July 25, 2014

Specialization


I’m a drifter.  I have lots of interests that are pretty different from each other (some because they are different).  I’ve always kind of felt like that was a good thing (int the well-rounded/open-minded direction) but it does mean I'm not really great at any one thing.

It’s partially that I find experts and/or subject matter evangelists (is there a difference?) are so off putting.  Nothing kills a budding interest like someone who eats/sleeps/breaths/won’t shut up about this thing until you join the cult.  I don't think it's that I don’t want to work hard or that I’m particularly afraid of failure (I don’t think?).  Perhaps it’s a commitment thing?  Or maybe I don’t have the attention span for most things.  I donno.  Or maybe I’m just a quitter.  

But it is not the world for drifters.  Everyone is so specialized; stay at home mom that is tirelessly nurturing day and night or business executive or designer that eats/sleeps/breaths design.  No one want’s the 78th best expert on xyz- 2nd really is just the first looser.  And I don't want to be the person that does a lot of things badly.   Like in my industry when everyone has been programming since they were 8 and never want to even talk about anything else.  I have to admit, it does make for good engineers.

The problem is lately my day dreams have been getting so ambitious.  Like I’m just catching on that this is it and it’s going by really fast and I always knew I wanted to do/be these amazing things eventually but saying “someday” is a death sentence.  It’s funny that now I’m feeling ambitious because I also now know that all those “basics” I took for granted being easy when I was younger (raising a good kid, having a healthy marriage, holding down a good job)- they actually can be really difficult and so not a given.

Poor David has born the brunt of my newfound ambition.  I catch myself harping on him about refining some process like parking the car (or something equally stupid) and thinking "... how could I have thought that was important?"  I'm like an over caffeinated coxswain with no direction.

So I guess I should go ahead and pick a direction.

July 22, 2014

Aiden says


  • I stopped nursing a bit ago (insert huge sigh of relief) and Aiden has almost completely forgotten but every once in a while he'll stop and look at me and say matter of fact-ly: "No more boobies" as he shakes his head.

  • He's got jokes!  We were on the sidewalk just taking a break with the skateboard/scooter when Aiden pipes up "Dexter (our dog) skateboard?"  This is followed by a short dramatic pause then "Nnnnnnooooooo!" while he grinned at how ridiculous and silly the thought was.

  • He's started counting: "duex, sept, nang, dix, nine, dis..."  There is no order and about a third English, a third French, a third gibberish.  He also pokes the air for emphasis.  

  • David brought him by the office the other day to say hi and I asked him if I could have a kiss.  He said "No!" and started to skate off but then immediately stopped, backed up, and gave me a dramatic kiss.

  • At our friends the other night he was enamored with the play kitchen.  He kept trying to eat the plastic food until someone would remind him it's just pretend at which point he would get this look like Ooooooh.  This explains so much!   Then he would proceed to pretend eat it saying "nom, nom, nom."

  • He repeats all kinds of things that don't make sense, usually whatever we end a sentence with.  Like I say "I like it when you don't whine.  Can you say that nicely?" and he says "Nicely!"

  • When you meet Aiden these days (or even if you just happen to be passing by on the sidewalk) there's a good chance he's going to give you a run down of 1) his ouchies  2) his tattoos.

July 20, 2014

Summer time in the city


Summer in a city is such a unique thing.  It feels like a much more stark contrast in Seattle when it's so dark and dreary and everyone hibernates in the winter.   Because then the summer comes with it's beautiful weather and EVERYONE goes outside, drinking it up.  

Sometimes it feels odd to me to be in such close proximity to so many people.  Even if I've been living in cities for a while now (5-ish years), it feels crowded.  But in the summer, our apartment is so hot.  And given how much I whine about the rain in the winter, I feel it's bad karma to also whine about the sun in summer.  So instead, we go outside.  No matter the weather, that's really where Aiden wants to be anyway.

I grew up in the country and in a pretty small town. We went hiking and camping and ran wild in the neighborhood until dark.  Really, I remember my parents carouse around with the neighbor kids assuming we'd stay within shouting distance and/or come back before dark.  But the city is so different.  We don't have a yard and there are cars and other dangers everywhere so running wild is not really an option.  Sure we have a nice courtyard were we can grill and throw parties but we also try to let the city become our living room.  For instance, Aiden learned to scooter on the sidewalk instead of our driveway and we picnic in the park instead of our yard.

It used to feel like a fishbowl- like there was always someone observing.  But lately I realized it is also really cool how it allows us to connect with strangers.  We see the same people out often- the cafe owner below our building, the guy who parks next to us, the outgoing little girl Aiden's age who lives across the way- some have become great friends.  And that really is the side benefit of living in cities- whatever the opposite of lonely is, it feels like that.

Aiden's new part time job as lemonade assistant
Fresh fruit
Playing with the neighbors
Sidewalk chalk breaks 
Flowers even in the smallest spaces
More fresh produce
Playing in the ocean
Relaxing on the beach
Conquering the sidewalks with the scooter