The Little One in the form of an Owl...(but don't tell her I said that!)

March 26, 2012

Your Mother Has Been Caught (2)

        The thing about playing Visitor in a world such as this, is that it is very easy to forget this is not a game for the people who inhabit it; they are not playing; for them, this is real.

        It didn't take long for reality of living in a mud hut with one mother, one younger brother, one best friend, a handyman/driver, and several village rats, to grate on my apparently fragile nerves.  I thought 48 hours was heroic, but the troop was nonplussed by my decision to beg off the trip to the market and instead bask in some much needed alone time.

        Even alone (save for the rats), being cooped up in a mud hut was not appealing; instead I chose to sit beneath the big tree, drinking leftover tea from the large saucepan.  I am not sure what advanced form of technology was used to divine that I had stayed behind, alone, but as soon as the message was received an executive guard was sent to awkwardly stand on centurion duty in my best interest.  The guard came in the form of an 13 year old boy named Ham.  Ham, ironically, was made up of not much more than bone-thin, malnourished arms, and a great wide smile; he looked to be about 9, such as it goes.  But I have mispoken; among those superficial qualties, he also possesed a valuable gift: the unyielding sense of duty to protect and look after me.  I was willful, desperate, and in my defense, thoroughly Americanized; I could not understand this gift or why I should need protection and set about making myself wholy unagreeable and put off until I chased him away.

       Shortly thereafter, a man came down the path that seperated our compound with that of our host.  He was carrying a jerrycan for fetching water and not far behind him followed 3 young girls doing the same.  It was then that I realized, this path was the main access to the well at the bottom of the hill in the lower fields.  In chasing away my centurion I had left myself utterly exposed to be gawked at by pretty much ninety percent of the village, who would all need to fetch water at some point for their household duties.

And gawk they did.  They were not going to waste this jewel of an opportunity to have a real live Black Mzungu sitting on display before them whilst they carried out one of the more gruesome tasks of village life.  The tableaux I painted, with skin bursting at the seems with extra flesh, legs long and heavy, feet soft, fingers carelessly adorned with rusted jewels, would have been aptly labeled "La Negresse En Chomage". It would have been considered a provokingly ironic piece of art, should the gawkers have had the time, language, or inclination to articulate what they saw.

     Needless to say, I soon scrambled to the safety of the hut, to commiserate my humilation with the sympathetic rats and peer through the small wooden windows, my hubris tucked between my legs. I could hear Aesop's ghost laughing in the treetops. At one point, I watched a man come down the path on his bicycle, pause, and look directly, or so it felt, at my hidden form. He watched and waited; I watched and waited. In a sudden show of bravado, he threw his bicycle to the ground and walked with swagger to the hut that resembled a dog's house. It was not a dog's house; it was, in fact, our outhouse; and this man was now defecating in what I could only assume was a luxury: the privacy of a privy.  He came out and took one more cocky glance my way before resuming his journey. I squealed at this affront, and ducked down into my mattress, having lost all interest in the scenic view. 

     In time, I feel asleep, only to wake to the troop of children surrounding my mud castle with chants for me to come and play. Perhaps the messenger service, realizing my aversion to Ham, had decided to appeal to my maternal nature while still securing adequate watch over me.  It didn't work. At first I sat up in fear, feeling as if the Wolf himself was at my doorstep, daring to blow my house in; my three little hairs were at an end. But soon enough, as I realized the rusty nail that was my bolt was doing much to keep the children in check, I sat back and listened with amusement to their lilting, sing-song chants heroically made in broken English, while the leader of the pack futilely scolded them: "move off, she's asleep, move off!" By the proximity of her voice, I knew she, herself, was too enchanted with my possible emergence to mean what she said. 

       I must have drifted off again. I awoke, the second time, with a Snow White resolve to cheerfully adapt to my novel, rural life. With virtuous humming, I looked out at the setting sun and proclaimed:

       "I will go and light the fire."......

