Sunday, December 16, 2012

We Walked in the Rain to Breakfast at the Bookstore and a Meeting with a Right Jolly Old Elf

Aliza found a book to add to her Christmas list, and Alexander got half way through a book I'm not going to buy him (latest 'Negative-Outdated-Adjective-Meaning-Less-Than-Athletic' Kid book), while we waited for our number to come up on the little electronic board on the front of Santa's gingerbread house.
This Hobbit display was set up in the middle of the outdoor mall.  
The posters were all lenticular, so the characters appeared to turn and watch you as you walked around.  There were also various props in big plexiglass cases -- which seemed somewhat less magical after Aliza noticed the "made in China" label on the bottom of Gandalf's staff, and we realized these were reproductions.  
Still: Thorin's key! The map! The Ring!  
We have one more chapter left before we reach the place in the book 
where the movie will leave off.  
I'm hoping to find a non-3D, early-in-the-day screening next weekend.
Next in line to see Santa
(he was the one who wanted to go this morning, 

but he wouldn't have gone if she hadn't agreed to go with him)

As they walked away, Santa said to Ander, "I like your hat."
And Ander said, "Thank you.  I like yours."

A good day.

A misty-moisty, scarf-and-hat, cracklin'-fire, fondue-eating, gift-making, doll-playing, out-loud-reading, just-the-four-of-us day.  

Was this double-plus-cozy weekend marred by the talks we had to have -- separately, a day apart -- with Alexander and Aliza?  Or was it oddly burnished?  I'm not sure, but I certainly felt more present, more aware, and intensely grateful.  

Also, horribly guilty at having to sap some of Aliza's innocence.  But -- hopefully -- it is better coming from us than some kid whose parent let CNN run all weekend.

Alexander was solemn, and concerned about me.  He is eleven.  He has learned about the World Trade Center from Maira Kalman (and me), and a bit about the Holocaust from Harry Potter (and me).  He knows there is bad bad stuff in the world, but he has Ideas about how to improve Things.  He is a radical optimist, and he reminded me of this quote from Doctor Who:
The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant. 
Aliza had lots and lots of questions (we tried to be vague, and she was having none of it), and admitted that the day went from feeling very happy to very sad.  She is only jussssssst growing out of a pretty serious fear of hovering police helicopters, flashing police lights, and school lockdowns (a common occurrence when she was in kindergarten).  The information we imparted today just gave form to all her amorphous worries.  So.

So we spent a lot of time under quilts and wrapped around and intertwined with each other.  And we talked and talked about how safe she is, how we will always always always be there to keep her safe and teach her how to keep herself safe.  I'm not certain she believes us 100% (could she sense that I was mentally knocking on wood?).  

She is sleeping in our bed right now.  

I am so grateful to have her there.


  1. It makes me sad that she would have to go through lockdowns in kindergarten. The scariest thing my daughter had to deal with at that age was an earthquake. No lockdowns until middle school.

    My son has an anxiety disorder, when he was younger what helped was to go through various scenarios, a bit of "What would happen if.." We had a nightly ritual of going through whichever ones were on his mind. (Fires and burglaries were on high rotation. Illnesses and injuries in cats and family members were way up there too.) Now that he's older (14)it would seem that he is usually able to process these worries himself but at times like this we still have a lot of talks.

    I wish we could protect our kiddos from all of this, I wish there was no "this" to protect them from.

    1. for the adults, the lockdowns were an annoyance but not so 'real' -- as an urban campus a block off the touristy end of Hollywood Blvd, it was L.A. Unified's policy with the LAPD to have a lockdown whenever anything happened in a (x)-mile radius. so a purse-snatching on Hollywood or -- on one occasion -- a fox in a nearby tree could be cause for a full-on lockdown... but for the younger students, having to come off the playground, lock the doors and move away from the windows was understandably upsetting.

      i will absolutely use your 'possible scenario' tactic, dear greebly. you are so right that it is often -- for certain kids -- the big, wide unknown that is scariest of all.

      love to you all....

  2. That is a stellar hat :)

    1. "Thank you! I try to keep all my hats stellar..." he says.