A tribute to baby’s first lessons in queer theory

November 20, 2013 Comments Off on A tribute to baby’s first lessons in queer theory

Charlotte Zolotow died yesterday at age 98. (Honestly, I am not intending to turn my blog into an obits column, but I read the obituaries daily and frequently I’m reminded of how life is composed of the labor, stories, and art created by others.)
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For anyone who grew up on Free To Be… You and Me, you know that William Wants a Doll was major for learning to deconstruct gender norms and to break out of rigid boxes at an early age. William Wants a Doll was a song inspired by the story, William’s Doll, written by Charlotte Zolotow and published in 1972. I was born seven years later and never knew a world without William’s Doll. Now I know I have Charlotte Zolotow to thank (and my mom for playing the Free to Be record throughout my early years).

I love what Charlotte Zolotow said about children and grown-ups: “We are all the same, except that adults have found ways to buffer themselves against the full-blown intensity of a child’s emotions.”

She added, “We are not different from the children we were — only more experienced, better able to disguise our feelings from others, if not ourselves.”

Although we carry many of her books in the library where I work, Zolotow was not known to me until I read her obituary. Thank you for creating and leading a quiet revolution.

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Rest

October 27, 2013 Comments Off on Rest

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For many months after Zevi was born, we played Lou Reed’s Hudson River Meditations piece, Move Your Heart on a loop during the night to help her sleep. This meditation is 28 minutes and 56 seconds. According to my iTunes, we played the piece 1,921 times. There were nights when I thought I might throw up from listening to Move Your Heart. This is to say Lou Reed has been pervasive, ever-present, always here. In every part of my life in relation to music, Lou Reed has existed. Intellectual, academic, smart musician, I am so sad to say goodbye and so thankful for you. You are and forever will be part of my family’s narrative. Thank you.

Happy birthday, babies!

September 22, 2013 Comments Off on Happy birthday, babies!

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Today our beautiful chunk, Ezra turned two months. Tomorrow, his brilliant big sister turns twenty months.

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We finished off an action-packed, celebratory weekend with some relaxing time in McGolrick.

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So proud of my babies and excited to find out more about who these two people are. Happy birthday, Ezra!

Square Root

September 8, 2013 Comments Off on Square Root

Big changes are happening all around us right now. This morning we said goodbye to my parents who have been staying a few blocks away from us for the past ten weeks. Tomorrow will be my first day without any help at home with my two children. The weather is cooling down; leaves are falling from the trees. Rosh Hashanah is here again.

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We decided to bake challah with Zevi and Ezra this afternoon.

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Zevi was an excellent bakers’ assistant. She helped us knead the dough.

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And she volunteered to taste the unbaked loaves.

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While the loaves rose, we met up with old friends in the park for some afternoon exploring.

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On our walk home, I spotted a license plate that seemed to be made for us in this moment.

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Upon our return, our loaves had more than doubled in size.

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The challah came out perfectly.

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This is Zevi and Ezra’s first experience baking bread. I’m looking forward to many more baking sessions as markers of time.

Cleanest hippies ever

August 31, 2013 Comments Off on Cleanest hippies ever

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My friend, Rick accused Joe and me of being hippies when he found out that we didn’t give Zevi a bath (beyond sponging her down) until she was three months old. Judging by how Ezra’s size, he could be a three-month old, but he’s only five and a half weeks and today he enjoyed his first bath.

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He was as mellow as could be, as though bathing was just another part of his daily routine.

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Squeaky clean. I do love him so.

All around the town

August 18, 2013 Comments Off on All around the town

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On a drizzly summer’s day when not much is going on and everyone needs to spend some time outside of the house,

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why not take the kids on their first bus trip around the neighborhood?

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After hearing that song about the wheels and the wipers and the driver and the doors and the babies and the mommas and the papas for so long, it was time for Zevi and Ezra to stop watching the buses go by and to start riding them.

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Then when everyone started to get antsy, we hopped off at the next bus stop, and had another adventure before heading back home.

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Goodbye, B43. See you again soon. Maybe next time Ezra will wake up for part of the adventure.

Bright lights, big city farm

August 2, 2013 Comments Off on Bright lights, big city farm

To celebrate Joseph’s birthday, we took our first field trip as a family of four to Queens County Farm Museum.

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The farm is the longest continuously farmed area in New York State and only a twenty-five minute drive from our home. Plus, it’s free to visit.

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We got to see goats, sheep, cows, alpaca, pigs, and chickens.

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Mostly, Ezra slept through the trip.

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We’d never been to the farm museum before today; now we can’t wait to go back.

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