Saturday, April 16, 2011

Eating the Elephant

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.....

I'm the juggler who still has all the balls in the air (did that make anyone else giggle, too?) but just barely. I'm long on "to do" and short on "time to do." But as I chomp through the elephant, also known as my overwhelming coursework load, I'm starting to feel my creative juice return; my blogging brain has become dormant these past few weeks but is starting to stretch and yawn again.

Still - a policy brief, case study, and lit review/critical analysis beckons, so this post and the next few will be brief.

My absolute, single favorite thing about each kid right now:

Aidan is obsessed with all things Pokemon. I admit, with only a little guilt, I have not taken the time to educate myself on the ins and outs of Pokemon. Predictably, I often feel like he is speaking a foreign language when he launches his monologues on Pikachu and the evolution of the Pokemon. Because these monologues can go on at great length, and during a recent road trip to D.C., (a future post on that adventure) Jeff and I made a game out of the monologue. We quietly decided that we'd earn $1 every time Aidan used the word "Tyflosion." [phonetic: ty-flow-shun]. It's a funny word to begin with, but Aidan uses it with such reverence that it might very well serve as our "gateway word" for learning the vocabulary of Pokemon. At the end of 45 minutes we'd earned $15. It has turned into a private joke between us, muttered under our breath and out of Aidan's earshot:
Anne: "Did you see that there was an increase in our cable bill this month?"
Jeff: "Yes. There must have been some kind of..... TYFLOSION!!"
I love that Aidan is cultivating his own interests and obsessions, influenced by his peers and playmates. I'm intrigued and delighted to watch this ongoing development of Id, Ego, Superego; I love to watch the unfolding of his inner, individual, unique and one-of-a-kind self.

Leo is a ray of sunshine. During the week, when Aidan is at school, Leo shines his light on our days, and I watch him and marvel and drink in the warmth. On weekends, his light is absorbed - and reflected - by his shiny penny brother. I can't help but feel like an outsider; the two of them have become thick as thieves. But during the week, he's mine. Leo is a terrific shopper at the grocery store - pushing his own tiny cart, choosing bananas and remembering that we need more straws. He checks off our errands on his fingers, rehearsing the order we'll go in and delighting in the completion of tasks. Our afternoon iced coffee ritual has become one of my absolute favorite parts of the day - recently we've reveled in sharing our iced coffee on the deck, listening to the birds and basking in the warmth. Watching him run down the road, or stop to investigate a worm in the grass, or pause to gaze at a passing airplane, I fall in love with him all over again because of the light within him, shining forth to the world, his ability to live in the moment, shine in the moment, spread his light to those who stop and pay attention.

Pax My very favorite thing about Pax these days is the sound he makes when he wants to be picked up. Think about hoisting something heavy up high over your head. You might say "HUH" or "HUT." You might try to give yourself a little boost by trying to jump off the ground a bit. You might hold your hands up high and frantically open and close your fists.... which, collectively, is exactly what Pax does. I absolutely love it. Jeff and I describe Pax as being "so big and so little, all at once." For that is exactly what he is: So big. And so little. Our baby; our big boy holding his own with his brothers. He is the baby I still nurse at night; he is the big boy who carries his own clothes to the hamper and feeds himself with a fork. He is the baby who mutters just a handful of words; he is the big boy who devises sophisticated, nonverbal communication through grunts, gestures, and dramatic faces. So big. So little.

... kinda like my elephant. So big... yet so little.

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