Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Jonah's entertainment yesterday evening consisted of dragging his tricycle to a new spot in our backyard then sauntering over to where I was working in our garden and telling me, his hands swinging casually, "I moved my tricycle."

I would reply, "You moved your tricycle?"

And he would say, "Yep."

I would say, "Nice job!"

Then he would saunter off to repeat the delightful sequence.

He eventually moved on to moving his "lawn mower" (not really a lawn mower--just this cart thing that's supposed to help babies learn to walk) and then his bike. He kept me informed about his progress every step of the way. 

He was so freaking proud of himself. But I understand--I am so proud of him too.

When Jonah was a baby, I was assigned to write a newspaper profile story on a local guitar luthier who was having some success. This man tried to describe for me the feeling he had when he watched the guitarist in one of his favorite bands perform with a guitar he (the luthier) had made.

I could see the feeling in his eyes, and I recognized it: It was awe. A personal, joyful, bursting kind of awe. 

I remember the first time +Jonah reached out his baby hand to grab a toy. I'd been holding it in front of his face, giving it a little shake. Staring at it as he had so many times before, this time he finally, so very slowly, lifted his right arm. My heart stood still for a moment as he brought it straight up, then--concentrating--moved it to the left. His chubby fingers made contact, and he closed them around the rattle. 

Up til that moment, it had never occurred to me that purposefully lifting an arm for the first time was a meaningful accomplishment. But as I watched him achieve something he never had before, my spirit shouted for joy. It did a little jumping heel click. It shoved its fists in the air. 

I smiled at my baby boy in wonder--not just at his achievement, but at the realization of how fully and how brightly I was cheering for him. 

I've always cheered for him. Today I noticed him using the word "so" in the right way ("let's go to the store so we can get some gloves for daddy") and I cheered.. Recently he pulled his own pajama pants all the way up and I cheered. And yesterday, he perfected the art of sauntering and I cheered too. 

This is Jonah's camera "smile." Eyes always closed. WEIRD.
For good measure: This is Andy's camera smile. NORMAL.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Moment of clarity

I realized I could not trust the girl cutting my hair when she told me she loved my hair color.

At that moment I knew she was on a mission to make everyone around her look bad so she could, by comparison, look great.

My main clue was the color of my hair: It sucks.

Friday, April 12, 2013


The Grigg Collection of T-shirts Featuring Moustached Men

The Soup Nazi, Ron Swanson, and Sigmund Freud

My mother's grandmother (very classy) would have been horrified to see to what level her progeny has stooped.   

This is not to say that class left my family three generations ago. 

But did it?

Monday, April 8, 2013

What I'm thinking

In college I had a dear friend who in quiet moments would often ask, "What are you thinking?"

I was never thinking anything worth sharing. Sometimes I was giving myself a private rescreening of a remembered conversation in which I'd been hilarious or awkward. (Usually awkward. Very awkward.)
(In these cases, I'm sure my face was doing weird things: Either making the adorable expressions I'd made when I'd said the hilarious things or blushing urgently at my idiocy. Usually blushing.)

Other times I was thinking something unkind. I know. You're all shocked. It happens. I'm working on it.

But most often, when a conversation drifted to a close, my mind would follow a path like this: "I have nothing more to say on that topic. What else is going on in my brain? [Mentally singing:] Nope, I was wrong, it's a really weird commercial for soap! I wish I could get that jingle out of my head. I should think about something else. I have nothing to think about. Shoot, Blair is going to ask me what I'm thinking about. Quick, think about something interesting. Global warming? No. I don't have anything to say about global warming.* Um.... oh no, that's all I've got. Quick, there's still time!"

Then I would hear from Blair, my always interested roommate: "What are you thinking?"

Sometimes--even now, even though Blair hasn't asked me that question in years--when I'm trying to get a song out of my head, my brain jumps to that same path and I feel a little panicky. I feel an insistent pressure to think about something interesting, and that pressure disables my ability to think interestingly.

I'll just have to hope that I will never again be in a situation where someone might expect me to be interesting. Okay, friends? When we're together, please come prepared to be the sole provider of interesting thoughts in our interactions.

I appreciate it.

*I don't know why, but global warming is always the first thing that pops into my head in situations like this. I should really develop some talking points on the subject. I just googled "global warming talking points" and... wow. I am really not interested in this topic. I need some material that doesn't suck.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Jonah's been experimenting with the word "well" today. Here's how it's going:

"I don't want to wear a coat. Well, I don't want to wear a coat. Well, I don't want to wear a coat. Well, I don't want to wear a coat, Mommy."

Then, running down the hallway:

"Well, well, well. Well, well."

I think it's going pretty well.