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Saturday, September 13, 2014

To My Cousin's Daughter, on the Eve of her 4th Birthday

Dear E.W.E.,

Wow! How quickly the year you were 3 went!

And tomorrow, you’ll be 4! A year closer to kindergarten, to driving, to taking over the world.

I love the girl you’re becoming: the kind of girl who wears TWO Halloween costumes, the kind of girl whose favorite movies are Muppets from Space and My Neighbor Totoro, the kind of girl who goes all in when it comes to licking the brownie batter bowl, the kind of girl who will take every chance she can get to swim, throw a ball, run, jump, and dance.

The kind of girl who sees me from down the street and barrels into my arms, screaming “PRETZEL!”

You are one cool chick: full of fire and wit and steel and drive.

This has been a particularly tough year for our family: losing our matriarch (your great-grandmother) in September last year and then our beloved David (your Kahuna) in May.

Suddenly, our invincibility was questioned; we felt a little more fragile, a little less protected.

But our strength as a family has never wavered.

You have so many people around you who love, cherish, and support you and each other.

How lucky we are.

Happy birthday!

I love you.



Friday, September 5, 2014

Overheard at Work, vol. CVI

We just got through two of the most difficult weeks I've ever experienced at this job, after the tragic death of one of our co-workers,a young woman who had grown up at work and had devoted her life to service to her community.

We spent last week reeling, trying to pick up pieces, and wandering around waiting for something to happen.

This week, we have opened to kids and I can't say it's not jarring to have them back in the building after such an intense time as a staff.

Still, through it all, I work with some hilarious people, and we found time to laugh and be silly.

Coworker A, after lifting me clear off the ground: I'm strong when I want to be. I just can't do CPR!

Coworker B: Food fixes everything. Well, except fatness.

Coworker B: I like to live a cute life.

Coworker C, after refusing to put her sweater on, despite being cold: My sweater smells like grief.

Me: You look pretty today!
14-year-old girl: It's the second day of school. I'm still pretending I'm functioning.