March 23, 2012

Your Mother Has Been Caught (1)

Once Upon a Time....(time, time, time)

          It was near about Christmas time and the family had decided to spend it deep in the village. Not our ancestral home, but a village in Uganda near to a town called Hoima.  This place had become a kind of home for us as we had decided to commit our love and support to enriching the ancient land and empowering the people.

          The exact place in this village that we called home was a plot adjacent to a man with five wives,  two brothers, and a gaggle of babies between them. He was a prominent member of the village council.

           When we first visited his home to show our respect to his hosting us, we went to the back of his compound behind the main house where there was the typical hard dirt area and a hut for the kitchen.  The babies were everywhere, in all shapes and sizes, with large dark eyes indicating the distinct relation to their father (underneath the dirt you could believe they were the children of a king).  By the kitchen hut lay a sleeping pig with engorged pink nipples, a dusty dog with puppies tucked beneath her, and a young woman beached on a mat and heavy with pregnancy, staring listlessly at the visitors; the flies intermittently landed on each one and all seemed too bored and bloated to do a thing about them.  Every year I've gone since-though it has been awhile-there is always a fresh baby to hold whose eyes still have that blank, blind look about them, but they are large and dark, just like their fathers.

        On this particular occasion, we had come more by self-indulgent capriciousness, rather than dogmatic dedication.  We had come to play.  My mother had charge of three naughty twenty-something year olds, young enough to need her protection, old enough to demand freedom for mischief.  We were carelessly innocent.  It was a perfect holiday brood.

       The abode we called home, in that adjacent plot, was made entirely of sticks and mud and we would giggle when we forgot and tried to lean against the wall, only to have pieces of the house come crumbling down.  Lucky for us no wolves came knocking. Our kitchen was the open fire under the big tree, and it was often here that visitors and family alike would gather and commune.  

        The babies were allowed to escape from the eternal tedium of their lives to join in the adventure of watching and interacting with us-visitors from another world.  When they weren't playing "throw rocks and dirt" or stealing fruit we would have given them anyway (a habit of the perpetually hungry), they were waiting on hand for any instance that they could find to run an errand for us: fetch sticks for the fire, bring us some fresh cut sugar cane, or dig up some greens for supper.  Only one of the wives was actively in charge-it was not the young woman I had seen earlier.

        They willingly allowed us to play with them like dolls, piling them up for pictures, adjusting their torn, insignificant clothes to hide their genitals from the peering eye of the camera. It didn't take long to observe there was a distinct character designation among this troop of 9-12 children. There were leaders, fighters, and a caretaker who managed the disturbing act of maintaining an infant of no more than 12 weeks on his small bony back while playing a game of futbol.  At times I would dare to intervene, lifitng the wailing baby to me, gently clearing the dirt from her eyes, asking that she be sent back to her mother "where she belonged".  But, even at such a fresh age, she new whom to depend on; she would only wail harder until she was back in the arms of the boy. And should she be sent to her mother, within 15 minutes he would come trumping through the dirt path, shoulders hunched and strong, the wailing baby tucked between them in her rightful place.  I never stopped marveling at how gentle he could be with her, a mere four or five years old himself. No, that is not an underestimation or a miscalculation due to his malnutrition: by two you can help your mother with small tasks, by four you are the primary babysitter, by six you will have had your first beer-this is Village life, and we are only visitors.

         Or so I thought.....


March 21, 2012

Show Em How It's Done

(Update) The last post took a lot out of me to write.  It literally felt like a piece of me was pulled out of my guts and lain bare in the form of words.   I think that's not such a bad thing at all, but perhaps I am needing to save my guts at the moment, so the follow up post-My Daughter's Mother will have to stay on hold for now.  It's written, but it's still attached to me, can't afford the blood loss at the moment.

        In other news, I got a quite large role in the play (so all my posts will thus take on a necessarily Victorian accent-quite Victorian in fact....m'i'bad).  

       The Little One has learned to skip rope, and she's quickly become an expert performer, even when no one is around.  I think its great she has pushed herself with such discipline. Watch out Beyonce; I'm gonna make some $cashmoney$ off of that One....

