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Daughter Shopping

12 Sep

My title is deceiving.  It implies I am in the market for a new daughter.  This is not the case…I assure you.  And though this post has nothing to do with shopping for a child, it does involve the parent-child dynamic.  Are you surprised?  Have I not overused this topic already?  I will answer for you, “no to both questions.”  Of course none of us can be surprised; after all, the subject of inter-human relations is inexhaustible.  This subject has come up for me this week via two completely unrelated circumstances.  The first is through my daughter.  The second is through the relationship of a friend and her son…and me.  First I will tell you the story of my daughter.

As I have previously written, Esther is in college.  Her math professor happens to have also been my math professor.  He and I got to know each other on a personal level because I required much assistance to gain the “A” grade for all three of the math classes I took while under his tutelage.  In addition to him being an astute professor of mathematics, he is a kind man and our personal lives crossed at a couple of proverbial intersections (stated only to avert the perversion of thought that might try to infiltrate the connection).  At any rate, the point of the aforementioned rhetoric is to simply overstate that he and I gained a knowledge of each other and of our families.  In fact, he has known Esther since she was twelve…almost five years now.  So the other day, when upon my advice she met him at his office for his amazing tutorial guidance, it was no surprise that he suggested to her to ask me for assistance on any and all of the subject matter in which she struggled.  His statement, as retold to me by her, went like this:  “Why don’t you ask your mom for help.  She is a really good teacher and was an excellent student in Algebra.”  And to this piece of advice, or suggestion rather, she said (again as retold to me by her): “NO WAY!!  My mom and I don’t mix well together in math…no how, no way!”  And you know what?  She is telling the truth!  We most certainly do NOT mix well when it comes to mathematics.  We do, however, get along fine while shopping.  Shopping for clothes, shopping for shoes, shopping for accessories–just plain old shopping.

Now onto the second scenario…

I have a good friend, a few hundred miles away, who has an elementary aged son who struggles with literacy.  Well on Sunday he called me and asked if we could have a Skype session (internet video phone call, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Skype) for no other reason than it is something fun to do.  So while we were chatting away about nothing important, and mostly because I was trying to keep the interest flowing, I asked if he would like me to read a book to him.  With immediate reluctance he questioned, “What book?”  I suggested Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (because it was within a reasonable reach).  It just so happened to be a favorite of his, therefore he answered, “yes.”  I read the book to him and after I finished he tucked himself into bed and we signed off with a “goodnight”.  Monday night I had another Skype call from my young friend.  Only this time HE had something to read to me.  He read me two short stories and allowed me to read another from my shelf.  Our next “telephone” date is set for tomorrow night.  And it honestly cannot come too soon.

My girl friend and I spoke the next day and she said her son has, since our first reading, Skyped with an older cousin and read to her as well.  My friend tells me this interest in reading is something of a phenomenon for her son.  She even accused me of having used magic on him because she says he normally does not like to read out loud, nor does he like to be read to.  And now he is excited about both…via Skype.  And all of this praise comes simultaneous to my daughter balking at the suggestion of utilizing me as a mathematical resource.  Funny.  Ironic and funny.

Yet isn’t that just the way of life under “normal” familial conditions (I use quotes on normal as I’m not quite sure what normal truly means.  Normal in my life seems to equate with chaos.  Controlled chaos, but chaos just the same.)?   I mean here I am able to help my daughter with her difficulties in math, yet she is adamantly opposed to working with me.  And my girlfriend, more educated than I, is definitely capable of reading and being read to, though her young son is reluctant to utilize her literary skills.

Children, and the business of raising them, is funny stuff!  And I am thankful that we help each other along the way.  To invest, to the degree that is required, can be quite the daunting task when going at it alone.  Which is why we need to ‘pitch-hit’ for one another during the times our ‘ever so wise’ children foolishly reject our skill sets.  I actually think the Chilean poet, Gabriela Mistral, says it best in her poem titled, “Su nombre es hoy” (“His Name is Today”).  Written in Spanish, the writing implores its readers to comprehend that the child who is at the crux of growth and development is not to be neglected.  He or she is to be invested in.  She states that to abandon the child is akin to keeping from them the fountain of life.  She encourages us to know that the many material “needs” we have can wait, but the child cannot.  And she finishes the piece by rhetorically asking, “how can we tell him tomorrow, when his name is Today.”

I am thankful for my young Skyping friend.  He has helped me remember that though my daughter rejects my tutorial assistance, there is another whose investment in her life is of great value and importance within that realm.  Which is how I hope my friend feels about me and her son’s new passion to read.

Su nombre es hoy

Nosotros somos culpables
de muchos errores y muchas faltas,
pero nuestro peor crimen
es el abandono de los niños
negándoles la fuente de la vida.

Muchas de las cosas
que nosotros necesitamos
pueden esperar, los niños no pueden,
ahora es el momento,
sus huesos están en formación,
su sangre también lo está
y sus sentidos
se están desarrollando,
a él nosotros no podemos contestarle
mañana,
su nombre es hoy.

