I’m embracing December for all it is. The busyness, the darkness, the light. I remind myself of the steps of long division to help with homework; I make meatballs and spaghetti for a family with a newborn. I celebrate the advances in civil rights in our state, poetically enacted on the first day of Hanukah.There is an ease to the month this year, a grace, I don’t usually experience. I don’t know how to account for it other than with gratitude.
I've never wanted to be a ballerina; never took a single dance class. I grew up enthralled by Nadia Comăneci and Mary Lou Retton. So gymnastics it was for me, until I discovered volleyball in junior high – far easier for someone of my height. Sunday we went to the Nutcracker. There was clearly a whole cohort of ballerinas in the making in the audience, rapt, wide eyed in tulle and chiffon. The music infiltrated my consciousness like a living being, and I thought about the way the music and the story have traveled through the past hundred years.
Saturday morning, Abbott took a test; the independent middle school equivalent of the SAT. It included an essay question, which was to describe something that surprised you, and to say whether or not you liked being surprised. Abbott wrote about scoring a goal in a hockey game a couple of years ago, under a circumstance and at a time when he didn’t think he could do it. There are plenty of other surprises I might have expected he’d write about – that the albino rats in his science class fed an omnivorous diet grew more rapidly than those fed a vegetarian diet, as measured by tail length and weight. Or maybe about the hummingbird that’s taken to hovering around our dining room window. Or the thrilling ending to Under Wildwood. I aim to follow his lead; I’m looking to surprise myself.