        I don't think I've had such an excrutiatingly humiliating day as the one I had today, in a long, long while.  But then on the way home, sitting in lunchtime office traffic, under a blazing sun and a shockingly blue ocean to my right, I watched a grown man (not exactly mad looking, but not in top form I suppose) lean down over a pile of sand/dirt (like from a construction site) scoop up a handful, and pour it into his mouth.  Everybody's got issues, yeah? But why is it so fascinating when you are watching someone else face theirs? 

        People are such SHITS sometimes!

        My under-used toilet brush would concur, and frankly this link goes to a blog who says it all way better than I could at the moment. She seems to have found a way, to spill blood and guts, not just in words, but in pretty, safe, rainbow colored pictures.  Amazing.

          As would a certain Californian marketing-gone-wrong-poster child who has recently found a crack in his glass world.  All I will say about that: having a conscious does not mean you always do the right thing, it just means when you do the wrong thing it can hurt your head...really, really bad. And that video was pretty wrong, but not for the reasons some would think; not for the "ill intentions" of a young man who is really just trying to live a life with meaning the best way he knows how.

         Aren't we all in exactly the same boat? Reaching out for help and being laughed at; creatively displaying our journeys through the ups, and downs, and unicorns; selling dirt; eating dirt; skipping; and fucking play a part like the whole world is watching.  Because they fucking are. And sometimes they're gaping, and pointing, and acting like total shits. 

          So fuck it, give em a show, or at least a pretty picture and a few simple words.

           "And try to keep it clean," adds my neglected toilet; "unless  it gets a little messy," I respond (with uppity accent).....


March 16, 2012

Adopting Woes

         "But how?? How d-d-do you open your heart?"  She wails.

         I respond without hesitation; I respond instinctively from some place deep within; some steel center of Divine Force. I respond while having to convince every doubtful, broken, willful bit of my being that what I speak is Truth. I have to do this with such reflexive speed that the questioning, internal healing, and resulting response leaving my lips happen in a seamless transition. We step through a portal....

          I'm beginning to understand all the horror stories I've read in adoption blogs and forums. Parents safely claim, "it only gets worse". Bitches. I understand the need for them to make this claim; having become conditioned to that first version of the child they bring home (specifically if the child is above the age of 6). What they-we-fail to comprehend is that, that first version is just a shell, a protective layer made of head-nodding obedience, and intuitive, survival-bred manipualtion  (actually, they say babies are biologically designed the same way: with large eyes and reflexive smiles, they are made to seduce us into nurturing them).  It is US who make the mistake in believing that their instinct for survival, their adaptation is some special secret saved for those that have suffered and is thus a permanent gift of theirs, a skill, a magic weapon, that they will use without guidance or teaching forever and ever as they see fit. I understand it, but I do not approve.  Having read the horror stories, and commiserating woes found in many of these forums, I am left feeling disgusted.  The laments are always the same, "she/he was so great when we brought him/her home, but now we don't know what to do?!?"  How foolish they all are when the creature grows so comfortable it lets its guard down and bites, because biting is all it knows...
         How dare we-they-be so shocked that when that loving shell cracks, inside there is a vulnerable little thing, perhaps malformed from lack of exposure to the Light. A scared, broken being, perhaps vicious from fear that you will now see it and turn away in disgust or fear-"this isn't what we were expecting".....

       Watching my child collapse in anguish has that cliche, slow motion, car crash feeling.  It is actually happening.  This is happening and everything I say to her will cement, now and forever, my emotional bond with her. Yes, it IS now and forever, because I can remember wailing out my anguish at her age, my mother holding me, and me knowing she had no FUCKING clue how to help me; she had no FUCKING clue how much of my pain was rooted in her careless behavior; she was so busy being frightened.  And that has never changed.

         This thought only adds to the secret fear that what I am seeing in the face of my wailing, agonizing, child is the results of a few months under my influence.  As if this fear is not damned-full enough, beneath or alongside it is the thought, "also, she does come from your blood, maybe she is just revealing the same innate flaws you daily fight with; after-all, we all know how her mother was....

