Editor Note May 2011
Our Anya moves out in May. This isn’t the launch into the big world of work and college that we’ve watched with trepidation our older kids take – rather just a hop-skip from Capitol Hill to Ballard where she’ll settle in with her mom (my daughter) and her dad. Anya’s first birthday party will be in their new home.
If a census taker had knocked on our door this school year, they would have counted four adults, two high-schoolers, a baby and three dogs. When we shrink down this month to four people and two dogs it will be too quiet around here, although my 27-year-old Becca getting married in July will liven things up. As any parent knows, when you have kids you don’t need to craft a life, rather just try to go with the flow of life running through your home.
What does my first granddaughter moving out have to do with our May issue?
Other than that I like to mention her whenever possible, everything really:
Jeff Lee writes about the complexities of decision making around circumcision - including cultural influence - and suggests that judgment be withheld on what other parents decide is right for them. Up-close this year I’ve seen my daughter and son-in-law tackle toughies such as where baby sleeps. What some “expert” might think is best for Anya might not have suited her parents at all, and I’m impressed by their willingness to stick to their own convictions and hash out their differences with respect.
Kerry Coburn puts into words that well of frustration I was shocked to feel a couple of times this year when I was on night duty and sweet Anya couldn’t get to sleep – despite my years of experience and best efforts. I was sure that ugly feeling would not come back to me as a grandmother, but up it swelled.
In our article about families getting physically fit together, three families share how they’ve managed to get active with their kids. I haven’t been any good at pulling off this kind of organized effort with my kids, but none of them are couch potatoes, which I attribute to my mother. Last winter at age 96 she got on a recumbent bike at the gym for the first time, because she’s lost the balance needed to take the brisk walks she enjoyed daily for the last 80 years. Her moderate-but consistent approach to exercise, and best of all her view of it as a joy in her life not a duty, has no doubt played a big part in keeping her in good health pushing 100.
By her example, not by preaching, her kids and grandkids have found regular physical exercise they enjoy, and no doubt so will great-grandchild Anya.
In keeping with our editorial philosophy, we hope see yourself in these pages, not some unrealistic “parent-you-should-try-to be.” None of us is an exactly perfect being, and we muddle through whatever our kids toss us as best we can.
Happy Mother’s Day to my daughter Sarah, my own Mom and all of you other fellow muddlers.