i've got a million things i'd like to blog about from the road trip to texas...like how cosmo seems to have overcome some shyness, and was hugging and climbing on friends and relatives he couldn't possibly remember. how he clung to daily rituals, like taking vitamans, and doing his advent calendar, as a secure structure while we were on the move. how he got to strengthen bonds with nani, justin, aunts, uncles, cousins and papas.
[with nani in the driveway. with justin at the kell house]
[goofing around with uncle D. bedtime story with papa jack]
or, about the cool new architecture we visited in houston: discovery green downtown, and the gorgeous pavilion behind the library on rice campus.
[with chuck at discovery green. $9 snack time at the pavilion]
or, about seeing a new, low slung building (i'm guessing it's a bar), built on the site where my old apartment once sat, before the fire ran us out of there one november day. or about snowfall in houston (!), a vietnamese tofu sandwich in midtown, a handmade scarf, a train ride and a campus bike ride.
[snowfall in front of micheal and taryn's. cosmo in front of the architecture building, where i spent 4 years of my life]
or about the fantasy of lights in wichita falls, and how cosmo got fully and completely indoctrinated into the idea of christmas, and became obsessed with frosty the snowman.
[with santa at the nature center in WF. telling cousin jayna she needs to wait until christmas]
or about the wild child party we threw at chuck and hank's, complete with tickle monster chase, jumping up and down, overturned furniture, broken dishes and hidden shoes.
[lila and clara. cosmo bouncing on the bed with joy]
or, how nice it felt to drink wine and argue about education with my dearest friends, my chosen family.
[uncles chuck and michael. fun with carrie and pearl]
or about pillow fights and couch forts with the grrlz at grrrllville. old friends in new digs (and old), with new babies (or not).
[with chris, michael m. and baby miller. cosmo learning how to hold baby lili]
... a trip that was way too long and way too short, i'd love to write about all of it.
but, instead, in the spirit of the season, i offer a last minute gift idea:
cosmo's aunt jamie and uncle derek gave him a book called one million things: a visual encyclopedia.
this is a book i wish i could give to every child i know. it is filled with images and short descriptions of anything from the human digestive system (represented by beautifully knitted organs), the birth of stars, the velvet revolution, and a fun section in the back full of interesting facts. did you know, for instance, that an army ant can carry 25 times it's own weight? i am completely fascinated by this book, and i think it is something cosmo will enjoy for many years to come. the information is presented in an interesting format, and offers a place to start when a question like "what are germs?" comes up.
with google, wikipedia and you tube at our fingertips, you might think a book like this is outdated. but i believe there is something wonderful about lying on your tummy, on the floor of the living room and pouring over a book like this (as i did our child craft encyclopedias as a child), wondering about the animal that lives in that strange, thorny shell, or what it might be like to do research in antarctica.
i expect a book of this size, scope and quality to cost between $40 and $60, but the sticker on our book says $24 in the US. we've been giving mostly handmade things this year, but if we weren't, and if i had young kids on my shopping list, this is what i'd be getting them.