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A few weeks ago Foos learned to ride her bike without training wheels.   We got her this bike two years ago, when she was still so little that harvesting the strength to simply get the pedals moving seemed like herculean task. Even recently, if she went a few weeks without riding the bike it was as if she was getting back on it for the first time— slow and unsteady, like a drunk walking a line.   She rode her bike to the park that morning, where she befriended a fellow bike rider, an older girl named Jessica, who turned Foos into her disciple. They excluded the bikeless from their schemes, chased each other in figure eights, raced to a victory line of their own making, and stopped short of a stranger enough times I contemplated leaving the park for fear of injury.  During one of these loops, Jessica explained to Foos that her training wheels sometimes didn’t touch the ground.  In fact, she may not need the training wheels at all! I watched this revelation unfold from afar, Jessica pointing to the wheels, Foos’ initial confusion and realization. Foos seemed so pleased by this news that when she rode her bike to tell me, grin on full display, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the wheels where designed that way.  But Jessica had planted the germ, and I was going to take it as far as I could.  As we were leaving the park I casually mentioned removing the training wheels, and she agreed without hesitation.

That afternoon, I fashioned knee pads for her out of tape and leggings while Seth removed the training wheels.  We gave her the pep talk—you will fall down, you will get hurt, you may not get it today, but eventually you will.  She rolled her eyes and walked her bike to the empty lot, the tape of her knee pads making noise every time she bent her knees. The expression on her face like she had been doomed to damnatio ad bestias. With seth holding on to the bike they went around the lot a few times. The first time he let go, she fell.  The second time, she fell.  The third time, she fell too. Big fat tears rolling down her face, threats of quitting and going back upstairs coming out of her mouth.  We had been reading The Hobbit the night before, and I sat her on my lap and asked “How would you introduce yourself to Smaug? I know how I would.  You are the never quitter, the rider of bikes, the scrape eater, queen of wheels,” and so on. She nodded her head. With her dad running after her, and me shouting introductions to Smaug, she got back on and fell down about a dozen times.  A couple of our neighbors came out to cheer. Twenty minutes later she was going around the lot on her own.  An hour after that, she was riding down the block.

She told us she promised her bike she would ride her everyday, and she almost always does.

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Yesterday I was in my kitchen cave, listening to Radiolab and making dinner, when I felt a tiny tap on my back.  When I turned around, my Foos was standing there, holding up this piece of paper and beaming at me. I got all verklempt, fell to my knees, and gave her the biggest squeeze. People say a lot of cheesy shit about their children, most of which feels obligatory, but this girl, you guys, makes me feel like the luckiest mom in the Virgo Supercluster.

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(this image was made by my super talented and colorful friend, Amelia, it belongs to her.)

I don’t need to clarify it here, but I am horrified by the election results.  I was always with her.  Those results were followed by many sleepless nights and tears (no one was more crestfallen than foos), but also with a lot of productive and supportive conversations and visits with friends.  In a weird way, my life and personal routines have not been the same since.  I’ve been mentally preparing myself to intervene should I happen to observe any racist/islamophobic/sexist shenanigans (I haven’t yet).  I have also been avoiding podcasts, newspapers, and blogs I previously enjoyed.  Just hearing his voice and seeing snippets of headlines is enough to make my stomach drop.  I know this is irrational; I also know I will get past this, because pretending things aren’t what they are is never going to bring about change.

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A little over a month ago we became engaged.  It was a wonderful surprise, which involved some trickery and a little lying, sneakily captured on camera. I am very lucky to have found someone who can put up with my mild melancholia, hate of mayonnaise and highways, and my need to sleep with a fan on.  Seriously though, I already felt we were married in my heart, the getting down on one knee and presenting me with a beautiful bauble was the (please excuse the oft-used phrase) icing on the cake. Cheers!

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Apologies for the lack of posts recently.  After 8 faithful years my super mac quit this life, said a prayer, and is currently in purgatory located in a dark corner of our apartment.  She will be there until I figure out how to dispose of her safely.  Not having a computer has been great in many ways.  For example, because we are the kind of assholes who also don’t have cable, I am no longer privy to the minutiae of every day news.  Now I only see something if its really, really important.  Which, though a small boon, has decreased the amount of anxiety unrelated to my personal life significantly.  A new computer will be had soon, in the meantime enjoy this cinemagraph Seth made of me swinging my flintstonesque feet while sitting on our dining room table. You’re welcome.

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1. I’ve had another shitty week, but listening to my favorite country blues pepaw heals all wounds.  I love Mississippi John Hurt so so much. 2.  My favorite library boo, Erin, recommended this, and though I am very much a tarot novice, I am excited for it. Everything Erin recommends is gold, even that weird ass book of Miranda July short stories. 3.  Planning on looking at things I want but don’t need at the Vagabond Flea. RHUBARB! last week I noticed rhubarb was back at my Publix and baked that delicious pie you see there, which was arguably the best part of the whole week.  This weekend I want to bake this upside down rhubarb cake because it looks delicious and has decent reviews.

 Have a happy, bluesy, fat weekend everybody!