This year our daughter asked if she could draw the family portrait for our holiday card. She worked very hard and we're proud as heck to share the result.
Hello all. Most of my blogging energy has been absorbed by another project for quite some time now. Otherwise things are pretty much the same here. I've really been enjoying the liberation that comes from never worrying about what the next blog post needs to be about and just making dozens of things that I haven't shared here. But if there are folks out there still interested, I may pop in from time to time to share a few of the things we've been up to.
If there was one thing that got us through that winter, it was chapter books. We rearranged the shelves and boxed up hundreds of picture books and just started binging on more serious reads at bedtime and through those long cooped-up winter days. To all the parents of younger kids out there dedicated to reading those picture books to babies and toddlers every night, let me speak to you from your not-too-distant future: it gets so awesome when you finally put down the picture books and start sharing more demanding stories. That's especially true when you start tearing through your own favorite books from childhood, watching them in their beds painting their own pictures with those words coming from your lips. My wife has read them dozens of novels---new and old---at bedtime over the past few months. And I always end the night with poems to remind them that words can be beautiful even if they don't always make sense, so we've been on a steady diet of Hopkins and Frost and Yeats.
My daughter's favorite book is Roald Dahl's The BFG, which I never read as a kid but she has now finished eight or nine times. It's about this massive-eared "Big Friendly Giant" who comes to kids windows at night and blows dreams into their ears with a long trumpet-like horn. For a girl who has always had some anxiety about sleep, there seems to be comfort in the story of a goofball giant who brings sweet dreams and banishes nightmares and who farts (whizpops) a lot after drinking his favorite drink (frobscottle) and speaks in a hilariously confused English. For her birthday I decided to make her a BFG doll for her bed just to make sure she always has good dreams. I did some research about how dolls are made and taught myself to use my wife's sewing machine, and it took a great deal of courage to overcome my fear of losing whatever shred of masculinity I had left. I think it all drifted away like silvery waves of gossamer while I crouched over that machine sewing pants for a naked bald-headed man doll.