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The New Domesticity: What’s In a Name?

The New Domesticity: What’s In a Name?

Our family recently enjoyed a hike along the Whipple Creek trail in Ridgefield. The towering evergreens provided welcome, cooling shelter on the hot summer day, and the eerily long mosses, lavishly draped from branch to branch, were somewhat reminiscent of Rivendell. (One of our sheltering-at-home diversions, of course, was to revisit “The Lord of the Rings.”)

At one point along the trail, our daughter had a flashback, recalling a hike at the same location, several years prior, when she’d been having a rough day and couldn’t quite snap out of the grumps. That is, until she met Randy. We had been walking slowly along, pacing ourselves to accommodate a downcast daughter, when her eyes fell upon the loveliest clump . . . of moss. She scooped it up, cradled it tenderly in her arms and declared: “This is Randy.” She tended to Randy for the rest of the day, and her blues were a thing of the past.

We laughed over the memory, and it was with great fondness (and a bit of pomp) that our daughter carefully selected another clump of moss, a tribute to her younger self. She christened the new moss Ringo, selected a couple of small sticks, propped him on a stump and announced that he was now ready to keep the beat for John, Paul and George.

I often think about that hike of the past. Randy turned out to be a great friend to me, too: he revealed the way in which my daughter was able to work through her emotions by transferring her focus to something else. At a later, appropriate time, we talked about emotions more deeply, but in that moment, there was something magical about our daughter having something to name.

Read the rest of this article in the full digital issue below.

Julianna Lawson and her husband, Jamie, make their home in Vancouver with their four children, ages 14 to 22.

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