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Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Tree Grows In Marylebone

It was a big day for Big Brother this week when he joined the rest of his buddies from Our Sweet School's Green Team to help plant the 500th new tree in Marylebone with BBC World Affairs Editor, John Simpson and the Lord Mayor of Westminster.

Lesser known dignitaries were also in attendance (including Baby Sister and me) and we were all greatly cheered by lovely remarks about the permanence of trees and their value to life. Even, maybe especially, urban life.

The idea of this little sapling one day being a tall shade tree really spoke to me. That it will quietly guard this little corner in Marylebone for decades to come makes my heart full. I made Big Brother promise to always visit "his" tree whenever he returns to London as a teenager or adult. You can help him remember to do so. The tree is at Hallam and Gildea Streets, W1, just outside of the BBC Broadcast House. As a semi-permanent wanderer, I really love the idea of some "thing" that we had even a tiny part of standing tall. And weathering London when we've gone from it.

And I know what you're thinking. He (Big Brother, not John Simpson) is absurdly overdue for a haircut. We'll have to get to that before Holy Communion or I'll really regret pictures that resemble Rapunzel in a little navy blue suit. With the busyness of jetting to and from Rome and last night's Family Disco at school and all, haircuts have been moved off the calendar each week.

A the return visit to the dentist has been similarly postponed. Just you wait until I tell you about our first British dental visit someday. I think it took approximately 3 minutes less for you to read up to this point as it did the dentist to examine 3 of my children's teeth. Gracious. You probably don't want to hear my rant about British universal health care. But you're here so I'll just say this - I suspect those who champion the principle (which is admittedly a laudable one) of such a system haven't ever actually experienced one. Our experience has given me a much more nuanced opinion than I had before arriving. I want to pen long, effusive love letters to our former pediatricians, my OB/gyns, and nearly every other physician or medical staff that ever cared for the Mister, the smalls and me Stateside. Continued side note, though: we have had excellent care at an NHS A&E (emergency room) which does make me wonder again about a system which provides great care in emergencies while neglecting general practices.

Soapbox dismantled, now back to Big Brother. To his great credit, he wanted to wear his school blazer and tie. Even though the school is technically in "summer uniforms,"these days (which includes polo shirt and shorts option for boys) he opted to get all dressed up for the big event and even asked me to pack a comb! This is the same little boy who formerly wore only fleece "comfy" pants with an elastic waist with softest shirts he could find. I think he liked only the soft clothes because as the second of two boys (and not needing new clothes) I splurged on countless new cozy blankets for him, each one softer than the last.

How cute is my little man?  Hopefully you'll soon get to see action shots, too as video of the day will be on You Tube next week.  I'll keep an eye out and post it.

Go Green Team!  Go Trees!  Go Big Brother! 

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