While walking in the dense crown, dragging two five-year-old boys along, I wondered What are we doing? The three of us tried to keep up with Nate, who was pushing the stroller. But we were slowed by two pairs of short legs and numerous obstacles - mostly young people jockeying to get a better position. And despite having an iPhone with a moving map, we couldn't quite figure out where we were supposed to go. The chorus of Are we there yet This is taking forever When are we going to get there Where are we? wasn't helping.
I finally spotted the building number and we trudged upstairs, greeted by a friend with glow sticks for the kids no less. Things were looking up.
We ditched the stroller and our coats and grabbed some pizza and sodas. Nate spotted the bar and procured two much-needed glasses of wine. The grown-ups were set. The kids wolfed down their dinner in time to catch the first float in the Parade of Lights downtown. And to see the smiles on their faces made the stressful five-block trek worth it.
This season seems a bit like a sham this year. We didn't even have to wear coats last night to the parade because it was still 55 degrees. I hate to complain about the mild weather we've experienced this late fall, but it's a bit disconcerting. I remember living in Austin during the holidays and feeling a bit out of place with the holiday decorations because it was warm and sunny. The upshot is that we continue to ride our bikes nearly every day very comfortably.
I'm planning to write a longer post about this topic some day, but I feel very strongly about not promoting stereotypically gendered toys for Lila (or for Benny, for that matter). I'm a big proponent of learning toys and I don't think that girls need to play with pink things and boys with blue things. We've been intentional with what we buy Benny (kitchen, tool bench, etc.) so that he's exposed to pretending to play with a wide variety of things.
The tree is up and the Santa lists are complete. We have plans to catch a train ride to the North Pole this weekend and see the Blossoms of Light at the Botanic Center sometime before Christmas. That's another thing I feel strongly about - giving our kids experiences as well as gifts.