What I forget, and I shouldn't because I used to be there, is that even a person who doesn't follow or believe in fashion still has a very, VERY firm sense of what they want to look like.
Alice brought that home to me last year when she wanted a pair of boots. She who had lived in slip-on black Merrels for four years (she doesn'r grow very fast) wanted something she couldn't even describe very well, but when we went to Target she walked down the aisle, sorting and discarding options until she came to one in particular. And that was the one. Mid-calf, brown suede elf boots, with a zipper up the side. She wore them all through the school year. When the zipper broke this week, we had to replace them.
This year, the choices were heavily skewed towards Ugg equivalent boots, kind of clumpy and way too warm for her, but we found a couple choices she kind of liked, and she walked out with mid-calf, purple suede elf boots that perfectly matched the purple hoodie shirt she wears.
This is just to say that self image is a deeply mysterious thing.
Apparently the last Hurricane (Irene) made an impression on my subconcious.
Last night it rained and rained, I heard it in my dreams, and about 4 am I woke up convinced the river was rising and we should get to higher ground. I peered out windows and saw nothing amiss, but the echo of 4 am haunted me in the morning. I convinced the kids to put things they treasured into the car, in case we had to run for higher ground, or in case I couldn't get back to the house later. So I spent the day with Aerin's bassoon and laptop, Alice's ancient and beloved bunny, and my computer and camera.
In retrospect, I think I must have been listening to the neighbor's noisy gutters coping with the aggressive mist, rather than actual pelting rain all night. A tour of the local rivers showed them high: the Deerfield was well into the floodplain but not in anyone's basement, the Connecticut was over Elwell Island and up to the front porch of the marina on Rt 9, but not creeping across the fields to me they was I'd imagined.
By the end of the day we'd returned the precious things to the house. But it was an interesting exercise.
kids, bassoon, computers – what would you save?
We have to pick one of these for the year book. I have to admit all my instincts are to go with the b&w one, because it catches her face and intellect, and will print well and hold up over time, but it is up to her, in ways the entire rest of her life is her, and I am working so hard on that.
Long time readers (and friends who have visited me!) will recognize this doorway, although the enormous children in it might be less familiar.
Aerin, headed off to her first day as a senior, which thought makes her flinch every time, and more awake than usual at this hour. We can't decide if this is our last first day, or if college first days count too. They probably won't be taken here, unless she decided to commute to UMass. You never never never know. That is the only sure thing with kids.
Alice is headed into 8th grade, finally getting a chance to be the oldest in school. We moved her out of public school before she got a chance to be big there, and then she decided to go back to public school before the end of the Montessori cycle, so she wasn't the biggest there either. Now she gets to see what it's like. Even if she is the smallest, lightest kid in 8th grade. Al says she has the highest IQ per pound of anyone he knows, and we all think that is hysterical.