Well, now, that was a nice weekend. A little work, a little play, a new bike for my darling daughter on the occasion of her birthday, even though it’s two days away. She needed it; the bike she got in the year five was starting to look like something a clown might pedal in the circus. Her new one? Does not. It’s a multi-geared, hand-braked dream, and she’ll be riding it until she’s 12, unless she grows even more than I think she will.
Growth charts are amazing. When she was still a toddler, Dr. Mitch told me she’d top out around 5-foot-7 or so, and that’s what I’m planning on. Not too short but not taller than me, either.
We had spaghetti and meatballs for the birthday dinner. I confess, when Kate was born I had every intention of raising her to be an urban, hip child who eats black beans and capers and smelly cheeses without flinching. Man plans, God laughs, etc. Kate eats…nothing. Bread, cheese, peanut butter, all forms of junk, mandarin oranges, carrots, pasta and that’s about it. (I’m watching a “Nigella Bites” marathon on the Style network as I write this, and every time I see Nigella’s kids tucking into one of her mozzarella Monte Cristo sandwiches I want to throw shoes at the TV.) So spaghetti becomes our default OK-with-adults-and-kids birthday meal, most years. I try to fly under her radar by adding stuff like roasted red pepper and red wine, but it’s always touch and go: “Did you make these pancakes in the same pan as the bacon?” she’ll say, curling her lip in scorn, and I think: Five-seven? If I don’t kill you first.
But the spaghetti was good. The sun was out all weekend, the temperatures chilly, but I took a bike ride anyway; I need to toughen up my wind-chill resistance for winter’s long slog. Hardly anyone was on the path, one of cold weather’s very few advantages. I was free to pedal hard and sing along with the iPod without fear of appearing utterly ridiculous — the older women get, the closer we skate to the crazy-lady-in-purple-with-a-metallic-gold-tote-bag archetype.
Bloggage: Every so often I follow a link off of Amy’s blog, just to see what people on her end of the social-conservative spectrum are up to. Most of the time, I’m not surprised. Other times, I’m merely astonished: I have been through the horrors of post-abortion stress syndrome as a result of my sister’s abortion ten years ago. My symptoms were so severe that I had to quit my job (I worked around children, and would break down and cry on a weekly basis). As my sister’s actions were and remain a secret known only by me and her, I couldn’t explain to anyone what was wrong with me, why I was goiing through such a terrible bout of depression, crying fits… It was a terrible thing to have to live with, and it has only been in the past few months that the symptoms have begun to lift and I have found myself able to begin putting myself back together.
It goes on, and it gets worse — at one point, she fantasizes a “visitation” from her sad aborted niece, and yes, she knows it was a girl, God knows how, although I guess that visitation helped. And then it gets better: I have told my sister about my experiences and while she regrets the abortion she has also told me, flat out, that I am “crazy” and “overdramatic” for having been so effected. At least one member of the family still has an oar in the water. But if you want to know why so many people seem to talk past one another on this issue, this may give you a clue.
Also, remember the Anne Hull WashPost story about the gay teenager growing up in Oklahoma? Here’s a follow-up. Yes, Fred Phelps makes an appearance, but the ending’s an upper.