         All this while, we smugly pondered at how easily the Little One has been left seemingly un-affected by her tragic circumstance.  It was easy to get used to someone who seemed to reject the natural damage of a tragic circumstance [maybe it's just as easy to get used to a daughter who has always steeped herself in mourning.  So used that you never think to pull her out of it].  It was easy to feel arrogant (even though we only lucked out) that this poor, innocent thing-innocent of her poverty-should fall into our care; as if, by her natural ability to adapt, we have proven ourselves capable.  It's been easy, and the hard part is just beginning....

          I scramble to retard the momentum of despair that is building fast; I sing the pop song* I've written her.  Even in emotional upheaval, she has time to pause, listen, and smile at me with sincere enjoyment. (I knew it was a hit) but it doesn't last for long.  As soon as the song is over her eyes go large and black again; her shoulders squeeze together while her body shudders and shakes with her cries. 
           So....I speak French;  the bits and pieces of inaccurate phrases tumble from my lips while I stroke her controrted face: "Ne pleus pas mon fils-ma fille (ma fils...damn that's not right, but it sounds a lot better-whatever she don't know); "c'est pas grave"....

       [Unless it is, unless its you crying because you want to go live with my sister and not moody, silly, me.  Unless it's you crying because the genes in your body just kicked in and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Then, I'm afraid, it might be a bit more serious- Or not? Am I so regretful of who I am, I fear the idea you might be like me someday? Hmmmm....I can't say that I am my Love.] 

       "Life is sooooo HARD!!". She is mourning for the FIRST time since the day I watched her across the grave where her mother lay while dirt was thrown on top. My sister clung to me, and even through my own tears, I could not help but notice how she cried and sniveled like a broken, little girl-except there was the little girl whose mother was disappearing, looking on, calm and serene.  

         "Well it's about fucking time isn't it", the deep steel center of me throbs this feeling out through my bones,  "Bare witness Lady: THIS. Is. Your. Job."

         Whatever is yet to heal in me has to be left for another day, my daughter is flailing herself into a pit of despair, and that isn't going to happen on my watch.  I am not going to stand back in fear.  I know, in that moment, it is up to us to decide, once and for all, how we are gonna live our lives, or else our pains/fears will decide for us:

       "No! Enough now, Vannesa! Come on, this isn't you!! Enough crying, NO! Life IS BEAUTIFUL!! Yes it is hard sometimes, okay, and yes you can cry, but then you have to stop and say ENOUGH.  It's beautiful even when it is hard, my Little One.  And sometimes we have bad days and the sad thoughts shout at us, but then you just have to shout back, with your heart (I place my hand on her thin chest and INVOKE the Will of God that what I speak be a Blessing) You have to SHOUT back with all the wonderful blessings you've had in your life, all the good memories and stories.  Come on now-"

        Her wailing has stopped, but I think-I know-it is only paused, "But how?? How d-d-do you open your heart?"

        I speak quietly now, but with feverish force-["yes, I know this is Truth-give it to her and tell your fears to shut the fuck up about it." my heart reminds me]:
        "By Loving someone; by being kind to someone who needs it (her thin arms snake their way around my neck and pull me close to her face so I have to whisper); or by being Loved or having someone be kind to you; by those moments when you let yourself feel total Peace (Relaxed Body, Easy Mind*); by seeing something beautiful-like the sunlight in your eyes, or the clouds or the trees, or a baby smiling; by laughing with a -"

      "You know what?" she whispers, "I need a book.  I have to write down everything you've ever told me.  I have to not forget."  
      "You're going to write down what I say, like I write down what you say to me?" (she nods) "Okay, that seems fair; good idea, baby."

      There is a brief stillness, "I will NEVER forget my mother." Her eyes well up again, she sounds so damn desperate.  [No, My Love, I have you now, I won't let you fall again.]  
       "Of course you won't!! No, of course not. Baby, sometimes we can open our hearts through sadness too! Through the mourning of someone we loved who is gone, through feeling the pain of someone else's loss, or the pain in the world, but only when we let that sadness teach us, and in the end we find Peace again....  And you know what?  I will never forget her either. I have learned so much about life from your stories of your mother.  I think about her everyday. Every. Single. Day.  So of course we won't forget her. Both of us.... Actually, why don't we write down in a book all the stories of your mummy also, so that we won't forget?"

