Wednesday, July 18, 2012

bears, babes & hot springs

:: Today:
I don't like to lie to my kids.  I might gloss over some harder truths, and I LOVE to play along in pretend play, but most truths we don't hide from our kids.  We want them to know where their food comes from.  We want them to know the price paid.  We do not hide Life, and we do not hide Death.  Juniper has seen dead turkeys, fish, deer and antelope.  But more recently, while visiting relatives in West Virginia, she saw a dead bear.  The bear that bit our car met his end by my father-in-law (like it or not, it's part of his job).  Juniper got to see that bear, his sharp claws, his long teeth, his soft pads.  Since then--and even before--she has been obsessed with bears.  She both loves bears and finds them frightening (but really, don't we all?).  She has two stuffed bears--a black bear and a polar bear--and most nights she cuddles them tightly.  Other nights, she chucks them out of bed and insists they sleep in the living room.  Anyway.  Our library has a huge stuffed teddy bear about three times the size of J-bug.  Today, she walked in, ran to the bear, hefted up his slumped head and said, "I want a knife to kill the bear!"  I glanced around, cleared my throat and said, "Oh, no, this isn't the bear that bit our car, this is a friendly bear.  He needs kisses and hugs."  I have been trying to nurture her gentler side.
:: Tonight:
Hazel Iris.  She flaps her wings so hard she might just take off and fly before she learns to crawl.  While nursing, she palms her scalp and grabs her own hair.  In swimming lessons, she kicks for all she's worth.  When I ask, "Where's mama's nose?" she grabs my nose.  Or mouth.  Or ear.  She prefers to be heard and tonight she said, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  Aaaaaaah dadadadada."  Love this babe.  This is my favorite baby stage: post-newborn, pre-crawling.  
:: Weekending:
I am a planner.  But I'm also a do-it-now kind of gal.  My least favorite word combination: "When I retire..."  I don't like to say no to something I want NOW.  But.  Our summers are short and mine started with a long list and a full calendar.  There are a few things I've had to back away from, to make room for this:
We packed the girls into the truck and sailed our camper 45 miles down the road.    
Our old stomping grounds.  Back in the day (six years ago? eight?) I climbed this peak^ with girlfriends and dogs.  
Twelve years ago my new boyfriend and I had a romantic, moonlit soak in the secret hot springs just below these falls.  Now, that boyfriend and I have a jammied kid walking the rocks after breakfast.
Waterfalls, camping, hot springs-swimming, hiking, fishing, mmmmm.  

It had been on our calendar for months, scheduled just after visiting relatives left and well before our next flight: potty train Juniper.  I have some theories on why she was such a rock star but in a nutshell: she daytime potty trained in 2 hours and full-time (day & night) in 24 hours.  She is a full-time undies girl.  (And sometimes poops with a view.)
I will never stop loving bare monkey feet dangling at my hip:

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