-Gabriela Mistral

Brock

A Skype “goodnight”

Bless-Sed

17 May

First off, I would like to thank each of you who complimented me in such a way as to make me feel like “Super Mom”.  You all gave me a lovely gift, and I am grateful.

Secondly, I have to say that both of my children are very good at blessing me.  They stayed back from church on Sunday and worked on making the house (dogs bedecked with bows included) festive and beautiful for when I returned.  I was greeted at the door by two very happy, colorful canines and when I turned the corner into the dining area, I was further greeted with a bouquet of 40 multi-colored tulips (my wedding flower) which were sitting next to a lovely tropical arrangement courtesy my friend, Nora, and Bodega chocolates from my Candymoto.  Chocolate covered strawberries were in the mix, and a flourless chocolate cake made especially for me by my daughter (I am still living the ‘gluten-free’ regimen I began a while back) was wafting its dark decadence my way.  They even had my favorite Brazilian music playing in the background.  And because it was lunch time, they were both ready and awaiting the go ahead from me to order my favorite ‘gluten-free’ pizza which they picked up, payed for, and delivered to our backyard Shangri La…the one which I requested spend the rest of the day basking in.  In fact, that was my one request; for mother’s day I had hopes of sitting by the pool reading, playing cards, or just visiting with my children and husband.  Others were welcome as long as I didn’t have to wear my ‘happy hostess’ chapeau and could lounge until I was all lounged out.  Turns out it was just us four until Esther had to leave for work and then it was three.  🙂

Now a couple of comedic errors–well ironic really– occurred during time I was enjoying my blessing shower.  One, I received two Happy Mother’s Day cards from the two women who served as my maternal coaches.  The only problem was that I was so focused on my needing the day to do whatever it was (or wasn’t) I wanted that I forgot I had two very special women deserving of my time and energy.  Thus in the course of my forgetfulness and self focused mind, I failed to send them a reminder of their special place within my heart and life leaving them only to chomp upon the bitter pill of a phone call from me.  My other ironic chastisement came when I read a 2012 daily devotional for the date of ‘Dia de Madres’, for from it I learned of the proverbial wife and mother referred to by the name of, ” The Proverbs 31 Woman”.  She is not necessarily new to me for I had heard of her ways and means some years back, though I confess to have cast the lesson she portrays to the side for I have no interest in rising before dawn and working in the fields.  But here I was, once again, facing the lesson of this particular female as recorded in scripture many years past.  And by again learning of this selfLESS female from long ago, I concurred I am most definitely not her…just ask my two moms!

Even so, this past Wednesday I again enjoyed the gift of my children, the gift of our home, the gift of time, the gift of rest, and the gift of laughter.  All of which was unexpected, but superbly fulfilling just the same.  Cole, Esther, and I laughed our heads off in the morning as we dipped all kinds of foods in chocolate and ate till our stomachs refused another morsel.  I baked muffins and they both entertained me in the kitchen.  We lay by the pool, we napped, and we swam.  We listened to music and shouted absurdities at each other with such mirth we had to take pause only to reclaim the air to our lungs so we could carry on some more.  And the only reason our soiree came to an end was because Esther had to get herself off to her job–leaving Cole and I to wrap up the good time without her.  Which we did (with Brian who returned home from work and joined us poolside), until the makings of our evening meal required my attention and the ‘norm’ of the familial routine resumed.

While I know I am not a “Proverbs 31 Woman”  (nor do I have the slightest aspiration to be so for my stamina forbids it), I am a blessed mother and wife just the same.  I am graced with thoughtful and kind children and a loving and dynamic husband.  Besides, the daily devotional was written by a man; what could he possibly know about being a wife and mother? 🙂

So, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?  I already am what I would choose to be.

Not Lost (and not yet found)

2 May

I have, in the course of the last week, begun two new post entries which still remain unfinished in my “drafts” folder.  The speed at which I’m traveling, this week and next, is keeping me in many places (figuratively and literally) and not allowing me to land long enough to finish my writings.  In fact,  just having one adolescent female, which I happen to be mother to, is more than a full time job and requires much overtime!  Additionally, she is not the only factor present in my life which requires attention.  Thus by the end of the night, when I am cozy and ready to write, my brain shows me the state mandated “break policy” and I yield to its compelling call.  And rather than bore you with the details, some of which are exciting and some of which are trying–but both of which will end up in a “real” blog post, I will leave you with a photo taken of me today.  Yep, my dear neighbor and friend Miles “loved” my look today so much he took the time to snap a good one!

So I leave you with the picture that tells the story, though I warn you, it is a chaotic tale indeed!  And know that even though you haven’t heard from BENTRIVKA in a while, it is not because I am lost…just not quite yet found (now that is a crazy phrase structure if I do say so myself–“just not quite yet found”–I am again hearing the break-room call!). 😉

 

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