So here I am on a Friday night with*
nothing on my mind, or rather a million things on my mind, not one crowning all the rest. Truly, I have been taking notes and I’ve written no essays on any of my studies or subjects:
We have one girl going through a new stage. She’s writing letters regarding her discontent and delivering them to me or Mark. We are terrible parents, she says, because we have not taken her to Disney World. Everyone else in her class has been there. We don’t do anything fun (like Disney World) or go anyplace fun (like Disney World). And I make terrible food, like quinoa and sourdough bread and black bean soup when she’d rather be eating hamburgers or French fries or pasta. The cumulative weight of these grievances are great indeed, and yet we have no plans for Disney World, and I made her eat all the quinoa salad at dinner. Some she spat into the garbage can, and I’m almost certain a spoonful was flushed down a toilet. But mostly, she ate it.
I told her sister that they would thank me someday.Someday,her sister agreed. But not NOW.
*Now that Tiny is well (she’s well! She’s well!), the rest of us are still flirting with headcolds. But it warms me to watch a healthy Tiny sport around the house like she owns the place. In spite of our warnings and admonitions, she keeps climbing up on this low, wide coffee table in our sunroom, standing up, arms wide open, a little Leo-DeCaprio-I’m-the-king-of-the-world.
Until this week, I haven’t had any trouble understanding Tiny’s words. They’ve been solitary, stand-alone expressions related to context. Her meaning was obvious. But now, she’s taken a turn into sophistication, with “I’ll get it,” “clean up,” “here you go,” “here it is,” “Evvy’s” (note the use of the possessive), and “change you” (which really means “change me”). In addition to all of that, she’s trying to tell me other things I don’t understand yet, language that sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook, but insistent, purposeful gibberish. She’s staring at me, she’s holding out her hand, she’s looking at something. She’s repeating the same phrase over and over. But I don’t know what she wants.At the same time, we’re weaning her off her moment-to-moment use of the pacifier (aka “Paci”). It’s been a little bit like a death in the family, her frequent asking for paci and my having to explain that Paci is “taking a nap right now” or that Paci is “all gone” and that we’ll see Paci “when we go to sleep.” I get a bit heartbroken over it all, wondering what that comfort really means to her and how we should make up for it. Does her need for Paci speak to some deeper level of need for security and comfort that I need to provide in another form?
*Oops. I wrote all of the above two weeks ago before I got sicker and before a round of Zithromax. We’re healthy now, all of us. And today I’m grateful for a mild March walk around the pond in our neighborhood, two ducks in sight, and Tiny crying out to “Touch it! Touch it!” The sun lingered long enough for me to trim one of the overgrown evergreen bushes in the front yard.
*I was also grateful for the checks that arrived by mail in support of our Mozambique trip. We’ve raised almost $900 of the 7K we’ll need. I’ve been humbled by the responses from those near and far. Even my chiropractor slipped me an envelope yesterday and then confided that he was particularly moved by the prospects of our upcoming adventure. I haven’t had a chance to thank each one personally (YET), but if you’re reading this, you know who you are. Thank you.
*In spite of the outpouring of support, we are still far from the total sum we will need. But every time I open one check in the mail, I'm thankful for the person who sent it and for their gift.
And I remember the loaves and the fishes.