babies

Lights! Lights!

We host a great music program called Baby DJ School here at our home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Created by the incredible Natalie Weiss, her class teaches the elementals of music - like beat, and pitch - through her own original, catchy songs. A lot of the songs use repetition (hi, age-appropriate learning strategy!), like asking the babies to clap continuously or say lines like "Pitch! Pitch!"

This morning, Natalie put on a beautiful electric lights show for the babies. It was red and green: high contrast (good for infant eyes!) yet seasonal and fun (good for parents' eyes!). While we weren't necessarily having an electric day - it was gloomy, my mother is still recovering from her cancer treatments, and some New Yorkers wonder if NYC is next ISIS target, after Paris - but when Natalie speckled neon lights all over our white walls, our living room became magical.

Cae was transfixed, and I was surprised. "How easy this is," I thought.

"How easy it is to choose joy." 

It's cold outside, and the world is still in mourning. But Christmas is coming, and it's a happy time. With Natalie's choice to bathe us in red and green, I felt like twirling around the living room, joining Cae in singing, "Lights! Lights!"

 

Elmer's Glue

Much is made these days of what I call endocrinal psychology, of how hormones and other biochemical indicators affect the behavior of social groups. It's a hot topic in journalistic, psychological, and business circles.  Learning personnel and communications management is the core material of MBA programming, and people pay upwards of $150,000 to learn this. But in spending time with my sister in law and her ten year-month old baby this weekend, I witnessed that something deep and instinctual within women already knows that elusive end of the MBA arc, which is how to read people. In some wild endocrinal twist of fate, women know exactly when another human being - who, mind you cannot even talk - wants to sleep, play, eat, be cuddled, be changed, be bathed, or just chill out. Calming down an infant is a special magic all to itself, and women do this every hour of every day. Women can read the un-readable elements of the human face, and that has contributed mightily (if silently) to our survival as a species.

Listening to the quiet triumph of my niece having taken to her naptime, I saw that women are this Elmer's Glue holding the world together.  In every space in which people gather - boardrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms - a woman has either organized, cleaned, or given emotional order to the space. Without stitches, or cut-outs, or pastings, or scotch tape, women hold the air up. Hold houses together, and hold the world together. Pots and pans in place, and the world around, churning.

We give natural order to rooms in the home. Just imagine what we could do in Board rooms!