Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Happy July 4th everyone!

It's been an eventful week around here so I've been a bit remiss about my blog entries. Last Friday night, an insane storm blew in and knocked down trees throughout the city and beyond. Not surprisingly we lost power, but when it still hadn't turned on by morning - and between temps in the upper 90's, no electric, and a toddler - Joe and I made a split decision to pack up the car and the child and all the food we could salvage and take the 2.5 hour drive North to Joe's parents house. That was 7 at a.m. and by 8:45 the wheels had hit the pavement and we were off. We live in a 1915-built house in an old neighborhood that is notorious for losing power for up to a week at a time.

 Once we were able to hear the news we found out that 660,000 people were out of power within the surrounding area and the outages are ongoing 6 days later. Although I received a text from neighbors this evening letting me know the power was back on, we decided to stay put through the weekend. As it turns out two of Joe's closest high school buddies are also in town this week with their wives and kids who are all within week/months of Taran's age. Plus, we planned to have family drive down to see us on Saturday to celebrate Taran's second birthday, but it seems sort of silly to have them drive down in two days when we are right here, right now. So anyway, we walked into the house on Saturday morning and my father-in-law informed us that our area of Columbus and surrounding states had experienced a "Dorito". I was a bit bewildered to what he was referring but it turns out there is a storm system called a "Derecho". ("You say Dorito, I say Dorecho" la la). Who knew? No one I've talked to has ever heard of such a thing so I certainly don't fault the man for being a bit perplexed by the name. But it was quite serious and winds reached upwards of 90 miles an hour. I guess that explains it. It couldn't have been a more perfect week for the power outage to happen - I'll spare you the details and just say that any other week it would have been impossible to leave with work, but this week, all the stars aligned or something and Joe and I were both able to leave with not too much finagling. And Taran couldn't be more thrilled. As far as he's concerned every morning at Ye Ye and Nai Nai's is Christmas morning. So he's been waking up at 5 am and immediately asking to see them. I keep trying to explain that waking up earlier won't help him to see them any faster, because despite the force and enthusiasm of their love for him, they still manage to sleep until a reasonable hour so he might as well do the same. So far, this message has not struck home. I do love that he loves being around family so much. He's just been this radiant ball of joy since we got here. An exhausted ball, but a radiant one.

He's just as happy as can be as long as his posse is near.

Sometimes his unbridled enthusiasm can lead to some sticky spots. This seems to be particularly true when it concerns his interactions with other toddlers. I love that he wants to "hold the hand" of everyone he meets. And for those who are old enough to be amused by this, it's no problem. Yesterday at the playground, for example, he heard a couple of boys talking on a platform high above us. He of course wanted me to take him up to investigate and before I had even finished climbing the ladder he said to one of the eleven-year olds perched up there..."hold the hand?"

Luckily, the boy was super friendly and great with little ones and was totally pleased to hold Taran's hand and play with him.

I think the distinguishing feature for when it's been ok and when it hasn't comes down to body size. Taran will very nicely ask to hold the hand, but then, without waiting for an answer, he will snatch the unsuspecting victims hand up and shoot off in a mad tear, unwilling participant bumping along behind him. Not surprisingly, this has led to a few tears being shed by the small, hapless participee in question (yes, I know, it's not a word and spell check is yelling at me, but you know what I mean). To see Taran's face in response is totally heartbreaking. He's totally crushed and upset that whatever friend he's wanting to be near is a) crying and b) doesn't want to hold his hand. Ugh. This is not one of the joys of parenting. Because how do you explain to a not-quite-yet two-year old about boundaries?! I was totally in an out-of-perspective funk after this happened several times this week with different children, thinking "Are these the kinds of experience that put a black spot on our souls? When our joy and our passion run face first into a wall, is that how we get jaded?" Yes I know, I know, totally melodramatic. Blame it on the sleep deprivation. But seriously. Our kids will have to have their feelings crushed sometimes in learning about the world and learning to exist harmoniously in relationship to others. As I was driving along pondering all this one day, a song came on my cd player that the whole family loves, including Taran (It's the best when he tries to sing along without knowing the words and his mouth is opening and closing in an imitation of singing with a lot of made up words thrown in). The words reminded me that life is a double-edged sword and that the beauty in life can only be experienced because we also know pain. Somehow it felt like Taran was sending me a message in loving the song. Like he understood what the song was saying and that he chooses to eat life in all it's complexities. I know... deeper than a two year old is capable of. But I felt better after I had the thought.


  1. What a wonderful replacement for sparklers!

    1. Liene - it was just one of those serendipitous things. He found them in the yard and went crazy. I have no idea what they actually are and my in-laws didn't either - they just popped up this year off their back porch - but I love that they look like little exploding fireworks.

  2. OMG - I SO want Taran to "hold the hand" with me :) What a doll! The things that he says just warm my heart every time - his way of communicating seems so sweet and delightful. Whenever I read about the funny things he says I am always sitting her with a smile on my face. Wish I could meet that boy - I really think we'd hit it off! And I really hope those moments don't scar him! But I swear you and I think so alike sometimes - I know I would sit and fret about that too. And I hate to say this but I know looking back at my childhood - some of those moments of rejection really stand out to me. I do think that they had an effect on me and my personality as I grew older. I don't say this to get you more upset but just as a reminder of what you were saying - the good comes with the bad and it does sculpt our personality. But for me, while those moments may have affected my confidence to some degree I think they also made me more sensitive to others' and their feelings and perspectives. So again - there is good that comes through with the bad - and ultimately there is a balance :)

    And gorgeous photos!! Especially love the one of Taran, kind of in the middle of the page, where he is just kind of gazing off over his shoulder.

    1. Marisa, He would be so enamored with you! You seem to have a radiant open-heartedness that matches my sunshine boy. I appreciate so much that you shared your personal experience with this. It CAN be painful to be open-hearted and I have also struggled with this. But here I am at 37, still the same in many ways. I like to think it has more to do with being ingenuous than naive. I love the photo you mention too! The light is just so golden. Although in many ways I agree with what you said in my last post about black and white photos for portraits, sometimes there is a vibrancy that gets brought out by color that I love too.