On the bus today, we passed a sign on which I could not keep myself from commenting: “Eyebrow Care.” Indigo picked up on the humor immediately. “This one needs care,” she said solemnly, pointing to her right eyebrow. “It has the flu.”
We riffed on that for a minute (hospitalization would not be required; the left eyebrow provided good care to the right one), but my conscience was bothering me. As I said to my daughter, I shouldn’t poke fun at people who seek out “eyebrow care.” It’s easy for her and me to laugh, because we are blessed with socially-approved eyebrows. She was surprised at first to hear that some eyebrows are widely considered in need of alteration, and wanted to know what kind.
“Oh, if they’re too thick,” I said, “or meet in the middle.”
“But then they’d look like Frida Kahlo!” she exclaimed. The implication was clearly What could be cooler, and I agreed, silently giving thanks for a brilliant obsessive self-portraitist who saw no reason to pretend her eyebrows were other than they were.
“. . . Or Count Olaf,” she added, her expression growing slightly grim.
Indi tried karate for the first time today. She really liked it. I liked the teacher, who is a kind of strict and tough that, as far as I know, she hasn’t encountered much, if at all. But: “She’s not mean,” rules Indigo. She likes her too.
We had planned an outing to Teotitlan today, but Joy is not feeling well so we’re in a holding pattern. Indigo wrote a helpful list of ten things to do to feel better, like “Read a lot,” “Don’t go anywhere except short walk,” “Eat spinach (optional),” and “Drink a lot of water!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (There are as many underlines as exclamation points, but WordPress can’t do that.)
In Rome after a long day of travel
My lucky child has a grandmother with the means and generosity to take each grandchild on a trip abroad when they are ten. Indigo’s time has come, and yesterday she and Bubbe flew to Italy for two weeks in Rome, Florence and Venice! Expect many photos.
The captain gave her her wings. I wonder what Doggy thought of the cockpit
Leg two of the flight
What can I say about this wonderful child? I love her more than life itself. She is a fascinating artist, a philosopher, a scientist, a poet. She writes and plays music and invents games, worlds, and dramatic scenarios. She thinks hard about social problems and wants to fix them. She’s kind, funny, and fun to be with. She is the light of our lives.
And . . . she is ten years old!
Happy birthday, sweetie!
One of Indigo’s favorite phrases is “How dare you?” She delivers it with great feeling at moments of high drama, such as when someone occupies her city in a game of Carcassonne. (See the photo on the previous entry for the accompanying facial expression.)
I’m going to borrow it right now, because I’m hearing the “We must protect your child” line, used, as it so often is, to vilify people my child loves and respects. And that is the very definition of chutzpah.
How dare you suggest that you are protecting her from trans* people? She doesn’t need to be protected from the fabulous camp counselor who led her in making snow forts and going cross-country skiing. The kid in her scouting group, whether they’re using the bathroom or learning how to make a fire in the wilderness: not a threat. The family friend who visited her in the hospital less than 24 hours after her birth, bringing love and a ritual of welcome from our faith: not scary. If you think these beloved people are her enemies, if you would harm them in her name, you reveal yourself to be the threat.
How dare you make people from certain countries out to be dangerous? Of all the people she missed at church and was thrilled to see after six months away, the longest hugs were for the two Iranian women who have taken care of her for countless Sunday hours ever since she graduated from the toddler room. They play with her, encourage her art, teach her a few words of Farsi, and tell her over and over how much she is loved. How dare you threaten them and their families in her name?
How dare you “protect” her from immigrants, with or without papers? Our country’s stupid, cruel policies invite people in from other countries to work, then scapegoat them for growing our food and changing our children’s diapers. My daughter does not want to be “protected” from her schoolmates, or from their abuelas who make melt-in-your-mouth tamales for the school fundraiser. This is our community. It is not frightening, but the people who are attacking it are.
How dare you?
Indigo has accompanied us to two demonstrations in ten days. Yesterday I was so frustrated with Senator Dianne Feinstein: her approval of all of the Cabinet appointments so far. Her equivocation on whether she’ll vote for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General today. Her silence on the demotion of the Director of Intelligence and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the elevation of Nazi sympathizer Steve Bannon (she is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee; also, she’s Jewish). Her quiescence on the question of foreign interference with this election. The impossibility of reaching a staffer, or leaving a message, at any of her five offices.
So after school and 90 minutes of after-school and her violin lesson, I treated Indigo to ice cream and we went downtown for a brief protest at Feinstein’s SF office. I hope she doesn’t burn out or grow up to hate this stuff because she was dragged to it, like the way Joy, her Mommy, now suffers an induced allergy to the Nutcracker. She has strong opinions and likes expressing them (in fact, I had used a stronger adjective about Feinstein’s phone, and I had to talk her out of putting it on this sign), but she was tired, too. We only stayed for 15 minutes. People were great, pausing in the rush-hour, financial-district crowd to ask questions, share opinions, and give high-fives.
On the bus ride home, I said to Indigo, “If you have kids, one day they’ll ask you, ‘How old were you when that Trump guy became president?'” (“Nine!” she said.) “And they’ll say, ‘Do you remember it?’ And you’ll say ‘Oh yeah.’ And you’ll tell them about how when he tried to do bad stuff, you were there fighting back. That’ll be a great thing to tell your kids.” I hope that thought sustains her, as it does me. I think it must, because she added, “Or my grandkids.”