Monday, December 15, 2014

Does this child need a t.v.?

Does this child need a television?

We don't have a television. Officially and Truly.

We had one in the basement up until a couple months before we moved. Until then, we'd tell people, "We don't have a t.v.," if the subject came up. "Well, we have a t.v., but it's in the basement. We don't watch it," I'd add. Jared would say, "We don't really have a t.v. just because there's one in the basement. It doesn't work." "That's true, but still it's there," I'd say. "But, if you plugged it in, it wouldn't get reception," was Jared's final word. "True, true," I'd say, my final word.

He was right conceptually, and I was right materially. That's a difference in our personalities and perception. We both also like having the last word, or maybe that's just me. Next time, I'll try to pay attention, but I'll probably be formulating my last word.

The last time we watched t.v. was most likely in a hotel somewhere. The last time I remember watching t.v. was when we lived in Queens and really needed to 'zone out'. I tuned into reruns of The Simpsons, adjusted the rabbit ears, and we watched through the fuzz. Our finances and our lives were in the red. Television offered a reliable half hour of peace.

Jared didn't watch much television when he was a child. When his classmates talked about television shows and characters, Jared had nothing to add.

As a kid, I had a t.v. and watched it regularly. I enjoyed cartoons and other shows. I probably could have been doing something else, but I don't look back with regrets.

We recently wondered if Beren might one day wish that he lived in a house with a television. I certainly wished my parents' television also included a cable subscription. We wondered if he might feel like an outsider.

We agreed that there was little to worry about. There often is so little to worry about. Looking back at the things I worried about regarding Beren, there was little to worry about.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Big weekend

Hoop house one goes from pad to partially erected.

Child reminds mother that success is a state of mind. Our gingerbread house may not get of Certificate of Occupancy, but it was fun to assemble (and to lick the extra icing).

After two days inside trading germs, mother has no more reason and allows child access to straight pins to make cranberry, pin, and snap shish kebabs. Note the styrofoam - "I made a mouth, Momma!" 

And, last but not least, our Christmas tree is up. Perfect height, just an inch below the ceiling, proving once again, everything is better at the farmhouse.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Treasures, Momma. Here's another treasure.

Most days, I feel quite youthful. There are days that I realized I have stepped across the threshold, deep into the world of adults where sad events happen. Today was the latter.

Beren makes child-sized steps into that world every day. One evening, I tell him that tigers eat smaller animals. "No animals should eat animals," he tells me. "It's likely they eat fruit, too," I say.

Yesterday, he got a balloon at Shop Rite and that bright yellow balloon makes him joyful. Jared carefully shepherds Beren and the helium-filled balloon to the truck. Back home, Jared tells him to enjoy his balloon, but keep it away from light bulbs. Jared and I hustle to get dinner ready - it's already 6pm. Beren bats the balloon around for awhile, until BANG! The balloon drifts up into one the recessed kitchen lights.

Beren's face crumples and he screams. Jared and I do, too, form surprise. Tears stream down Beren's face. He wanders a short circuit through the kitchen. "WHY DID THAT HAPPEN?!" he repeats again and again. "MY BALLOON!" Jared and I console him while canola oil spatters from a not, empty skillet. My face is wet with his tears. "MY BALLOON! I WANT MY BALLOON!"

It was terribly sad. Passing into veil of things, things being so deeply pleasurable and meaningful, and then lost.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy birthday eve, tiny family

Exactly four years ago, I was undergoing a complete transformation of self, one that would be completed when my son was born twenty hours later.

But really completed? No, not at all. It was a beginning. One that I fell into, part rock, part water, part sweet and soft fruit. Beren was placed in my arms and there he was. I stumbled and crawled at times, but my starts are usually awkward and rocky anyway. But really when is the start?

I've found I can turn a new beginning into something fraught. Jared is pleased and excited. I'm wide-eyed and feel the touch of a frantic hand on my shoulder.

I have had a little mirror and little reflector by my side for four years now. I can see me translated by a little person who is his own person, but is part me. I hear my voice, I see my actions. Sometimes I'm pleased and sometimes I'm startled.

I hope that one day Beren will see that I tried to understand myself for this tiny family's well-being and here, I've told some of our family's story.

I may be shy at the start but once I put down roots into the new, whatever it is, I'm there. Happy birthday eve, tiny family.