Tag Archives | flat stanley

In which i get my feet wet

The first time I did NaBloPoMo was the first time we visited Abu Dhabi, in November 2010. We’d told our kids—who at the time seemed so grown up but now, looking back, seem way too young for us to have hauled them around the world—that we were going “just for vacation” and to “see where Daddy had been working.” We didn’t tell them that plans were already afoot for a move the following year.

And now, eight years later, what had been our year-long Big Adventure is just our life; the ten year old is leaving for college next year, the jolly first-grader is now a taciturn 9th grade Marxist.

There seems not to be an official National Blog Posting Month any more, but I’m in need of the exercise, so I’m dipping my feet into the waters of this November challenge to see what happens. And as if to remind me of my first NaBloPoMo, you know what arrived in the mail the other day from my sister in New Jersey? Flat fucking Stanley. On that first trip to Abu Dhabi, we’d not only had the joy of bringing the stuffed crocodile that belonged to Younger Son’s first grade class but also his Flat Stanley. Every outing on that trip meant remembering the crocodile and the paper doll.

Here’s the deal with Flat Stanley: it started as a story, but now kids mail their own Stanley to friends or relatives so that Stan can have adventures that get written up in a little booklet and returned to the kid, who shares the story with her class.  I’m the farthest flung relative, so this Stanley is my second hosting gig. I always feel like this entire enterprise could be kind of a bummer for any kid who doesn’t have a way to get Stanley to somewhere far from home.

And so we’re taking Stanley out: he’s been to the grocery store, thus far, for some portraits near the honey from Yemen and the olive oil from Palestine; he’s going to the beach tomorrow. Not sure if I can arrange a camel sighting, but I will take Stanley to the Mary Mother of Jesus Mosque, which was renamed two years ago, and sits on the same street as St. George Episcopal church, the Evangelical Christian Church, and a few kilometers from the Mormon temple. I will not be bringing Stanley to Ladies Night at my favorite restaurant, where the pink wine is always 50% off.

Welcome to Abu Dhabi, Stan; and hello world of NaBloPoMo. It’s nice to see you all again.

Continue Reading · 0 on November 4, 2018 in Abu Dhab, Children

Even Stanley Was At the Rally

Remember the book Flat Stanley? About the kid who gets flattened when a bulletin board falls on him? He goes on adventures, traveling inside an envelope (which I imagine to be quite a bit like flying coach).

Elementary school teachers have taken Flat Stanley quite to heart and now kids make their own flat avatars and send them off to relatives in far-flung places for adventures (woe to the unsuspecting aunts and uncles who open their mail to discover that they’re now responsible for a four-inch high piece of cardboard).

Sometimes, however, the adventures are more local.  My friends Tom and Suzie (and their kids) showed Stanley life in the activist lane yesterday, at the Walk For Choice in Manhattan:

Stanley thinks that anyone who believes that stripping funding from Planned Parenthood will help the budget deficit must have had something heavy dropped on his head. And he should know.

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Continue Reading · on February 27, 2011 in Children, Feminism, Politics

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