All posts by Lydia Dolch

About Lydia Dolch

I am an educator in the Ithaca City School District as well as a private consultant for families of children with exceptional needs. I also paint, commute by bike and I am raising four kids with my wife, Laura.

Sesame Street revisited

My kids love to read a classic Sesame Street book called, “I Can Do It Myself”. In it, Ernie and Bert comb their hair, get dressed, and make their beds all by themselves. It’s great encouragement for early childhood independence. However today I saw the cover and had another thought; sometimes I can do it by myself. Other times I’m really grateful for the community of support that lifts my family and me through thick and thin.
If I were to write a sequel, it would be titled, “I am Glad I Do Not Always Have to Do It Myself”

My beautifully ugly neighborhood

Our neighborhood is ugly. All of the houses were build in the sixties (the raised ranch genre is limited). Even though I intellectually knew it was a wise purchase because of the schools, commute, and yard, I still inwardly cringed while strolling down the street.
 All of a sudden today I saw beauty for the first time. Not in the standard concrete steps or routine brown paint but rather in the soul of each house. I gave thanks for the neighbors who have brought over food and helped with kid care during my recovery. I smiled at the connection with the other two mom family with twins living on the corner and the three generations of Vietnamese neighbors we are lucky enough to live next to. My heart went from door to door, thankful for the community we call our own. 

After five long years and all of a sudden, I live in the most beautiful neighborhood one could imagine.

The brave new world of parenting

Our three-year-old twins are the learning how to skip count by twos at local rallies and marches. At home they shout: 2,4,6,8 we will not be ruled by hate! 
Three months ago they had no idea what Washington D.C.  was or what was happening in our government. Now my children are no longer innocent. While the twins ask about a bully president saying mean things, our nine-year-old has asked us about what the purpose of pussy hats is and what pro-choice means. We give answers that seem to be the best in the moment. Developmentally appropriate, but not glazing over the truth of our present reality. 

This is the brave new world of parenthood. We are doing our best and trying to remember to breathe.