Saturday, March 23, 2013

Snowflakes, Pink, Puppets, and Kites

The snowflakes Thursday were unreal--so huge and glommy you could see a single one falling across the street. It was too warm for snow--43 degrees--so they melted soon after impact, but the effect was special for the thirty minutes or so that they dropped. No way to be sure, but that seemed like it may have been the last of the season's snow for us there on the first day of spring.

Daddy Honey stayed home with the boys Thursday night and I went with my good friend Candice to a free screening of Pretty in Pink in the temporary artists' venue known as the Sheetfort. We dressed in '80s clothes and remarked how easy it was to find those styles again. Also, we realized that if the movie were taking place in real time, we would be as old as Annie Potts' record-store-owning character Iona; we're as far away now from teenagers as adults who grew up in the '60s were from us.

Friday, Fox pulled the little piano behind the puppet theater so he could set up the Redwood tree and finger puppets on the piano back and play while telling us the story. It was short-lived, but sweet. I read this article in the New York Times last week, and have been thinking a lot about stories and the way we share our family history, values, and tales with the boys.

I remember relishing stories from my dad's childhood and extended family, even though they featured risky qualities to emulate or claim. There were stories with "borrowed" cars and drugs and escapes from bar fights and talking back to to teachers and losing his temper in public and playing with fire and getting beat up for being poor. The stories were unsafe and disturbing, but they were it. My mom told hardly any stories at all. I knew intuitively it was because she didn't think she had anything worth sharing, or that she'd want to share, but I asked her about it once as an older teen. "There's not much to tell," she said.

Saturday: The Eureka Springs Kite Festival. Oh, my. Forty degrees, wet, foggy, and the lightest of light winds. Still, believe it or not, we had a great time. Woody's kite stayed up most of the time we were there, only getting crossed with others' kites twice. He was really happy. My and Daddy Honey's feet went numb, and we took turns sitting with Fox in the heated car eating granola. We stayed for two hours, and Woody could have stayed much longer.

One particularly interesting conversation did come up. Daddy Honey and I both openly admired other kites in the air--huge rainbow butterflies, a cleverly designed robot, a black stingray, a single string that held fifty or so white kites with red strings at equal spaces from nearly the ground to all the way up into the air. This was of course after we'd ooo'ed and ahhhh'ed at his kite, taken out of the package for the first time there. And it really was marvelous how well it flew; other kites wavered and glided down to the ground whilst his stayed solid and high. Still, Woody started to get a little miffed about our compliments of the other flyers. "Enough with liking the other kites so much," he said. We tried to help him understand that beauty is additive, that loving a chocolate chip cookie doesn't make you love snickerdoodles any less, that roses and sunflowers are both lovely to look at, all the more when they stand together in the garden. I think he got it, but likely this one will come around again. 

This is one of those life lessons that I needed (need!) to learn over and over and over again. Still and again: beauty and wonder are big enough to hold us all