June 19th, 2010

Hearth

Saturday Miscellany

* So I slept on it. And I discussed it with Elayna. And we hit upon the solution that I was too angry and frustrated last night to see, but was, of course, right in front of us the whole time: Child can just take the train back to Boston her damn self. It's $50-$70 at that time of day and that day for one person one-way. The train station is in the airport. She just has to retrieve her bag from customs, hug her grandparents goodbye, and get on the damn train. The flight gets in from Israel at 5am. There's a 6am and an 8:30am train; I'll recommend 8:30 just in case their plane is late and to give them time for breakfast. My parents' plane takes off at 10. Plenty of time. Elayna not only enjoys train travel, she'll probably really appreciate the solitude. She's taking the train to New Haven for Explo by herself just a week and a half after this, and she's excited about that.

So I will call my parents at 10 (you don't call before 10am or after 10pm) and tell them.

* I finished saraphina_marie's baby blanket last night, and it's been blocking on the dining room table. It is bright green and pretty and the cats have been curled up on the towel covering it all night, imparting cat energy to the impending baby. Just think of them as the good fairies from Sleeping Beauty.

* I need to figure out what to bring to the party today, foodwise. Cornbread, I'm pretty sure. We have lots of potatoes. We could do a potato thing.

* Surprise BPAL reviews! (Oh, and by the way, Egg Moon is the best thing ever; anyone got any to barter?
Panther Moon: Gleaming black musk, mandrake, labdanum, black ginger, benzoin, champaca, ambergris accord, myrrh, and star anise
In bottle: Whuf. That's a lot of dark.
On me: Dark, murky, bilious yellow, unpleasant. Sad! Myrrh, labdanum, ginger, and anise tend to be really good on me. Not here.
Sara Pezzini: A hint of leather and an understated vintage musk layered over the scent of lightly perspiring, honey-dusted skin.
In bottle: Leather and sweet.
On me: Very sweet. I don't get much musk. I get a very *light* honey where I'm used to getting *thick* honey, with just the afterscent of leather.
Hunter: Leonine amber, tanned hides, clove, and clary sage.
In bottle: I'm getting something sorta musty. :(
On me: Oh there we go. Leather and amber. Only the tiniest hint of sage. I'm not getting clove at all.
Marquis de Carabas: A splash of bay rum, leather, dusty black wool, massoia bark, and opium residue.
In bottle: Yep, that's bay rum.
On me: Sharp bay rum. Whuf. This is very man. A bit sinister. Which is, of course, entirely appropriate.

* Photo session with the knitted stuff later today. You'll finally get to see that first lace shawl, and then also the gunmetal-grey Blogathon one, and the scarf pattern I improvised, and yeah.

But for now, we walk to the gluten-free bakery. I can has muffin.

EDIT: So I talked to my dad. He leads with "We're just going to change our flights."
Me: "But there is a train leaving at exactly the right time. A train ticket is way cheaper than changing your flights."
Dad: "By herself?"
Me: "She's taking the train to Explo by herself on the 18th."
Dad: "Well, the train makes a lot of stops."
Me: "....exactly the same number of stops as it would make with Adam and I on it, yes."
Dad: "Will she be okay with that?"

Will she be okay with the train stopping? What is this I don't even.

Me: "She'll be fine. And she could use the solitude; you know how she can get overwhelmed and peopled out. A few hours of listening to her iPod and reading manga will be good for her."
Dad: "It's a long trip. The flight will get her in at 1."
Me: "The train will get her in at 1:01. And she'll have room to stretch."
Dad: "We'll just change our plane tickets, because you want her on that plane."
Me: "Elayna and I agree that the train is better. Also, it is much less expensive for you than paying for three train tickets and a hotel or changing your tickets."
Dad: "Well. We'll decide and I'll tell you on Tuesday."

So essentially I have offered him an ideal solution that involves no alteration of his plans and very little additional expense (if pressed, I can by the damn ticket). But if he takes me up on that, he doesn't get to be a martyr.

It amuses me how now there is zero safety concern about the puddle-jumper. He is determined, in fact, to put her on the puddle-jumper. I have no big issue with the puddle-jumper, I just think the train will be more relaxing for her. It's just fascinating to watch how their brains work. If asked, I'm sure he'd claim that there was never a safety concern about the puddle-jumper. They rewrite stuff. Fascinating!

For the record, I was flying solo when I was 12. I was out of the house starting at 14. I was out of the house for good by 16, but there wasn't much at-home between 14 and 16. I'd been making my own way in ways far more significant than travel since I was younger than Elayna is now; they know that I managed to live in totally different cities at 15 without any help from them, but they're freaking out about her taking a train by herself. When they can walk her right up to and maybe onto the train. I was hopping Greyhounds at 14.

And frankly, Elayna needs the freedom. She and I have always been very close in a way that my parents and I never were. Which is awesome, but also means that at half the parties we go to, festivals, whatever, she's hanging out with her mom. Which I love, but also I'm very aware that developmentally, she needs to be branching out. Which is why we're both excited about Explo this year - we'll miss each other like crazy, but she'll get to be away from home for three weeks, and at 15, I feel like she needs that.

It's a hard line to walk. I think Elayna is freakin' amazing and I love her and I just want to hang out with her forever. And she doesn't need to be as independent as I was at that age, but I think it would be better for her to be a little more independent than she is now. So taking the train to Explo alone was a no-brainer. And I think she'll do fine taking the train from Newark - and considering how peopled-out she'll probably be from her grandparents being Intensely! Engaged! with her for 11 days, I think it's the best possible thing for her emotionally.

ALSO EDIT: Mom called back; Elayna took the call, and very cheerfully explained how much she really actually wanted to take the train, citing an enjoyment of train travel and a need for quiet decompression time. Her chipper attitude seems to have convinced Mom that this is not a thing I am selfishly forcing Elayna into. Phone got passed to me, and I laid out all the logic; Mom's sole attempt, besides a repeat of "trains make a lot of stops", was "I worry about her having to lug her suitcase! Will they let us on the train to help her?"

Me: "...they'll check it at the desk, Mom. She won't have to handle it at all."
Mom: "Oh! Because that's what we were worried about, her hauling the heavy suitcase."
Me: "Nope, you can hand it right to the person at the counter, and they'll take it off the train for her in Boston. She never even has to touch it. She can just bring on her backpack."

I really think they just don't get how trains work. I had a book about how trains work when I was 5. It had cross-sections. It was awesome. They should've read it.

So yeah. It looks like she is taking the train from Newark to Boston. Phew. Thanks, guys.
Mommy & Elayna 2010

Some more awesome Elayna stuff.

Elayna: "So I was having an argument online with a British friend, and he said 'I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of our health care.' I said, 'I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of the Gulf of Mexico.'"

Last night, swashbucklr brought me a stuffed winged unicorn.
Me: "A pegacorn!"
Adam: "It could be a unisus."

I proceeded to educate him and swashbucklr on the nomenclature of mythical beasts.

Half an hour later, Elayna comes downstairs, and I start telling her about her grandparents' WTFery. Suddenly she squeaks and points - "PEGACORN!"

Reader, I cracked up.

My daughter knows it's a pegacorn. I'm just sayin'.

Elayna: "So wait, how did the pegacorn get here?"
Me: "Well, when a pegasus and a unicorn love each other very much..."

She, of course, meant when. I told her an hour ago. She said how? I said "Um, swashbucklr got here an hour ago too, if you recall."

Elayna: "I don't know! You could have had it for years. There are strange things everywhere in this house that I am discovering all the time. The house could have spontaneously manifested a pegacorn."

My daughter.