samedi, novembre 11, 2006

Speaking in tongues

Driving home from Sian's drama class today, my two children, who have shown little interest in learning a foreign tongue, suddenly became bi-lingual. Although they aren't always best friends, it sounded like they were getting along just grand. "Sian, look at all the onyx's and stilyx's" said Colin (forgive me if I get the spelling wrong). Sian seemed enthusiastic about the appearance of these creatures. Then, as we rounded the curve before Creek Road and home"There's Digwit and my personal painter!" There's something about playing a game on Colin's Gameboy that brings my two sibling rivals together like almost nothing else. Most of the time, I leave them to it-but there are moments when I feel like I am very much an outsider, a layman at a Masonic rite, a Protestant in Rome. Then I start making inquiries-"What are Onyxs? Who is Digwit? Imagine having your own painter!" Sometimes, I have to admit, the answers leave me as lost as the questions. I still think its a good idea for the children to know that their mother hasn't totally abandoned interest in any part of their lives, that she isn't totally absorbed in NPR or Evanescence, that she asks questions and really wants to get answers. At the same time, I am aware that this is one more small reminder that eventually there will be parts of their lives that will indeed be foreign territory to me and that there will be little I can, or even sometimes wish to do about it. This responsibility, and this knowledge, is both the privilege and yoke of parenthood. On my way to the garden a couple of hours later, I had the relief of hearing my two and some neighbors kids, hotly debating whether the boys were going to be part of the same mission as the girls. Admonishing them not to step on my roses and moving on to turn over the dirt in the vegetable garden, I reflected, happily, that some things never change.

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