Archive for February, 2007

Politics and Kids


So I was listening to NPR tonight while I was making dinner for my kiddos.  (Scrambled eggs, boca sausage, bagels, potatoes, and chocolate cake with raspberry filling – Dillon got to choose.  He later said "everything is so delicious I don't know what to eat next!")  But anyway, I am quick on the NPR switch when anything too gruesome comes on for the kids to overhear.  But they were covering McCain's position on the Iraq war (pro-troop-surge) when Dillon completely surprised me by saying, we shouldn't have any soldiers in a war.  

I have specifically been trying to shield him from war discussions as he has entered the phase where (as I suppose all little boys do) he is really into "guns" (anything that can be used as one since he doesn't actually own any).   He's stealthy about it, he knows Chuck and I disapprove of gunplay, so he changes up and says he's shooting a laser or something like it.

But he's been talking about the war with someone, so…  I inventory my responses and say something like, "well, the soldiers don't get to choose where they go.  Other people, like the President, make those choices.  The soldiers have to do their job, so even if they don't want to they go to where the war is." 

D: "The President is pretty much a bad guy."

M: "Um…  Well, he definitely made some bad choices."

D: "Are soldiers bad guys?"  

M: "No!  You know a lot of people who were soldiers, like Auntie Cheri, Auntie TJ, Grandpa Charles…  Your Uncle Luke has lots of friends that are in Iraq…"

D: "Oh.  Okay.  I hope I don't be a soldier when I grow up."  

M: "Me too.  Not because it's a bad job but I sure would worry about you if you were in a war."

D: "Why is the President the President?"

M: "Umm…  Well, there will be a new president when you are seven!  Maybe even the first Black President or the first Woman President ever in American History!"  (Putting a positive spin on it…)

D: "Yeah.  But what if it's just another white guy?"

M: "Well, I might be a little bit disappointed.  But it depends on the guy.  It's really cool when you have a historical first.  But what people believe in is more important that what they look like."   I go back to cooking.   A few minutes later, Dillon interrupts me to tell me that in two years is when he'll be seven.  And I say really, when you are six and a half we'll have a new president. 

And I am sure he'll be backing a candidate and organizing fundraisers before his sixth birthday.   

Reflections on a Famous Building


So, I am not usually given to sentimental ramblings…  Okay, maybe about my children and I guess I am guilty of sending the occasional 'I really appreciate you' letter to a good friend or someone I really admire.  But for the past several months I have been leaving work, driving East on the freeway, and thanks to the Marquette Interchange construction, I started getting off at the lakefront exit.  Then I drive down Lincoln Memorial Drive and pass the Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum .  

When it was built, I could take or leave it.  Frankly, I didn't see what the fuss was about- yeah, it was a pretty neat concept but it just seemed gimmicky.  And it made my life slightly more difficult trying to raise funds for a nonprofit organization that year- all the big hitters were giving huge chunks of money to the art museum.

Since I've been driving past it daily, though, I have really converted.  There is something about seeing this building every day and appreciating the white 'wings' contrasting with the different colors of the blue sky that almost makes me want to write poetry.  I say 'almost' there because I truly believe deep in my soul that most people should, under no circumstances, write a poem.  Perhaps the occasional limerick or haiku, but other than that… 

But I have really felt transformed by this building.  It's interesting.  I can be having a crap day and then I drive by, inevitably have to stop at the light across the street from it, and it makes me take a moment to breathe.  Some days it looks like a ship, other days more like a bird.  Clouds sometimes seem caught in it's wires.  Dillon calls it the 'flying ship'.  He likes it too.  Tonight we drove by it twice on our way to a friend's house for dinner.  

When we were coming back on 794 over the Hone Bridge at night, I told D we were going to see my favorite view of Milwaukee.  Unfortunately, I told him we were going to see it about five minutes before we were there, so he kept saying, "is this your favorite view, mom?  Is this your favorite view, mom?  Mom, is this your favorite view?  Right now?  Right NOW?"  Finally, we were there, and he said, "This is my favorite view too, mom, it is BEAUTIFUL!"  

And it made staying out late on a school night totally worth it.  (Though we'll see how things go tomorrow morning.) 

Here are some interesting photos of the Hone Bridge and Calatrava on some guy's flickr site.

My Son the Poet & Bring Your Daughter to Work Day


Today at the dinner table, Dillon said out of the blue, "When I give all my love away my stomach hurts and then I cry."  I would love to know what he meant by that.  Follow up questions yielded inconclusive results.


I brought Rose to my work today because her usual daytime caregiver had a sick kid.  I had stayed home yesterday with the kids, and really needed to get back to work, we've got a big black-tie event coming up later this month and things are crazy.  Rose did surprisingly well…  Dillon was always great at entertaining himself- he is the perfect kid to bring to work because he's always so much in his own head.  In a pinch, I've brought him to ridiculously long and boring meetings, and he has always managed to hang quietly in a corner and play or whatever.   Rose is a much more interactive kid.  She needs someone to play with her.  But today she just hung by my desk, played with my huge magnet & paperclips, colored some pictures with highlighters, and watched some "Dora the Explorer" (our all-time favorite and one of the two things she will sit still for any length of time to watch-besides Elmo).  She was great, even though she missed her nap, and I got way more done than I expected I would have. 

When she was watching the movie in our conference room (sort of the standard arrangement of glass windows separating another room so we could see each other the whole time) she kept running back over to my desk to give me long 'Dora' updates.  She'd talk paragraphs excitedly and about the only thing I'd catch would be "Dora," "Backpack," "Map," "Boots," etc.  Ah… to be in my kids' heads today. 

Trying to Stay Warm


School was closed today (and yesterday) due to the extreme cold of our lovely Wisconsin winter, so today I stayed home with D and Rose for a lovely day of indoor fun.  We had a great day working puzzles and playing games.  D managed to con me into allowing him to stay in his spiderman pajamas all day. 

It's been a great couple of days, though… We spent the weekend in Wisconsin Dells where we stayed at an indoor waterpark and had a lovely time.  Rose and D had a great time flying down the waterslides, etc.  Rose wouldn't accept that there were parts of the pool where D could stand but she couldn't.  She's a foot shorter than her brother, so she got quite a faceful of water once or twice before she learned her lesson.   My kids are quite the pool aficionados, though- I'm going to have to get them into swim lessons!