But each July, the oregano makes a very convincing argument to let it be. As summer starts to tip over towards back to school, the oregano starts to bloom, little compound clusters of purple covering the immense herb bush. And with those purple flowers come an incredible diversity of pollinators.
And so, that first summer, wondering whether outing ourselves as weirdos would earn us a one-way ticket back to the mainland, we donned leotards and wigs, spray-painted water pistols gold, teetered around on platform heels…
Dining out with a toddler can be hard. Let me rephrase that: dining out with a toddler is like dining with an alarm clock, set to an unknown hour, with a centrifuge that activates to fling food in a maximal radius when it goes off.
All right, kid. If you’re chill on stage with us, there’s a little bag of gummy bears in it for you.”
That’s right. Extrinsic motivation for the win, again.
Bill put her back on the paddleboard to distract her, and she sat on the front in stony silence, a disapproving figurehead. As they pulled up alongside me, she wanted to hold my hand. “You swam AWAY from me, Mama,” she said accusingly.
Pen’s friends excitedly lined up at the edge of the pool. When the instructors beckoned them towards the water, Penrose turned from child to koala, clinging fiercely to my leg and whimpering. Five kids gradually entered the pool to practice bobbing and kicking. One child eventually sat with her toes in the water, poking the surface and muttering to herself.
I was a screamer too, and later, getting a shot of Novocaine for an extraction, a kicker. I stopped going to the dentist all together as soon as I was on my own, which led to an extremely unpleasant month of mass cavity fillings a few years later.
For some of my students, a lot of the information and terminology they shared about the gender and sexuality spectra was brand new and even uncomfortable, but when we were all on the floor with a rainbow of markers making posters for the table at Belfast Pride, the fun outweighed the discomfort.
I’m caucasian and Jewish. My ancestors were making a go of it in the Pale of Settlement when the Civil War was raging over here. But I can imagine what seeing images of the Confederacy embraced and exalted by individuals and communities might feel like to someone who does have enslavement in their family history.
I was that kid, that flower munching, rock collecting kid. I spent hours trying to dam up our frog pond and fed my sisters goutweed root, thinking it was Queen Anne’s Lace (oops). Now I want the rocks to stay put for drainage, weeds to stay out of the lawn, and slugs and snails to stop eating the garden.