Ballerina Austronaut

Twenty years ago, if I had been blogging, I would have been writing about riding an elephant through opium fields in Thailand, or finding my way off a sinking ship in Cambodia, or teaching English to Tibetan refugees in India.

Ten years ago, I might have blogged about rock-climbing every weekend or forming the fabulous coalition that brought bike-lanes to my Connecticut town.

Now, my joys seem more mundane. Watching Sophie eating jello can be a highlight of my day. Really, it may be more joyful than riding an elephant through Thailand, and it may be more meaningful than rock-climbing, although even I will admit it’s probably far less exciting blog-fodder. But, really, have you ever really watched a toddler enjoying jello? It’s hard to convey the unadulterated delight.

It’s also certainly a different chapter of my life. Seeing the flowers we planted start to bloom, dancing in Soph & Ben’s recently-started tradition of an after-dinner mosh-pit, getting a few morning hours to myself to simply walk on the beach, listening to Soph narrate a playground game she has invented and named ballerina astronaut: these are my quotidian joys these days.

Even figuring out the little mom-puzzles is fun. My latest question: how do you respond gracefully when another mom says, “Your daughter’s artwork is so much better than my daughter’s artwork” — especially when this observation happens to be true? How do you accept compliments on behalf of your child, without being obnoxious about it — or how do you express humility without confusing your child?

I am glad my life has had all the chapters it has. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that this latest, most-mundane chapter is satisfying, and perplexing, and rewarding in ways I never expected.

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