Friday, June 14, 2013

Are we there yet?


There are three robin fledglings in the garden. When Jay and I noticed them (probably one of their first days out of the nest), they were each hiding in a different shrub. The mother was nearby, making a very loud, very high-pitched sound, over and over.

It was the highest alert sound for a robin—what they use when a predator flies overhead. Jay was quite amused that we were on par with a hawk, but to me it was interesting that the sound clearly meant: "Be very still!" And the little fledglings did exactly that.

Perhaps it was how motionless they were, but they seemed terrified. So small, so fragile, they were both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

That was only a few days ago. Now they fly up into the giant tree in our neighbor's yard and come back to land on the telephone wire with a whoa-oa-oa…as it swings back and forth. It's funny to see them, frantically flapping their wings, trying to keep their balance. They've come so far, and yet they clearly have a few things to learn.

I can relate. Last year I decided to become a fitness instructor. After six months of aerobics teacher training and studying for the certification test, I still feel, well, ridiculous. I'm too old. I'm not athletic enough. I feel horribly insecure about it all. Maybe I'll just stay right here in my little spot and hope nobody sees me.

But that's not how it works, does it? At some point, you have to make your move...even if you're not ready. Or as Jay tells me, "You've got to give yourself room to be bad for a while."

I don't like that. I want to be a great teacher. I want to be confidant. I want to fly to the treetops and then land gracefully! And I want it now.

Isn't that the worst part of learning something new? The time it takes, the patience it forces? Ugh.

With hard work and perseverance, I know I can be a good teacher. Just not today, little bird. Just not today.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's my blog and I'll post if I want to.

Wren helps with a post

Over two years now I've been blogging. No, that's not right. Over two years now they've been blogging: the dolls, the puppets, the opinionated inanimate objects that populate my world. That's how I set up the "rules" of Smalltropolis. Readers never see or hear from me. It's all them: their diatribes on pollution, their how-tos on baking, their musings on the world at small.

But now, increasingly, I want to speak. It seems some of the most interesting, funny, even enlightening thoughts are not from them, they're about them. Or maybe they're about me. Or maybe I'd just like to think I'm at least as interesting as a tiny version of myself!

But what about my readers? Will they be confused? I mean, all along we've been pretending there are no adults home, there's no meta in my micro, right? Why the sudden shift? Will it put people off?

My husband, (you'll know him as "Jay") got an earful of this over breakfast: "I'm starting to have followers! It's not into double digits or anything but there are people out there, reading what I write. And some of them aren't even related to me! So is it wrong to change my "rules?" Maybe I should start a new blog. But would dolls post on it too, or just humans? "

"What's Rule Number One?" he sighed.

"Do what you want."

"And Rule Number Two?"

"Pay attention to Rule Number One."

"OK, then." He got up to carry his bowl to the sink.


"Just pretend you're Wren and write a post about it."

….and that, dear readers, is how Smalltropolis just got a little bit bigger.

Jill Holly