I can has time? Also, immigration

Hi friends!

Well. All I can say is I’m sorry I haven’t been writing. I miss it, but I literally haven’t had the time to post. We went on vacation for a week, and we’re also in the process of buying a house and trying to sell our current home. This of course involves packing and moving and cleaning and mounds of paperwork. And I’m also teaching a Poetry Workshop right now, gearing up for another Latin Camp, trying to think about organizing my materials for my classes starting up in the fall… oh yeah, and I’m a full-time SAHM, too. And we’ve got more changes afoot than even all that entails! So… my plate has been just a wee bit full. Just a wee bit.

I have been nominated for some lovely awards and challenges, and I can’t wait to dig in and participate. I’ve got posts in the works for those things, but I just can’t find time to sit down and complete them yet; hopefully, after the move, things will settle down just enough for me to start finishing them. For right now, I just want you to know how much I continue to appreciate the follows, likes, comments, and encouragement! You all are just lovely.

Finally, even though I can’t contribute much of my own material to the important dialogues going on right now, I’d like to share a few things that I’ve read that have been super helpful and informative for me as I process the issue of immigration in America this week–particularly the issues surrounding children. If this isn’t a gritty problem, I’m not sure what is, and I bet all of you feel the same.

So, in an effort to promote bipartisanship, facts-with-less-hype, and a heart for the other less fortunate, here’s what I’ve been reading:

What You Need to Know About Families Separated at the Border – a calm, collected, compassionate, fair, and useful report by Matthew Soerens, the US Director for Church Mobilization for World Relief, a non-profit started after WWII to provide humanitarian aid to refugees. They also published a very helpful infographic, which I’m sharing here and encourage you to share widely as well:

The Immigration Facts on Separated Families

The Making of an Online Moral Crisis – Alexis Madrigal gives a remarkably thorough summary and analysis of all the information (and misinformation) that has exploded over the national consciousness on this issue… and a succinct meditation on how some of the most nightmarish things actually have the power to pull us together, not drive us apart.

Tattoo – a classmate of mine from Mike Pence’s alma mater wrote this account of friendship with an illegal immigrant. If you’ve never met one, please allow Ben to introduce you.

As I think of all it will take to move my babies five minutes across town in the next few weeks, I’m brought up short at the thought of single parents who have moved mountains of terror and death to bring their children to a new home in our country… only to have those children ripped away.

I’m not ashamed of my privilege, but I sure as heck am not going to keep it to myself.

If you live in the U.S., please call and write your congresspeople to help give these children and their parents a taste of the freedoms and safety we enjoy without thinking every day. World Relief has a very easy to use, no-strings-attached petition and email form to help you do just that. Remind our leaders that human rights have no borders, and that the future of these children could impact us all. If we’re that worried about terrorism, let’s not give them a personal reason to hate us.

A 2-year-old seeks asylum with her mother at the border.

(John Moore/Getty Images)

 

–GM

 

Stomach Bug = Couch Noir

Today we lost an entire couch to a stomach bug and my own stupidity. Well, perhaps a few people’s stupidity. Who sews top and bottom cushions right onto a couch so that it’s impossible to clean spills out of the side cracks??!?

Probably the same sort of people who put their tummy-achy four-year-old to lie facedown in the corner of it with no underlying tarp or accompanying puke bucket, that’s who.

That was a definite failure in my career of motherhood so far.

Goodbye, paisley brown puffy couch. You served us well for nearly six years, despite the numerous holes you developed in your upholstery and the copious cat clawings along your backside. You hid every stain so well, saw me through diaper blowouts, baby spit-up, endless hours of nursing, and countless naps. My boys loved flopping on you in a heap and snuggling up to watch their favorite shows or read books together.

Despite how often I complained that you were too large for our living space and really needed a cover, I had no idea how grateful I was for you until my son’s stomach acid irrevocably saturated your innards.

It’s been a good run. We’ll miss you.

It was too dark to take a proper photo... so, couch noir.

This is the underside of my couch.

It is very wet with rain.

–GM

 

I love my little garden!

Beautiful Grit

We had our first perfect spring day today, and, thus, a good handful of hours outside in the grit!

But this morning Eyes was still finishing up what appears to have been a 24-hour virus (fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy), so I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it out. By 11 a.m., however, his fever seemed to be gone. I figured any contagions he might still be sporting would have little impact on an outdoor play environment, so we packed into the car to run a couple simple errands (dropping off books at the library and junk at Goodwill) before snagging lunch from a drive-through (I should have made PB&J but, as is typical, lacked the discipline to economize on either cash or calories) and schlepping it to the park in the middle of town.

We picnicked on fried potatoes and chicken at a bench in the shade, which was enough to prompt Eyes’s appetite back to a semblance of normal (though still not quite; he only ate 2 nuggets instead of 3, no fruit pouch, and somewhat fewer fries than his norm). Then we clambered all over the wooden fun fort. J is making great strides in his leg strength, dexterity, and courage: he’s tackling the tire ramps all by himself, up AND down, with no help! He actually climbed on some that had no rails to hold onto today. I was very impressed–this is well outside of his comfort zone! I really feel that the dance class we did together was the kick-off point for motivating him to move and use his body in new and different ways that allow him to explore and discover his own physicality and that of the world around him. What a fabulous $30 investment! Anyway, I wish I had pictures of that, but I was too busy chasing Eyes around to think of it. I do have a few others of our playtime, though (from today mostly, but the first one is from a couple days ago when the weather was also nice, though not quite so perfect–there was a great little breeze today!):

Eyes and J on the tire swing

Climbing fun at the park!

Then we went to the lawn/garden accent shop and picked up some stepping stones for my little front garden plot. After I got them in this afternoon, they really just pulled it all together in the most pleasing way. I was so satisfied with it I had to take pictures to share:

new stepping stones!I love my little garden!

J also had a lot of fun trying to hop from stone to stone, or, more successfully, taking long steps from one stone to the other. Another great dexterity and strength exercise for him! Double win. 🙂 And after I got the stones in, I transplanted three baby strawberry plants into some planters that had previously held a pathetic experiment in growing daffodils indoors. I took out the bulbs to give to a friend; I already have plenty daffodils in my garden plot. I also transplanted an indoor amaryllis I had and replaced it with a strawberry plant. J sorta-helped by entertaining himself while I worked (I did this mostly while Eyes napped), watering some flowers and a section of porch, and carefully not spilling much dirt when he asked to help dig. We got nice and grubby.

Speaking of grubby, this account would not be complete if I didn’t relate to you how, upon our arrival home earlier, I stripped Eyes down to his diaper before setting him on a chair and washing his hands at the sink (his clothes were filthy from the park). After the hand-washing, I figured I’d just change his (wet but not dirty) diaper while he stood there and played with a bowl of water in the sink. So I took his diaper off, ran to get a few wipes to clean the dirt off his bottom (which had fallen down inside the diaper), checked on his brother (who was in the bathroom doing his own business), and came back to find the expected: pee all over the chair, kitchen cabinet, and the floor.

Really, this would not be a Gritty Momma story without bodily fluids, would it? Dirt just isn’t enough. Eyes had to make a personal contribution. I don’t have pictures of this. 🙂

Then Mimi and Papa came over for dinner this evening, and at one point the boys ended up on the couch with Mimi, all snuggled up watching a video on her phone. It was too adorable not to capture. I just love how Eyes plunked his chubby cheeks down on her tummy without a second thought.

J and Eyes snuggling with Mimi

That’s all for today! I hope everyone is having as beautifully gritty a spring as we are this week. Love,

–GM