Stepping Up My Game

Pitifully wide gaps in between blogging, but that's what I get for ruminating on things that aren't really bloggable. I still write the entries in my head, and then I try to imagine some future (or current) employer reading my words and I stop before I reach the keyboard. This is one of my favorite, and most energetic, summers on record. "One of those rare times when it's amazing on all fronts," I told my neighbor this morning. Some of the growth is painful, but that's OK. I think it's worth it to feel so alive, grateful for every little thing.

Grateful, but not, of course, without angst. One distinct theme this summer has been how startlingly depressing it can appear to have children in an urban environment. People are working, the kids are being looked after all day by bored grandmothers, or worse, frustrated mothers, parents come home and cram in time with the kids, or have more time with the kids but badly miss their lives and friends, and it just doesn't look fun. I wish it looked more appealing, or do-able, but it looks scary. There are so many ways that children can become part of our culture, but in an urban environment, they are really marginalized. People don't bring their kids to work enough, I think, don't know how to teach them restaurant manners so they feel they can go out, hesitate to bring them on public transportation and hesitate to have a squadron of teenagers to provide babysitting on Saturday nights. It doesn't seem great for anyone; kids, parents and culture included. Instead, children draw their parents out of the life stream they were in, and everyone gets more isolated.

That's this summer: I vacillate from existential crisis about death, sex and rebirth back to the nitty gritty of childcare. And in between, we visit nearby ponds and Blue picks up frogs bigger than I've ever seen and water snakes travel around our ankles and we watch the king birds, the hawks, the orange monarch butterflies; plan our garden for next spring.