Haven't posted for a while... nothing big to report. Instead, lots of little things.
Tried a new recipe for dinner tonight. Curried Quinoa with Peas and Cashews. It will appear in the 4th annual Christmas cookbook, of course. If not for the fact that my grandma will receive a copy, the caption would be, "Fucking delicious." Buy this book. Then turn to page 534 and cook this shit.
We have made some new friends in our neighborhood, and, even though I still miss Logan Square enormously, it is a small mercy to make connections here. My friend's name is Rufina, and she is sweet. Seriously sweet. So sweet that I suspect she might have maple syrup running through her veins. Her daughter Elizabeth is nearly 3 years old, and she, not surprisingly, is also very sweet. She and Simon have had two successful playdates so far.
Simon is apparently beginning to notice racial differences in the people he sees. Or perhaps he has noticed for a while and is just now beginning to voice these observations. So far, strangely, he only has one description for any person of color he sees: "black man." One day I asked him what he did at school and he said he played with a black man. I wasn't sure what to make of this, as there are no black males in his class. There is one multiracial girl, and, after a bit of questioning, I concluded he must be taking about her.
Then yesterday, as we walked to our friends' house, he asked, "Is Elizabeth a black man?" I said, "Well, Elizabeth is a girl." He responded, "Is she a black girl?" I explained that she has brown skin because her mommy is from the faraway country of Mexico. Persistent in his quest for understanding, he asked again, "Is she black?" I gave him a couple terms to describe his friend: hispanic or latina.
It is interesting to watch his awareness of this matter develop. I don't know if I am saying the right things, or if there are right things to say. What I want to know is, where did he hear the words, "black man"? Here begins the stage in parenting when your children spout phrases and you have no idea where they came from. Fascinating and a little scary. His world is opening up, and it no longer consists of just mommy and daddy.
Yesterday I accompanied Simon's preschool class on their first field trip. We went to Kroger and then to Godfather's Pizza. The secrets of Godfather's pizza were revealed to us. We had a guided tour through the kitchen, dishwashing room, and cooler. Favorite moment: stepping into the cooler and seeing the kid's faced simultaneously change as they noticed the cold. Simon yelled, "Brrrrr!" and they all started giggling. Yeah, that's my kid.
Finally, on a sentimental note, we really miss you guys. Nate and I have experienced the move to Bloomington very differently. We have a hard time understanding one another sometimes. I'm crying because I miss Chicago; he's out taking scenic photos of our new town. I spend the day pissed about having to unpack/organize/decorate our second home in two years; he is happy to be driving a fork lift in a warehouse instead of doing the electronic equivalent of yelling "buy! sell! buy! sell!" all day. The one thing we can agree on about this move is how much we miss our friends. I don't know what our future will bring... we may live here for the rest of our lives, and it may begin to feel like home to both of us. Whatever happens, I know we will always reminisce about our years in Chicago, living in an amazing city, surrounded by great friends. Hope you're all well.