I had heard of Raffi before I had kids, although I had never heard his music. I don't know if he wasn't popular when I was growing up or if I somehow missed the Raffi boat, but I had never even heard of him until my friends started having kids. At that point, I assumed he was some overly commercialized kiddie star, and would always roll my eyes when anyone would say, "Oh, now that we have kids, all we ever listen to in the car is Raffi." Oh, the horror!
One of the twins' first gifts was a board book of Raffi's song "Baby Beluga." It kind of drove me nuts to read the lyrics as a story without knowing the tune. The verse does not exactly flow off the tongue—at least not off mine—without a tune. But I wasn't going to buy a Raffi CD. No way! No how!
Then someone gave the twins one for their first birthday, the very CD I needed: Baby Beluga. I popped it in to give it a listen. Here's the shocker: I love Raffi! (Bet you didn't see that one coming.) He's all about love and family and peace. OK, I have no earthly idea what's up with that crazy song/story/tone poem "Joshua Giraffe," but the rest of the CD is great. I need to get more Raffi!
What other kids' music should I check out?
For most of this week, I have been at a training for work, stuck in a hotel conference room all day, away from my computer. I had been dreading the training, figuring it would be a waste of my time. Much to my great surprise, I've gotten a lot out of it. I'm exhausted at the end of the day and I'm terribly behind on blogging and reading/commenting, but it's given me small hope that my work could soon be interesting again. Let's hope.
This doesn't really fit under the heading of "Well I Never," but I want to get it out there. I really appreciate everyone's comments about my in-laws. The suggestions about having them get my neighbor a gift certificate to a local nursery or getting him a plant are great . . . except that there's more to the problem.
I didn't want to get into it in the original post because I was too tired and frustrated, but here's the missing piece of the puzzle: all the plants that were torn up had sentimental value. They came from either my neighbor's mother's garden or from his (now ex-)partner's. He can get cuttings to replace them, but still. He would have been upset if these had been plants that he'd purchased and planted, but that they came from family and friends made it much worse, and make an offering of a nursery gift certificate or plant seem a bit hollow.
I've been thinking that I'd leave him a bottle of wine, but other ideas are welcome.
As for getting my in-laws to make amends, I have to confess that I don't think I have the energy. They aren't going to change. If I thought they'd change, I'd consider it, but plenty of experience shows that they won't. I've already lost a lot of valuable emotional energy making my own peace with my neighbor and my (perhaps misplaced but still present) guilt about the whole situation. I don't need a stressful conversation with my in-laws on top of it all. Of course I will tell the in-laws that they are no longer allowed to do yardwork unless under direct supervision, and I'll tell them that they pulled up some of my neighbor's plants and that he was upset. But I'm going to leave it at that. If they don't think to apologize on their own, I'm not going to push it. I need to let this go and spend my mental energy on something else. I'm sorry to say that the in-laws will likely do something else that tests my emotional reserves sooner rather than later. I need to start banking some reserves for that.