        Our bond perhaps exists in our screwed up genes, or in our broken hearts-perhaps.  No matter; it will, definitely exist now in the way we choose to remember, in the stories we choose to tell, in the words we use to tell them.

         Our hands are dirty; her mother is buried; she is in my arms now; we will walk away now, and we will write our stories, because Our. Life. Is. Beautiful....


March 9, 2012

Annd werrrre OFF!!

        Me: Lalalala, Light, light, light. It's all coming together NOOWWW!!

        Divine Me: Wait, weren't you bawling your eyes out, ready to give up the struggle for Inner Peace and Faith not some....19 hours ago?

        Me: What? Oh, possibly, that's a long time ago to try and remember.

        Divine Me: And then, 14 hours ago or thereabouts, weren't you filled with release and Inner Peace and Faith; feeling all sorts of SURE and ready for the future; making the decision to TRUST the universe and jump into the Magic; Loving the moon and your family.  I seem to remember you couldn't keep your hands off of them, they were so sweet, and you thought everyone who watched the three of you walk, ignored the setting sun, so overwhelmed were they by the golden light that beamed from your loving hands interlinked with the small and worn ones of your daughter and mother....?

         Me: Hmmmm? Yes, ohhh, that was sweet....

         Divine Me: Yes, but not so sweet was the furious rage and holler tantrum you threw, what was it, 12-no-10 hours ago over the necessary preservation of chocolate chip cookies...

         Me: Yes, well, that did get kinda ugly...

         Divine Me: You threw cake!

         Me: Not AT anyone....

         Divine Me: And now you've written a pop song for kids (which you then choreographed while evacuating your bowels in a healthy and timely fashion), written half of the second book in your series, responded to several emails with wonderful little anecdotes and, oh yeah, written this post....and it's not even 9am....

         Me: I know RIGHT! Oh, and the SUN is SHINING, and it's lightlightlight.  I am Free; I am Light; I am ever so HAPPYYYY!!!!  

         Divine Me: I think we need to look into this...

         Me: Hmmmm, nice chat Love, but I gotsta go; I gotsa keep moving; I gotsta be PRO-DUC-TIVE!

         Divine Me: Don't forget your umbrella.


March 7, 2012

The Significance of Insignificance


          It isn't the air, or the wind, or the moisture;  It is the damage it causes when it strikes.  That is what makes this "most photogenic natural disaster" so hard to explain.

           There are no devious, diabolical elements in her. My mother is beautiful.  But when she strikes, I feel destroyed.

"Mother Ship" by Carston Peter for National Geographic

 do not feel safe with my mother, though I cannot seem to stop needing her.

             She wakes in the morning and her life begins again; I lie in bed listening; What form, what shape, what unexpected circumstances will this day take? 

            Don't lift me up and carry me away. I like this ground I walk on. I think you are very beautiful, but in your arms: I disappear; I lose my breath; I feel so damn insignificant.
             I cannot do that anymore. I have something I have planted; 

             I must stay and watch it grow....

March 6, 2012

Enchantment is a state of Mind and Love is a feeling....

But when Pesky thoughts prove Troublesome, both lose all meaning [RIP Mama Bear]

        The Editor has confirmed he is (of course) in love (with an idea of me), though it doesn't seem he will make it out here after all.  At most this is a lovely distraction and I will take it just as that.  Though he does have the habit of writing the most intimately reassuring things to me-honestly he knows me not one bit, yet is somehow finding the things to say that I would most want to hear.  I can't imagine how or where he is getting these lovely thoughts about me.

       I came across an old email thread from a past lover.  The love affair was nonsense-really immature and pathetic (on his part, of course). But the email and phone exchanges kept me sane during a really traumatizing 30 days in an immigration nightmare that would very likely have killed me if it weren't for him-in the end said nightmare ended up affirming my need to move to Africa, so it did kill a version of me after all.  Reading the messages again, I was not reminded of his immature, pathetic behavior, but instead was struck by all the lovely things he thought about me, and said to me.

