Dang it’s hot!

Well, for those of us in California right now it is HOT! And how about that thunder and lightning storm last night? Happily, none of our California-born pets realized that they were supposed to get freaked out by the thunder so they slept right through.

As it happens, tomorrow is the kids’ first day back at school (starting 11th grade and 8th grade over zoom) and summer for them is ending with all of us huddled inside, trying to stay cool. Oddly, our cats chosen this day of all days to snuggle together as closely as possible in the dog’s bed (?).

Of the four us, my daughter has been the most energetic. I think that she wants a clean slate for the start of 8th grade and what this has translated into is a days-long assault on her room these last few days. To give you context for the magnitude of the task, several years ago when Simon did a major clean-out of his room and didn’t know what to do with some of his discarded items, he simply stashed them under various piles of clothes and books on the floor in Lucy’s room. I think it was a couple of months before Simon’s discards were discovered by a perplexed, and then irate, Lucy.

None of us have yet seen the room itself, but an astonishing number of boxes filled with old toys, bags and bags of trash, and bundles of goodwill-destined items have emerged from this room.

What this has meant for us is a substantial transfer of items from Lucy’s bottomless closet to our desk. Do we keep the many lavender-shaded clay pots? How about the large fish-shaped pottery piece (we wondered a little about putting it out in the yard but then thought it might scare the chickens)? And what about the toys that were once mine that somehow were retained through the years? For example, who emerged from that closet but Baby Tender Love! [Simon (misunderstanding): Baby tenderloin???]. Baby Tender Love was my first doll and weathered a lot, including an ill-advised haircut (me at 3 not realizing that the hair would not grow back). I have fond memories (perhaps as a 5 year old?) of changing her diaper, giving her a bottle, and getting her all set for her nap and then breezing off to a busy day at the office in a set of my mom’s old heels with an old purse swinging from my arm, a la the woman in the Enjoli ad. Here is Baby Tender Love:

Don’t worry, Baby Tender Love, I’m going to hang onto you.

In closing, I thought you might enjoy this exchange at the dinner table earlier this week. I was describing a navy blue baseball hat we had picked out online emblazoned with “No. 46” on it. This got blanks looks from the kids until Lucy said, “Oh, I know! That’s the year you graduated!”

Published by Lianne Kurina

I am an epidemiologist, the proud director of the Program in Human Biology at Stanford University, and a very keen horsewoman.

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