that guess with Ess, though? We don’t even know what animal it is from. Then recently, another one appeared by the base of one of our tomato plants.

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To-Do List

So Ess drew up this to-do list in early August. This is the list of things she wanted to do this next day:

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Stitches

Hi, Ess. I really should check in more often here, but of course I have many excuses: all those little things I’ve been working on that seem big now and I’ll forget in the future. In between those, I get to see you. I’m not always there, though. For that, I am very sorry.

Sometimes you dress up as Super Essie:

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Essie Reading List

Some library books we’ve been reading to Ess recently:

EssieApril2019ReadingList

Herman and Rosie is a jazz and NYC-themed love story and when Ess wanted a story read to her in the middle of the night, that’s the one she picked. I think she picked it because it’s long for a children’s book, but it still has a nice gentle pace for late-night.

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Born to Be

“I was born to be me.”

—Ess

A Single Pond

“A single pond means it’s not married to a puddle or a lake or an ocean. Because single means not married and that’s the things a pond would be married to.”

— Esmé

I Spy

Me: “I spy with my little eye, something… BROWN.”
Ess, without hesitation: “My eyes!”

Library books

Here’s a collage of the covers of the books we currently have checked out from the library:

octoberReading

Ess enjoyed the narwhal and penguin fact books very much. She gets super-interested in different animals; penguins a few weeks ago. It has been ducks for the past few days.

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Inheritance

Yesterday I sat down at our piano, a piano purchased by my mother’s mother. It is a lovely Baldwin Hamilton upright with acceptable action, lovely bright sound, surprising resonance. I play it when I can, though Ess sometimes asks me to stop. The point of this story, though: I didn’t have to earn it. It was given to me. In the care of my mom’s sister, who was moving, it found its way to me because I still played piano.

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Halloween costume

We’ve gone from pumpkin to Elsa to octopus to bat back to pumpkin. Pumpkin for a while. Now, we’re at penguin: Essie wants to be a penguin for Halloween. Since she has, essentially, no concept of time, we are struggling to articulate the importance of sticking with the costume once it has been ordered. When time has no meaning, Halloween is in the nebulous future, and there will always be time to order a different costume.

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