     There have been many lovely things thought about me, and written, and said to me.  Many lovely thoughts.

     Right now there is an overwhelming thought I have been avoiding, but feel it is time to look at it head on.  This thought, a concept really, may do much to explain so many of my thoughts of late-some lovely, and some, not so much.

     I am still struck by all the wonderful people out there in the blogosphere-I'm still so new at exploring this world. I cannot believe some of the exposing things people write about their lives, in such excruciating detail.  I just read one blog of a girl who is in the very active throes of a very dangerous depression. How can one write about such things? Reveal such scary, crazy, crazy-scary things? I thought you were supposed to run and hide and bury yourself until you were presentable again.  She is in the black, in the deep, deep black, but her honest reflection makes me feel I can be more honest about my grey.  I found that blog by stalking trolling perusing another blog by a woman whose life makes my life look like the duller than dull doldrums of existence.  And again she tells her story with such raw, authenticity, but by the Grace of God has found enough light within the ups and downs to not fall into that scary, crazy, crazy-scary way of looking at things.   Her daughter, who also blogs about her struggles and triumphs, wrote my favorite thought for the day: "I'm feeling better".

       I sent the Editor some very badly written abstracts of three lovely little story ideas that could become a few wonderful and unique children's book the right hands, with the right thoughts, strung together just so.

      The play I will audition for at the end of the week is "An Ideal Husband". I am panicked by my overwhelming thought and by how all this....exposure, when I've been quiet for so long, will sit with me. But then I check my email and the Editor has sent something sweet and gentle and simple, a side note that makes not feel so worried about what he will say when he reads the abstracts.  I am taking shallow breaths* (I think I might suffocate if I breathed too deeply) and cautious steps, because I think that's what Mama Bear would say is the best way to keep Pesky Thoughts at bay.


       Just a thought....

March 5, 2012

Movie Magic
       Ah! Me! Why oh why do all my love affairs have to happen as if lifted word by word/scene by scene from an epic novel made into Oscar winning epic movie. I've had, in my disturbingly succint romance history, love affairs that rival "Out of Africa", "The Bridges of Madison County", "Before the Sunrise", "An Affair to Remember", and of course the bum who my heart insists on calling my soul mate would be cast well in such notable pics as "Walk the Line", "Memoirs of a Geisha" and maybe even a little "West Side Story" thrown in for good measure.  My romance life makes Bollywood look avant garde.
       Does that sound delicious? Am I wrong to complain that when I do fall it is always with someone incredibly handsome who says and does the most wonderful things, though only for a short while? Should I be happy with that? I want to bump into someone in a supermarket, meet someone through friends, take a class with someone, and then two to five years later joke about how we've never been apart since; I want a "When Harry Met Sally", but am more likely to get a "Friends With Benefits" (w/out the ridiculous Hollywood ending).  I am not allowed the normal.  I tried it briefly, in Uganda, to disastrous results; my Soul still threatens to make me vomit at the thought of him. But it would have been so incredibly easy.....But okay, maybe the truth is I do NOT want a normal; maybe I want incredible; maybe Harry seems like a total jackass, loser and I'd never have banged him. As envious as I get of my friends relationships, that is often the case.  If I could switch places with them, I'd never have got past the first date-ewwwwwwww, they are all so......un-magical
           And I get this. I do.
           I have learnt more in the times and ways I've been excluded from normalcy than I have by being a part of a real production. 

           I wrote to him as just an editor, an editor who seemed invitingly writable.  And  then he asked for my picture, and so many words that I'm not sure I actually feel slipped from my fingertips and out to him.  I could own him if I wanted to; I think, he wants to be owned.  

