Milk Moustaches and Grass Stains

I had Lasik done a little more than a week ago, and I’m quite literally seeing
more clearly. It’s a treat to see the clock without squinting, even when
nursing my infant in the middle of the night. I’ve really enjoyed seeing more
textures, even if it means seeing more cracks and stains in our walls at home.
Being able to see the imperfections of the world makes my environment more
genuine and endearing.

I saw a teenage boy today with a milk moustache, as he strode the grocery store
aisles with a quart of eggnog. He was grinning ear to ear at his freshly made
white accessory, as if to say, “Hey, I fit in with the `in crowd’ of all those
Got Milk? ads.” He got me thinking about how the accessories we wear, even the
most temporary ones, help us find our place in the world, at least to other
people.

At breakfast, Max held cheerios to his eyes, trying to wear them like monocles;
he’s a clown for any willing audience. Children wear cartoon-decorated
band-aids to heal boo-boos as equally as raising their spirits. Teens
graffitize their hands with reminders, pursue eerie, dark fashion trends, and
generate countless new orifices in their bodies, communicating their
independence, even while attached to their parents’ purses. Adults adorn
themselves with makeup or jewelry to make them more mature, attractive, or
stylish.

I patched both knees of Max’s jeans two weeks ago, rather than resigning to get
him another pair, though they are getting small. He identifies with being an
active kid so the patches made sense, and after picking the colorful fabric that
would now cushion his otherwise bare knees, he was looking forward to showing
off prints that mirrored topics of great value to him – cars, trucks, and puzzle
pieces.

I remember learning how to pre-treat stains when I was a child, and grass stains
were often a target. I really wasn’t that driven to remove these stains, as I
liked the message that went with them; I’m not afraid to get dirty, rough and
tumble in nature.

We hope you can embrace the imperfections that color your world this holiday
season, and you find value and identity in the extra grains of sand, clods of
dirt, smudges of chlorophyll, pokes of burrs, and your skin’s rosy sun-kissed
glow that being outside in nature affords. There will be no newsletters for the
next week, but newsletters will resume in January. We’ll be taking the “time
off” to update the appearance of our newsletters and surveys (expect something
prettier in 2011 and a less bug-prone survey), wrap up annual work like our
Annual Report and tax receipts, and prepare for our upcoming Board Meeting. Be
sure to let us know at admin@… if you don’t get the newsletter
in January; we will be switching to a new eNewsletter distributor.

Are you interested in becoming a Stroller Hikes Board Member? The Stroller
Hikes Board voluntarily meets once per year and oversees Stroller Hikes’
progress towards goals and adherence to its mission. Please contact Debbie
Frazier, Stroller Hikes President, at admin@… to indicate your
interest (please include full name and phone number) by January 4th. Even if
you don’t want to join the board, we welcome any ideas for Stroller Hikes’
events, website, newsletter, and outreach. Thanks!

Here are upcoming events:

Tuesday, December 21st at 4 PM join Megan and little Vera for a Stroller Hike
along the stretch of Stevens Creek Trail connecting McClellan Ranch and
Blackberry Farm in Cupertino. The trail is a lovely new, paved, two-lane/wide
one, so any baby transport will work. Meet at the McClellan Ranch parking lot at
22221 McClellan Road. We’ll stop part way to play at the awesome new play
structure at Blackberry Farm. For more information or directions, see the
McClellan Ranch/Blackberry Farm Page
(http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/McClellan/McClellan.html). If you’re running
late, call Megan at 408-409-3206.

Wednesday, December 22nd at 10 am Pippa and Ruth will lead a Toddler Trek at
Wunderlich Park in Woodside. We’ll do a slow-paced loop taking in the stables
and horses. Toddlers will be encouraged to walk, but if you want to bring
transport you will need a jogging stroller or carrier as the path can be a bit
rough. Bring boots and raincoats – it’s bound to be muddy, even if it’s not
raining. An extra pair of shoes to change into after the hike is a good idea.
No dogs allowed. Meet in the parking lot. For information about the park and
directions, see The Wunderlich Page
(http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Wunderlich/Wunderlich.html). Call Pippa if
you are running late at 510-621-7471.

Embrace life’s imperfections!

– Debbie, little Max, and wee Holly

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