Transition of Power
This has been a surreal month, a bizarre start to the year full of emotions I can't quite articulate. The country is going through a tumultuous time; there's protests in the streets, and it all seems so much like the dystopian novels I read in high school it's eerie. On one hand, I am terrified about what some people want to do to the world my daughters will grow up in. On the other hand, we have seen so many people take to the streets to defend the causes they believe in, to promote love and goodness and fairness, and that makes me think maybe we'll be okay.
I've been having lot of talks with Emmie about current affairs. Yes, five years old does seem too young to be discussing some of these heavy topics, but I try to reach her on her level. For instance, on January 21st, one of my best friends marched in downtown Chicago with her boyfriend, sisters, and her sister's children and husband. The hair on my arms stood up straight like static electricity at the images of the marches around the world. I showed the photos to Emmie, and we discussed that these people were marching to fight for what they believe in - that women are equal to men, that people of all colors and religions and kinds of love are equal, and should be treated fairly. She took it all in stride. To her open and innocent mind, that makes absolute sense.
The reason why I wasn't out marching myself was that Bruce had his annual work party that day - and we got a hotel room! Awww yeah. Well, actually, the weekend before we had a hotel room, too! In the middle of the month, Bruce arranged for his folks to watch the kids so we could go to a craft beer release party, which I gave him tickets to for his Christmas present. Our friends from the city met us over that way, and we got hotel rooms and went out to eat at the Hofbrauhaus Chicago. It was pure merrymaking. Let's just say there were liter steins of beer, shots, shotskis, people's behinds getting paddled, dancing on tables to live oompah music... It was our own personal Octoberfest in January. It was also the first time Bruce and I have had an overnight by ourselves in - let me think - it was before I got pregnant with Hannah, so it has to have been since our anniversary, April 2014. Over two years ago.
|Das ist ein großer Stein|
Then we got a room for after Bruce's work party. The next morning, we ate breakfast in the hotel lobby, and it was odd: no mouth to spoon-feed, no one begging us for one more chocolate muffin. Just our coffees and our buffet-station omelets and each other. It was so peaceful, but then the sound of a baby crying elsewhere in the room made me ready to head home.
Emmie also had her first sleepover this month! She stayed over at the house of our good friends who have a niece Emmie's same age. They've been playmates since birth. I wondered if she would freak out, because I know I did when I had my first sleepover, but apparently for the most part, she was fine. There was nail painting, movie watching, and candy, so I don't think she had a chance to miss us. Me, though, I was a little verklempt about it. Each new step in Emmie's life is a cause for celebration, but also signifies a gradual distancing from us.
We also threw Emmie her first kid party this month. The kids in her preschool class have been inviting her to theirs, so we realized it was time to host her own. For months she'd been talking about wanting to have a rainbow-heart-deer party, so Bruce busted out his colored pencils and drew up a picture, which we scanned and printed out for invitations.
We held the party at a local art studio where the kids could choose a ceramic figurine and paint it. It went over like gangbusters - every kid from her class came, plus we invited her two best friends. The kids chased each other around the room, and then when it was time to paint, they sat still and concentrated on their brushwork like little Michelangelos. When their masterpieces were finished, they sang Happy Birthday to Emmie, ate cupcakes (with rainbow-heart confetti and forest animal rings), and then they each got super excited waiting for Emmie to open the present they brought her. It was so cute; Emmie soaked it all up. The whole thing lasted a measly hour and a half, but afterwards we were downright exhausted.
And speaking of steps - Hannah toddled around in shoes for the first time at her big sister's party. She had a blast watching the older kids and trying to keep up with them. She just smiled and smiled, no matter how many times she fell.
Not gonna lie, the whole thing kind of made my heart burst with rainbows.