Thursday, July 15, 2010

I would walk 100 miles, and I would walk 100 more

Taking a momentary break from the "My friends are awesome" project until I wrap up the next batch. See my blog at for previous installments in the series. Or you know, just read them as they post on Facebook. But where's the fun in that?

I try to walk every day at lunch for at least half an hour. I've got the cardiotrainer app on my phone and use it to track my walks. I broke 100 miles today. Specifically, in 49 walks, over the course of 23 hours and 42 minutes, I have walked 100.74 miles. That makes me happy. (And healthy!) So, yay me!

While walking, I'll usually listen to podcasts of NPR shows, which usually manage to be interesting, even if I don't really care about the topic they're covering. (Which is my goal with blogging. I try to keep my writing engaging enough so that my mom doesn't mind reading about the new lineup for the Green Lantern Corps) The subject of yesterday's show was "How do you know your pet is getting the right nutrition?" I don't have any pets. I don't even especially like animals. Sorry Tim! Not that I'm mean to them. I just don't like being around them. I just try to avoid them. If I wanted something smelly and subhuman rubbing against me, I'd hook up with the cast of Firefly. And I still listened to the whole show anyway. I'm such a dork.

I was reading Lily a story at bedtime the other night, about a girl named Marty being jealous of another girl named Kris, because Marty had been the best kicker on her soccer team until Kris showed up. While reading to her, or watching a show, I'll ask Lily how a character feels or why an act was chosen or what the best choice was to make in a situation. "Why does Marty feel that way?" "What would you do here?"

We were talking about Kris, while Lily had previously used a female pronoun to refer to Kris, she later called Kris a boy, probably because she knows several boys named Chris. I asked her about it and I think she just got confused when she spoke, and she owned up to the error, saying "Mistakes are another way to learn."

I think that's a great attitude. If we can expand that to losing, I think we'll have a healthy kid on our hands. (She's still a terrible loser)

I also ask her about words she might not know. She's pretty good at guessing things from context, but sometimes we'll come across a word whose meaning she can't guess its context. We were reading "Come Rhyme with me", which Jen hates, but I enjoy. It's 26 pages, with one rhyming couplet per letter (the final word being hidden behind a flap of page) and the accompanying illustration providing additional clues. I usually read everything but the last word and let Lily guess it (though I'm sure she has them all memorized by now).

Last night we were at D:

D is for dragon, who is a skillful flyer
be careful when or you tickle him or he'll roast you with his ????

(If you're playing at home, Doctor House, the answer is "fire")

and I asked her if she knew what skillful meant. She answered "Ummm..I think it means 'scary'" and I explained that it meant being good at something. If asked her what she was good at doing. She said she was good at running, then she caught on without any prompting and said, "I'm skillful at running!"

When Jen came upstairs, Lily was eager to show off her new word, "Mommy, Do you know what skillful means?! It means being good at something! Daddy's skillful at cooking," (I think happened to be on her mind just because I was the one who cooked dinner last night "and I'm skillful at running," (she's proud of how fast she runs. She calls herself "The Blur") "and you're skillful at driving your car because you hardly ever run into any trees!" Heh.

Also that night, she asked if she were pretty. I said, "You're the most beautiful kid I know," and she said "You shouldn't say that. It's not nice to other kids out there." We've been trying to avoid that kind of comparison, and I was glad she called me on it. I want her to be confident enough when she gets older so that she won't have to measure herself in comparison to other people. I want her to know who she is and what she is, and to be happy with that.

I remember reading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, and one of the things that stuck with me from the book is a conversation that Siddhartha had with his friend Govinda, where Siddhartha says that the lessons taught by the ascetics are circular, but Govinda likens them to a spiral staircase, where one arrives at the same place, but at a higher level.

I was thinking about that as I get older, I'll sometimes arrive back at viewpoints I once held, but later discarded. And the whole process is strange, returning to beliefs you once dismissed, but now hold for entirely different reasons. I'm not sure of what to make of this, except to remember to be less certain that the views I now hold are the right ones. As Anubis said to Wakim under similar circumstances, "That may be the beginning of wisdom, then." (Roger Zelazny shout out!)

Part of it is being a parent and saying things to Lily that I can remember my parents saying to me, and understanding all this time why my parents acted as they did.

Speaking of parents, I asked Lily how I got my name and she said "Grammy Kathy named you after the Joshua tree."

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