The Scrawl Vol. 1, No. 19

  
We celebrated Maria’s birthday with Stephen’s parents and some friends of ours. It was quite lovely. Much as Maria had been anticipating the cake, when it came time, she had to be distracted from the matches and the coffee. (Thanks to Dad and Mom H for several of the snapshots in this edition of The Scrawl!)

  
  
Mother, this looks better than cake!

  
We went shopping for winter outerwear for Maria, and she decided she’d do some shopping of her own. I found her choice quite amusing and delightful, although I pointed out that newborn is probably too small for the kind of baby mama makes. (And no, we’re not pregnant).

  
The trees have been incredible. Going outside is like going into a candy shop, only better!

  
There is such a range of color, often within a block. I’m quite convinced that autumn is my favorite season.

  
Maria has started taking things with her when she crawls, and wants badly to do so with her baby doll, but it’s too big and clumsy. Today, however, she had a baby carrier built right in to her jacket!

  
We went to Nicollet Island for a lovely meander. There are so many places to explore around here! It seems we could spend all our time wandering if we were so inclined.

  
‘Tis the season for evil ladybugs. Not sure what these guys really are, but they’re not real ladybugs. Never saw them until I lived in the Midwest. They’re duller colors of red, and they are like the flies of fall and winter. They collect and breed and die all over the windowsills.

  
She’s so happy to have her baby doll and her little St Patrick doll, too!

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This is an excellent explanation of why it’s wrong to force children to give affection. I love this quote: “The goal is children who can discern between good and evil. And as they learn to recognize the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior—even in their own actions—we shouldn’t be surprised when they are able to identify inappropriate behavior in adults as well. They may not be able to articulate why they are uncomfortable; they may not have the categories that we do; but they will know something is wrong. And as church leaders, we must be the first to confirm this instinct. We must be the first to establish the significance of their “no”—as small and as uncertain as it may be.”

I thought this was very sweet. 

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