Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Up from the Dumps

I’ve been feeling just a little down in the dumps lately. I’m not totally sure why, as our October calendar is packed full of mostly fun stuff, but something was weighing on me. The political climate? Probably. The fear of nuclear winter after the US gets into it with North Korea? Possibly. Getting dark earlier while the unpredictable and often humid weather reminds me that we are killing our planet and leaving my children to inherit an inhospitable world full of natural disasters? That'll do it. Students who perpetually disappoint me and can’t be bothered to buy the mother effing textbook? Could be.

But I had two days off for fall break this week, and they were exactly what I needed. I had originally planned to spend part of fall break in Chicago with my bff seeing Glennon Doyle, but life conspired to make that plan unworkable. And while that was a huge bummer, it was soooooo lovely to have two whole days at home by myself. I ran errands and went to the grocery store alone! I listened to inappropriate podcasts, watched Luther on Netflix, and did laundry. I made chili and baked cookies and worked on a photo book from our summer vacation. It was so nice, you guys! And now I’m going back to work feeling refreshed and ready to finish off the rest of the semester. Even after a not-great night of sleep last night, I'm in a better mood than I was all of last week.

We had parent teacher conferences for the girls and they actually went really well. Not gonna lie, I was so pleasantly surprised by all the praise Zuzu got (without any counterbalancing concerns) that I bought her the “how to draw mermaids and fairies” book she asked for at the school book sale without even thinking about it. She is loving kindergarten and I think part of why she is doing well is because she doesn’t have to rest in the afternoon. She was soooo resistant to nap time that it became a big power struggle in the spring. I’m relieved that’s over and I'm so proud of all the reading and math progress she's making and her curiosity and enthusiasm about everything she's learning. It's adorable.

And Coco’s teacher had all good things to say about her. It was so nice that I nearly cried. Coco loves school so much and it was reassuring to hear that she’s busy and happy and social and uses her words to stand up for herself but is kind to others and eager for more advanced work (she basically wants to be a kindergartener). Her teacher had no concerns and it feels good to know that no matter how many parenting decisions I question and second guess, I think my kids are where they belong during the day. I love the way they seem to be valued and appreciated and enjoyed by their teachers.

After the conference today, Coco fell asleep on the way home and couldn’t rally for dinner.

Zuzu and I left her at home with D and we went to a vigil for hope and healing at our church. I brought both girls with me a few weeks ago (when it was much warmer!) and they had a great time playing and sitting on the front steps coloring in coloring books. It was colder and darker tonight, but Zuzu was excited about going and she wanted to hold a sign. I thought she would choose “Standing on the Side of Love” because she’s a sucker for hearts, but she wanted Black Lives Matter (I think because we talked a lot about that last time).

My little activist! May the arc of history bend toward justice.

Truth be told, she only stood with us for a few minutes, and then entertained herself coloring and playing in the warm church. But she was super excited about the whole event. It’s such a small thing, to stand around and hold a sign. But it felt meaningful and uplifting nonetheless. I’m glad I did it (though I wish I’d worn a hat!) and I’m glad Zuzu sees me participate in this.

I got home to a warm and cozy house (yay for gas fireplaces!) and put away clean laundry while Zuzu finished her coloring project (she takes her art very seriously). David took charge of a remarkably smooth bedtime for Zuzu (Coco was already in bed after waking briefly while we were gone to eat her peanut butter and Nutella on graham cracker), and then I soaked in an epsom salt bath with a mystery novel and a glass of wine. It was the perfect end to a pretty good day.

The news is so bad, you guys. The political climate is insanity and one of my friends from high school who I always thought was a cool, liberal guy has a different opinion than mine about a hot button issue and it’s weirdly bumming me out. But other high school friends of mine are awesome people. And we met neighbors in our new neighborhood who are very nice. And I’m becoming more connected with and energized by people here in St. Louis who are passionate and smart and committed to making the world better. So today is a pretty good day.

I definitely needed that fall break.


  1. Those are all good reasons for feeling a little out of sorts... It gets dark so early these days (even though the temperatures have been pretty summer-like here too), & I always find that a little depressing... and as for the political news...! Anyway, glad you had a nice break & are feeling a little better. :)

  2. I've felt a little bummed lately about being disconnected from people. E is at the stage where she plays with other kids without parents around, which is usually nice but also means that I don't get that interaction with other parents. Also, I haven't been blogging, and a lot of the blogs I read have been pretty quiet.

    On the plus side, I haven't been blogging because I've been really busy with grad school applications, and I'm excited to get started on that. I'm hoping to be a kick-butt feminist role model for someone. My kids? Other stay-at-home moms? I don't know.

    Hang in there. Halloween is the happiest night of the year in our neighborhood and hopefully in yours too!