Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas

This MiW has been MIA, but I'm still here, mothering and working and generally just trying to get through each day with the children fed and at the right places at the right times. It's been a crazy, crazy fall/early winter, with a job I still adore but which has been seriously overwhelming this year (enrollment changes, overworked staff) and two kids in travel basketball. (That's two different teams, practices at least twice a week at two different times and two different locations, and away tournaments most weekends.)

A few glimpses into our days:

Genevieve (age 10) was asked to be the elementary-student speaker at the annual all-school-district employee appreciation breakfast for my work on the day before Thanksgiving. She gave a speech about the highlights of her elementary-school years to a packed auditorium of adults (teachers and school-district administration and staff) and wowed everyone to such a degree that people are still stopping me at work now and then to tell me how amazed by her they were. I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "She is really something!" or "I can tell she's got a big personality!" or "She is a force of nature!" (or, my favorite, "I bet it's a daily adventure, being that one's mom!") Um, yes. I could not have been more proud. Afterward, I took the girls out for milkshakes at Caribou to celebrate.

We ran the Turkey Trot again this year!

Only Julia had time to train at ALL, so it was all the more exciting (to us only, no one else cared ;) ) that all three of us ran the entire thing with no walk breaks. We had so much fun, as always.

Oh, "Hamilton." I'm obsessed. Just as obsessed as every other obsessed fan you've ever heard of or met. People discover this show, this star, and they are absolutely gone. It's inevitable. It's universal. Does anyone discover "Hamilton" and not go absolutely crazy for it? Lin-Manuel Miranda has my heart. I have been listening to the soundtrack nonstop since October. My family is sick of it. My children have learned allllllll the swear words because of it. (Oops! But they're funny, and context-appropriate.) I'm embarrassed to admit how many times my neighbors have probably seen me out for evening walks with earbuds in, wiping away tears because "It's Quiet Uptown" just played and only a statue or a robot could hear that song and know the context behind it and not cry. Neighbors: I'm OK. I'm just listening to "Hamilton." 

What happened was, I was at home alone redoing my daughters' bedrooms  and PBS aired a brilliant, beautifully-produced documentary about the musical. By chance, I had it on in the background while I was putting together furniture. I went nutso for it. Game over. Unfortunately for you, the documentary is no longer available for online viewing without a PBS membership. I watched it three times before it went away and, because it's likely the closest I'll ever get to procuring tickets to the actual musical (so many good clips from the show!), I have seriously considered becoming a PBS member solely to gain access to this documentary again. I would probably watch it daily, though, and I don't have time for that, so....maybe not.

In support of my obsession, my friend Rob gave me a copy of the amazing, best-selling biography of Alexander Hamilton that started it all. It's 800 pages long. I'm working my way through it a few pages at a time, routinely shaking my head in disbelief at this man's life. Who knew? The guy on the ten-dollar bill! WHO KNEW. His life story is insane. I have cried reading this, and I'm only 200 pages in. It has helped me cope with the results of the presidential election. No joke.

And with all that, I will leave you with thoughts of holiday sweets, full Christmas stockings, and happy hearts. There is a lot of tragedy in the world--impoverished orphans left to their own devices at age 12 and Trump being the new U.S. President, to name a couple--but sometimes those tragedies turn into something else, years later. See Hamilton, if you want an example.

Keep the faith! Carry on! Merry Christmas.

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