Hi, it's me, Daniel-of-2013. Happy (early) Beltane to you, if you celebrate it.
As you may have noticed, I'm kind of fried. I haven't had time to add illustrations in weeks. The problem is, more or less, a combination of the time of the year and parenthood--neither of which I want to complain about, but I am insanely busy now.
I'm a free-lance writer by trade, though I also fill in as a naturalist at the schools and camps my wife works with. She's an environmental educator. All of that is a lot of fun, but it doesn't pay a lot of money and it keeps me too sedentary. So, in the growing season I also work part-time for a landscaper Charlie introduced me to. Last year, I scaled back on a lot of my commitments because we had a new baby and I did a lot of my work for the blog while Carly slept on my lap, but this year...
We had thought, naively, that once we were into the swing of being parents and once she could walk and so forth that we'd have more time available, so I committed myself to this and that...and I was wrong, and now I have no free time at all.
I may have to drop down to just one post per week.
I keep getting surprised by parenthood. Both of us do, even though both of us have friends and siblings who had kids long before we did, so this isn't the first time either of us has been around babies. I'm surprised by how different Carly is from other small children. I wrote about how Aidan bonked Charlie upside the head? He didn't mean to hurt him, of course--Aidan was and still is a very sweet kid--but he has this quiet, independent boldness that gets him in trouble sometimes. He just tries things out. Carly is different. She's not exactly timid, but she's cautious and she's more social. She wouldn't bonk someone on the head because--I think she'd feel it was rude--she'd try to pet you or something.
I mentioned my brother's wife getting pregnant. This blog isn't about my family, but I suppose I should give a couple of updates in the name of satisfying curiosity. Also, to one degree or another, my family has gotten involved in the School, so they may enter the story here and there.
My brother and sister-in-law have produced three children, first a boy and then two girls. So, my nephew is almost twelve, and my nieces are ten and almost nine. I think they are done having children, though there could be surprises. They adore their new cousin. They also adored the School--when I returned to earn my green ring, I brought them on campus as often as I could and they have become Sprouts.
My sister came out as a lesbian some years ago and is in a semi-serious relationship now. I'm glad that she can get married and have a family, but she doesn't know yet whether she wants to. I've met her girlfriend,and she seems to be a pretty cool woman, but we haven't told her about the School, yet.
My daughter is a Sprout, but there aren't a lot of other new sprouts. I feel bad about that sometimes, especially since her cousins are all so much older, and if she has any more cousins--if my sister has kids--they'll be so much younger. My wife and I don't plan to have a second child (though accidents can happen), but I'd like Carly to grow up with other kids, if she can. So, I kind of hope that some other Sprouts sprout, soon.
All of us are getting together next week to dance the Maypole and have a big party. We're thinking of actually having a lot of parties in May, to cheer ourselves up. For reasons I won't get into, the month of May is hard for some of us, now.