In Amsterdam, if you are not into pot-smoking and nightclubbing, you walk.
And by "walk", I mean roam, wander, stroll, over the bridges and down the cobblestoned streets and beside the canals, drinking in the lights and the cool air and the lively energy of the city. There are surprises around every corner - street musicians, monuments, tiny dogs, tiny cars. Yesterday a man set up a kiddie pool full of soapy water in a small plaza, and began creating huge bubbles, welcoming children, who flocked around to give it a try.
Playgroups are awesome. Today I had four little girls playing at my apartment. They were fun, and reasonably well-behaved. It made the afternoon more interesting and enjoyable for me and Isa, and gave a couple hours' break to some other Moms. There seems to be no bad side to this arrangement.
With kids, you end up having to explain a lot of things that you wish you didn't. And I'm talking about 6 and 7 year olds here - we haven't even gotten to the really tough stuff! This month I've had to field questions about words and concepts like
Go ahead, just try to come up with a first-grade level explanation for these things. (and let me know if you find any good ones!)
I have been reading the Narnia books to my kids at bedtime for the last couple of months. When people claim things about hidden subtexts in books, I am usually very skeptical. But holy cannoli! This is not a hidden subtext! Reading the Narnia books as an adult, you don't have to go searching for Christian references. The whole damn series is the Bible in costume. I find myself cringing reading it to my kids, but I have to just let it go, they have no idea what they're being fed.
My last bit of news is just a personal reflection. I have been dealing with quite a bit of adversity lately. But to my surprise, I've been handling it better than I usually do. It even approaches "equanimity", something quite foreign to my temperament. Could I be maturing, as I approach my 35th birthday?