Tag Archives: Colorado

Let Us All Be Safe

My favorite memories of Christmas are those spent at my grandmother’s house in Colorado when I was a little girl.   Every morning I would wake to see the snow covered mountains outside my bedroom window and snuggle deeper beneath the warmth and weight of the woolen blankets on my bed.  The smell of freshly baked orange buns and cinnamon rolls filled the air.  I grew up in Northern California not far from the Pacific ocean, so snow was a novelty and cause for great excitement.  The thrill of being in the mountains in Colorado during Christmas was something I anticipated with great excitement and impatience.   My grandmother always bought my sister and I a dirndl, the traditional German dress, to wear on Christmas eve, while my father, who was Swiss wore a pair of black leather lederhosen with white socks embroidered with green foliage, worn with black velvet slippers and a black or red cashmere turtleneck sweater.  Picture the Sound of Music with Christopher Plummer as my father and me as the youngest child, Gretyl and you get an image of how we looked on Christmas eve, though the similarities pretty much stop there.

When I had my two children I had an idea that I would dress them in lederhosen  and a dirndl, and over the Christmas holidays I would stay up late making yeast breads of various kinds and baking them early the next morning so that my children could have similar memories.  However this never came to be, though Em would probably love wearing a dirndl as she loves dressing up, just as I did when I was her age.   But as a parent I’ve learned that many of my memories do not need to be repeated, that my children will have their own memories and that they do not match mine is as it should be.  I have come to see that this is a good thing.   I had so many ideas about what it was going to be like to be a parent and almost all those ideas have proven wrong in the best possible way.  Letting go of my ideas about how anything should be has been a great gift, not just in parenting, but in life.  I did not come to this easily or without a fight.  And I still forget this truth often.

But I am grateful when I remember.   There is so much I cannot control.  In fact the only thing I have within my control is my own behavior.  I keep coming back to that over and over again.  I cannot control other people’s memories or behavior or prejudices or actions.  The only person I have any control over is me.  For today, let me behave well.  Let me be kind, loving and generous.  Let me give more than I take.  Let me help more than hinder.  Let me be the parent my children need and not the one I thought I should/would/was supposed to be.  And let us all be safe.

December 2009

xmas family-09

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Posting Under Pressure

I’m working on a post of my interview with Henry and Kamila Markram when I was in Jerusalem attending the ICare4Autism Conference.  Henry and Kamila Markram are the neuroscientist team who created The Intense World Theory For Autism.  I am trying to finish that for tomorrow’s post.  However, Em is up right now and insisting I made cake with her and that takes precedence over this post getting written.   Besides she has a timer which she’s just set for fifteen minutes.  She started with three minutes, but I’ve negotiated for the fifteen, so I’ve got just enough time to post these photos…

Say hello to Walter.  Yup, he’s one of three bucks who lives next to the barn.  And yes, my cousins named him…  Walter, after my grandfather.  Yeah, I know.  It is a specific sense of humor.  And yes it appears it is genetic.

The teepee that has been on the property since the 70’s or maybe even the 60’s, I can’t remember.  I just know it’s been here almost as long as I have been on this earth.

The dogs – Folgen & Gaia – who love nothing more than to have their frisbee thrown to them.  Emma likes it when I throw their frisbee too.  They just don’t like giving it back to me so that I can throw it again.  Which leads to lots of yelling, “Drop it!  Drop the frisbee!”  And then they do this…

And when they’ve had enough running after the frisbee they take it far away and guard it.  Like this.

We have been playing some massive games of Duck, duck, goose and even Granma has started to run when picked.  My brother and sister-in-law are here so  the game has become a nightly event with lots of laughter and shouting, “Hurry, hurry, SIT, SIT!”

Emma waits to be chosen…

Nic has mastered the art of driving the 4-Wheeler and now takes Em around the ranch.

Em takes the Alien swimming

Whew!  That’s it, I’ve got 42 seconds to hit the “Publish” button!

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The Aftermath

Richard and I returned from Jerusalem and the icare4autism conference Friday evening.  It was so good to see Emma again after being away for an entire week. The three of us spent the weekend in NYC and then flew to Colorado where we were reunited with Nic (whom I haven’t seen in a month) looked after by my doting and wonderful mother.  I have at least three hours of recordings from the conference to transcribe.  I must write about the conference in greater detail, I have a great deal of work to do for my business, the one that actually brings in money, and I want and need to spend time with my family.  I’m tired.  That’s what I keep thinking.  But there’s more to it than that and I haven’t figured out yet what that exactly means.  There’s panic.  How am I going to get everything done?  But there’s something else, something I haven’t put my finger on yet.

It’s 4 AM (I’ve been up since 3) but you could tell me it was 1 in the afternoon and I’m so turned around I’d just nod my head.  So rather than say any more I’ll end with this – a little scene from last night.

Em:  Play duck, duck, goose?

Me:  Yeah, okay.

Em:  With you (points to me) and me (points to herself) and Nicky and Daddy and Granma?

My mother: What’s duck, duck, goose?

Nic:  You’ll see.

Everyone sits at the dining room table as Emma stands waiting. 

Em:  (Going around the table, while placing her hand on each person’s head)  Snow.  Snow.  Snow.  Snow.

My mother:  Should I do something?

Nic:  No Granma.  You have to wait.  She’ll say something different.

Em:  (Grinning, pats Granma on the head)  Raining!

Richard:  Oh no!  Emmy you have to pick someone else, Granma can’t run.

My mother:  (Looking horrified) I’m suppose to run?

Me:  (Laughing)  Yes, you’re suppose to run after her.

Em: (With mischievous grin)  Granma run?

Richard:  No, Emmy pick someone else, Granma can’t run.

Em: (Continues to go around the table) Snow. Snow.  (Puts hand on Richard’s head and hesitates.  Then shouts)  Raining!

This game continued for several rounds with Emma occasionally directing when things weren’t going as she felt they should.

Em:  Okay.  Last time for duck, duck, goose.  

When she’d finished going around the table, picked someone and after lots of screaming and laughing my mother said, “That was a great game!”

Em:  Play again?  (Looks around the table grinning)  Okay, okay, later.  Play duck, duck, goose later.  Tomorrow.

It’s good to be home.

Em on the High Line Sunday