         I've had such an exposing week. First the editor who has now become a constant voice in my mind, and I feel I must be in his as well.  Then there is the that ka-guy who is being amusingly persistent.  And now I pushed my self to get involved with a performance.  Which leads me to think there could be even more interesting interactions in my future.  The editor has suggested a meeting.  Next week. He would fly half way across the world just to have a conversation with me, if that's not romantic I don't know what is.  All of this exposure, so fast, all of a sudden, the question is, am I ready for my close up?

March 1, 2012

Is this Matha Nay-Cha?

        It actually began two Sunday's back when Z had a lovely, magical post that led me to have a magical date with the Little One. She had triumphed over her new Lego-like building set to create these gorgeous little boxes we turned into secret gift boxes, a nice little arts and crafts project, no? 

           We decided to exchange our gifts at bedtime and dashed off to the pier for one of the best sunsets in paradise I've had yet. Vannesa played in a supervised play ground with the most attentive clowns I had ever seen on the job and a scattering of children in all the shades of the rainbow conversing through merriment in lieu of language.  I didn't mind that, as I am an anomaly of sorts, I sat singularly excluded among the couples and sisterhoods of nursing mothers with infants, a stones throw away from singletons enjoying stimulating cocktails and romantic tête-à-têtes. No, I didn't mind at all, because Z's post hand left a feeling of fantastical possibility in me and I smirked as if I knew something no one around me knew, as if all of them were living ordinary lives and I was dancing with fairies they couldn't see (maybe it was the lamppost or her partnership with the Sage). 
           The sun drooped down lower and lower, it's light having a romantic tête-à-tête with the Ocean and the dhows, and sailboats, and fishermen canoes scattered in the water like the multi-colored children, floating with merriment.   I thought of Z's friend Kenny and wondered if he might soon have a chance to meet my grandparents since passed and if they would have a laugh at the oddity of how he has come to be connected to my spirit (because in that moment it strangely felt he was.....connected) and I sent a prayer that they may comfort him for they know the pain of transitioning without your dear Beloved by your side.  Then the sun set and I made a secret wish....

           It was not until the next night, at bedtime, when I was stressed and tired and desperate to put Ms. V to bed (now I know the cause of my stress-it was after all a Monday!!!) that she found one last way to stay up just a little longer, having made a repeat performance of our gift boxes; though this time I did not participate, she still wanted to give me what she had made. I barked something about "for God's sake we'll do it tomorrow!" and immediately felt like SUCH a tool and called her back. 
           She knelt at my feet while I sat on the edge of my bed (kneeling is a sign of respect for elders in my culture but I have never expected it of the Little One, and she has never attempted it before. This seemed a subconscious act) there in the box was a small square children's drawing, with the word MOTHER scrawled across the top.  And I did that thing where you say you're going to cry just to show how touched you are, but don't really mean to: "Awwwww, this is going to make me cryyyyy" and promptly started bawling uncontrollably with heaving and hawing. I could see her big eyes staring up at me with a blank look of....shock? Pleasure? Fear??? I don't know, but I do know that only with the thought that this could very well be utterly traumatizing to her, was I able to pull my sobbing self together.  


           Since then, the notes have continued (so I guess it wasn't traumatizing after all) as have the unexpected, and frank discussions on which version of the word to use for me.  Since she already had a Mummy, I have proposed Mama (which is what I'd always wanted to be called anyhow).  I never mentioned it here, but the words "I love you" have also, up to this momentous occasion, been used rarely and with great trepidation and only by myself; they often elicited that same blank stare, and I couldn't figure out if it was triggering a past memory, pressuring her to respond with something she didn't feel herself, or scaring her because she didn't believe it was true.  It has quietly weighed on my heart, not being able to freely express this phrase, but I've felt determined to be patient and gentle about it, to not over think it.  Well among the notes, this phrase has taken on official proclamation status and is now being tossed with such frequency (and SUCH sincerity) between us that I wonder how she has held back using it for so long (She is a sentimental wonder that One, and I feel like an awkward doff to her explicit and often public outpouring of affection). All this while, she remained mostly silent, still, and loaded with unspoken thoughts and feelings; it seems, my Little One is fluent in the language of Love.

           If the same can be said for E-N-G-L-I-S-H, that remains to be seen......