“Cheers to Democracy, People!”
A tree juice toast to new prez
Welcome, new subscribers! I have no idea where you’re coming from (and would be happy to know! Please tell me!) but our publisher is always pleased by an influx of new readership. You may find our focus on a single random child you’ve never met slightly disorienting at first, but as you become accustomed to our obscure storylines and the running Nicole Kidman and Paddington serial fiction, we trust you will turn more and more often to The Daily Kina as your primary news source.
Let’s start with an obscure storyline, then: One term that recent subscribers may not quite grasp is “tree juice”, last referenced in our September 30th edition. Conventionally known as “apple juice”, Kina has long preferred her own nomenclature, since no bottle of farmstand apple juice actually depicts an apple, and “tree juice” is just more fun to say. Tree juice the beverage our publisher typically requests with dinner, and like all great media moguls, she refuses to let anybody eat before she launches off into a spirited and muscular toast. The result of this boisterous ritual, as often as not, is a puddle of apple juice and a muttered apology, but we’ve been dealing with that since Kina was two years old and running up to us with her sippy cup, screaming “Cheess!”
For a few weeks now, Kina’s toast has been “to the new year”, which I can tell you is great, because adults have this thing about not celebrating New Year’s for more than one day, and Kina has no such boring hangup. Every night is New Year’s Eve at dinner when your child is four—complete with spilled drinks, screaming, and people dancing on your bed. Tonight, though, and without prompting, Kina made a solemn toast “to democracy”; this was moderately surprising, given her general disinterest in yesterday’s smooth transfer of power, but she appears to have read the news by now and is fully on board with democracy as a concept. It’s clear that she recognizes something has changed, in the way you might notice a recently mown lawn or a new tube of toothpaste.
Maybe what she’s noticing is a changed mood around here. It’s subtle, but there’s one less ghost haunting the corners of this house, and that’s a big deal when you don’t like ghosts. One thing less to process—and I have a lot to process. I’ve been thinking lately about the reason I write these things every day, and why this newspaper first came into existence. These papers are memory, of course, and they entertain you, and they feel good to write—and I’ve talked about all that before—but they also leave a trail behind me as I process alllllll thiiiiiiiissss stufffffff: getting sick, being trapped in my bedroom-slash-office, the boundless uncertainty of a pandemic, an election year, the three years that preceded it, potty training, remote school, temper tantrums, and thousands upon thousands of impromptu performances of “Let it Go”. This newspaper is about Kina, but the newsletter has, for the last eleven months, been about being her parent, living through a pandemic, and dealing with The Last Guy.
One down, two to go. Cheers to the new year.