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I think I have finally stopped dreaming of floods. I could be wrong; it could just be that Emmie just hasn’t woken me up in the middle of any dreams lately.

We are trying to help many friends rebuild. As HOA members, we ourselves apparently will be responsible for our share of many hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to our complex. The actual amount remains to be seen, but we likely will be eligible to apply for FEMA. Whee! That’s a dubious distinction at best.

It feels like many other friends are enduring their own crises, big and small.

I haven’t figured out yet if statistically more people are getting sicker with serious illnesses, or if this sense of Bad Things Happening to Everyone is an artifact of social media keeping people more connected across more distant relationships. Or perhaps it’s simply the fact that our social sphere keeps growing as we get older, so we just know more people who might be likely to get sick/have bad things happen. It could also be that my sensitivity to Bad Things is now much higher and I am 100x more likely to want to DO SOMETHING to help.


Utterly and completely unrelated: I have read the book that has made me want to give up on writing completely. Middlesex, by Jeffery Eugenides. I had had this recommended to me by many people on many occasions, but for some reason I had always thought it was a British novel set in a manor house (shades of Middlemarch, I assume?).

I cannot even count the number of passages I have read, breathless at the artistry and craftsmanship, and yet all of it in service of the characters and plot and not seemingly done for the sake of doing (or at least, done because that is the style of our narrator). So, so good.


Finally, an Emmie update. She is just ever more delightful (when she is not being a two-year-old). I have the movie I promised in the last post, but even now when I watch it, I realize how much she has changed in the few weeks since this was filmed. She is using honest-to-God complete sentences, sometimes with correct verb tense and everything. Her pronouns are definitely getting better, although her use of “yours” for everything still just melts me (“Mama, eat yours breakfast?”). I also love how each word is very carefully thought out. Her intonation isn’t as smooth as some kinds, but there is never a “made up” word in there. That’s just the kind of language learner she is, I guess.

She loves playing “Tiny Baby” right now too. If you dare call her a baby, she will very indignantly say, “No! Emmie no baby! Emmie big girl! Emmie getting bigger.” However, if she decides she wants to pretend to be a tiny baby, then that’s OK (as long as it’s all pretend). The other night, as I had her wrapped in her post-bath towel in my arms, she was fake crying, saying “Wah! Wah! Wah!” Then she turned to Peter and said “Hi Dada… Hi Tiny Baby’s Dada!” She also will refer to herself in the third person, as in “Wah! Wah! Tiny Baby needs diaper. Wah! Wah!” If only actual tiny babies were as helpful!

She loves playing baby dolls so much that she had a period of a week or two where she carried around several wooden blocks as baby dolls, very carefully wrapped in various blankets, and just as tenderly fed pretend food. I think the bloom fell off the flower a bit after the second or third time the “baby” fell on her foot. As much as I absolutely adore open-ended pretend play, soft babies are less painful when they inevitably fall. (For those gender constructivists who might be concerned, Emmie does also build cities with her blocks, but woe betide anyone who dares to STACK said blocks. She prefers her cities to have more human proportions.)

All three of us are now sick, so we are all in recovery mode, on many levels. Health, heart and mind.

How about you? Are you OK?