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!

“How dare you?”

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?

En la lucha

‚ÄčIndigo 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.”

Mural Making

ATTENTION:This blog was made by Indigo M.

I have been painting a mural on my bedroom wall since we came to this house, but have not finished until now. This is what it looks like:


It’s a forest! Here are one of the birds:


And here are the ants that the birds eat and the grass that they hide in:


And here is the other bird:



P.S. I have told Mama not to call me Mookie any more.

P.P.S. I am very proud of my blog because it is my first. I wonder what the computer thinks of it.


Multicultural cooking

img_7422It’s Mookie’s cooking night, and she asked to make potato blintzes. Bubbe, take note! How many generations of blintz-makers is this? I hope no great-great-grandmothers will turn in their Old Country resting places due to our adding herbs to the mashed potatoes. Mookie served them with the green bean recipe she developed herself, and the meal was delicious.

While posing, she took care to display the band-aid on her left arm. Every cook has stories of injuries endured in the course of duty, and this one is a burn on her arm where she accidentally touched it to the edge of the frying pan when we were making the crepes. Ow. It will have stopped hurting by morning. This meal was also notable for her having faced her fear of the immersion blender. She’s never said a word about the one we have at home, but this one freaks her out. Maybe it is louder. She used it anyway.

img_7420It turns out that the comal, so common in Mexican homes and for that matter on the streets of Oaxaca, is the perfect device for the final stage of blintz-making. Here in the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Eastern European Jewish and Mexican cooking meet. Yum.


Mookie made this castle over the course of several days. It reminds me of Bongo’s Dream House (see: The Big Book of Hell, Matt Groening), especially when she explains what all the elements are. Crocodiles in the moat, gardens, tree houses, fountains, art rooms . . . I want to live there! I have my tower all picked out.