Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Language

Right around 18 months, Curtis lost complete interest in Swedish. I vividly remember an afternoon on the playground in Mar Vista, trying to ask him if he wanted to get in his toy push-car so we could head home. He refused to answer until I rephrased my question in English.

Axel is completely different. He not only embraces my native language -- he excels at it. At two-and-a-half, he doesn't quite grasp that Pappa doesn't really understand his foreign-sounding questions and demands, but I'm guessing that will come soon. He loves his Swedish books, understands everything I say, evidenced by the recent impressive mastery of the word 'wheelbarrow' which came up, unprovoked, during a bed-time story.

I'm so committed to continue encouraging his command of Swedish. And I can't wait until next summer when all the cousins, sisters, brother-in-laws, and grandparents will gather in Ljunghusen for a couple of weeks, and the smattering of languages -- and surely, communication snafus -- that will ensue.

Ironic, in a way, that my little guy got the Scandinavian name, and true to his roots, speaks the language.

Curtis on the other hand. He'll always be my little American.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Four years ago, the Angora fire devastated South Lake Tahoe. Homes were destroyed, lives forever changed, glorious pine trees torched. And although we never had to evacuate, the possibility was still eerily close -- as was the decision on what to bring. What to leave. In hindsight, it's ridiculously simple: take photos and birth certificates, passports and hard drives. Leave: everything else.

And then. Just a few days ago, another fire, this time only about a quarter mile from our house, just up the sage-brush covered hill. Right off the path we hike, run and trot the dogs. Initially we knew nothing. Eventually we knew we were OK. Our local fire-fighting heroes had it under control before even a few acres had burned.

Interestingly this time we were ready. And in addition to the government-issued paperwork that is too complicated to replace, I stashed extra diapers and wipes in my purse. Because seriously. Who wants to be left with a messy two-year-old in the middle of complete chaos.

And now. Less than a week later, at Curtis's soccer game, watching him run and kick and score. Laughing, high-five-ing and so clearly in his element. Little brother imitating from the sidelines, trying, oh-so-trying, to be just like his almost-five-year idol. That's when you realize that even the little bitty pieces of paper nestled in the safe are frivolous. 

That all that matters are those you love.

Perspective, full circle.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Preschool Soundtracks

Just the other day, I had a fleeting thought, entertaining the idea of a conversation without Dora or Diego or Power Rangers on in the background. And as appealing as that still sounds, I also know that time: it flies. It runs and scurries and silently swooshes through days and weeks and months. And a today that's filled with tiny Legos and ninja costumes will soon -- way too soon -- be replaced by big-kid-isms.


Although we would all probably prefer a life less invaded by Nick Jr, I'm so not ready to leave behind the delicious days of being almost-five and two-and-a-half.

Something that was incredibly evident when I added the homemade baby food cookbooks to the garage sale pile.

Dear time: pause. If only for a little bit.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Born in Reno, NV

In terms of coolness, claiming that they were born in Lake Tahoe probably would be a bit more fancy, but since we were completely uninterested in testing the medical savvy of the tiny hospital in this town, we opted for a one-hour-drive for both kids. And interestingly, the drives -- totally different for each soon-to-be-baby-boy -- were lovely and crazy, all at the same time.

We're clearly way beyond infancy and have now reached an age where both Axel and Curtis thrive in their settings. They've come to know and love the outdoors, something we hoped to find as we left the smog and filth and unappealing-ness of LA many years ago. If given a choice, they would play outside all day: digging, scooping and sorting dirt; looking for hidden treasures amid giant pinecones and sap from scented trees; riding bikes and plastic zebras up and down the driveway; or tooling around in their little Jeep, learning how to spin and reverse and navigate regardless of how cold the thermostat claims it to be.

Life with boys means tasting and touching and feeling and playing for every moment. Life with boys in Lake Tahoe's majestic paradise is all that and then some.