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Archive for October, 2007

Costumes and Pumpkins

Here’s the pony and the cowboy.  And this year’s pumpkin carving, both sides:

And I went as Miss South Carolina:

Remind me next year when I come up with a costume that entertains me to this degree that most of the people at the party won’t get it at all, and not only will I have to explain who I am under the costume (I’m not recognizable with the blond hair and lots of makeup), but I’ll have to describe my concept over and over.

“In case you are one of the US Americans without a map, I brought one for you.”

If you don’t get this, see this video.  Swallow all liquid before viewing to ensure the safety of your keyboard.

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Life is good

We were completely smitten with our children this evening.  We played a board game, the kids performed several patriotic songs, read Henry and Mudge while snuggled together in Lily’s bed.  I caught them hugging and telling each other of their love for one another.  John and I sat and talked about how lucky we are.  Lily, compassionate and well beyond her years in emotional maturity, and Dawit, only with us for 1.5 years, but still advanced beyond his completely American classmates…

Then, we discovered the secret torture operation going on almost in front of us:

What could Sparkles, Moo-moo, and Unicorn have done to deserve this treatment?

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New vocabulary

I’ve always talked to both of my children like I speak to all other people.  I don’t have an altered vocabulary or tone to communicate with them.  Because of this, and because they’re both smarty-pants, both of my kids have impressive vocabularies and are confident to try out new words. (see Dawitish post below)

Lily is studying bats in first grade, so I checked out a book for her.  The level of reading was a bit beyond her, but we tried.  She read the title of a section:  Navigation by Sound.  She wanted to know what navigation is, so I explained.  Then she says “bats use echolocation for navigation. ”

I had to read the rest of the paragraph to understand what she meant.

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Is there medicine for that?

Dawit has had a bad cold for a couple of days. I didn’t like the sound of his cough, and John took him to the doctor today. He had this to say to me about it:

I maybe have amnesia and two kinds of medicine!

(Actually, it could be the start of pneumonia.)

Then he needed to call Granny to get some sympathy there as well. You’d never know he’s not well by the way he chatters. He squeezed this in while detailing his day for Grandma:

…and I have ammonia maybe and two medicines and I got a shot!

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Front Door Guardian

We took advantage of the 75 degree weather to create this guy (girl?). Still un-named, we will vote tomorrow on the suggestions of the kids. Lily wants to call it Hazel. Dawit wants to call it Basil. Willow, the dog in the door, has been barking at the potential intruder all afternoon.

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The Purple Folder

is in St. Petersburg!  Go check it out!

They are there for a short stay, back in the States for a week and a half, and then back to Russia for the final court process, and Her Sweetness will be on her way mid-November.  It’s been a long, difficult process.

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What to think?

I was picking up Lily from an afterschool activity yesterday, and Dawit was waiting patiently in the hallway. The room was filled with squealing first grade girls having a good time. Dawit looked in from the door, clearly feeling a bit sad to not be in on the mayhem.

As the girls were gathering their things, I invited him in to help me pick up the floor. They had used some craft supplies, and the room was a mess. He loves to help, and he’s a fabulous housekeeper. As he scurried around picking up scraps, the adult leader of the group started chatting with me about how the session had gone. Then she leans in to me and says under her breath and nodding at my son: “where did he wander in from?” I said “oh, the hallway.” She came back with, “I mean who does me belong to?” With perfect timing, Dawit approached me with a “mommy? Can I…” So I finished my conversation with this woman by saying “Me. He belongs to me.” She was flustered and started with “oh, I thought maybe he was a part of that other program in the cafeteria, or…”

Yes, I know that there are multiple factors as to why this seemingly nice mother would choose to voice her prejudice to a perfect stranger. Maybe she thought it was strange to see a boy at an all-girl gathering. Or maybe she doesn’t want anyone to help her clean up. Perhaps she was sincerely concerned for his well-being, wondering where his caretaker was.

Since Dawit has been with us, seeing life through his eyes has given me new perspective on race. It’s ongoing. We live in a diverse, tolerant community, and I tend to be optimistic about people in general. But I have now been in several scenarios when other white people have made comments like this to me, not knowing I am his mom. It’s very subtle.

This summer at the kiddie pool, I was sitting on the edge with a whole row of parents watching the kids play. Lily and Dawit were playing well together, but a little too much splashing was going on. I called to Lily to stop. The mom next to me leaned in and said “I wonder where his mom is.”

It had the same quality and tone as the comment yesterday. It’s similar to when people whisper the word cancer . Like it’s an unpleasant topic you’d rather not be caught discussing.

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