Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

* I’m not trying to call myself a blog star (did I coin a new phrase there?), but rather to give a small nod to the first video ever played on MTV.  Almost-twelve-year-old me was there to watch it all go down, and damn it was cool.  August 1, 1981 – we just passed MTV’s 31st birthday.  Video changed everything.

It still does.  I don’t know what it is about watching the video of Jonah in the last post, but I watch it & watch it & watch it again.   It’s as if the video allows (forces?) me to step outside myself, seeing Boo through a stranger’s eyes.  I can describe him until I’ve written a doctoral dissertation –but only the video can really show you his abilities, both excellent (swimming & his sense of humor) and not-so-excellent (lack of communication, and inappropriate noise levels).  Watching the video is different than the living of it.  Different scary.  Different real.  Or surreal.

How do I explain what I mean?

He’s ten years old.  He’s my baby.  Too soon to be an adult and, watching that video, I became afraid of all that means and how soon it is coming.  In fact it’s speeding up, as time does when we age somehow, and if I’m not careful I will worry in a million ways which will only waste time.

Operating under the assumption that I’m not involved, would I whip out my camera to film him aggressing and post it here?  I want to say yes – but I don’t know.

Anyhow, I found older snippet-videos, most of him swimming last year.  Here are two:

In this first video we see I am trying to take a photo of Jonah (who very accommodatingly smiled wide for the camera) and then realizing – duh – I have the setting on video.

In this second one you can hear him say “all ny-uh” – which used to be his way to say “all done.”   Now he just says “all done.”  He has come a long way at Anderson.  It happens so quickly, all of this everything.  Sometimes I feel as if I’m in slow motion, watching it speed past me.

For once this writer doesn’t know what to say or how to say it.

(Like that hard as hell Spanish course I’m doing on Rosetta Stone.  They make you say words when you don’t even know what they mean or how to use them.  I say the words over and over and over sometimes before they let me go on.  Never do you know the meaning of a word.  It’s all pictures, and repetition, letting you in on the secret of Spanish 0h so frustratingly slowly. 

Then you have to spell words correctly, accents and all with this keyboard tool they give you.  Then you have to hear the differences between ridiculously similar ways to pronounce two completely different words, like the words for baby and drink.   I have to admit, in English there are single words that mean different things.  Rose.  Lash.  Stream. 

Those are just off the top of my head.  Does Spanish also have this?  Am I even capable of learning it?  I forget all the words.  I don’t understand why it is “Tengo frio” (sorry, I don’t have my accents handy) and yet “Estoy hambre.”  If I’m even remembering that right.  One means I am cold and one means I am hungry, right?  Or no?  When do you use tengo and when do you use estoy?  And why?) 

End of rant about learning Spanish.  But if you know the answers feel free to chime in.  Por favor!

In exactly one month I will no longer be the answer to the universe.  (Unless I die before that, in which case I will always be the answer to the universe).

We’re coming up on the first anniversary of Jonah’s going to Anderson.

I miss him a lot tonight.

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I like to pretend I can speak Spanish, though truth be told I can speak German better, and I can’t speak that either.  So I’ll bet the title is butchered.   I do have the Rosetta Stone Spanish learning system, the whole kit and kaboodle, and so learning Spanish is on my list of stuff to do, though it seems like a terribly difficult investment of time and brain-tax.

And so, in my gringo Spanish…the day of the fathers…

There are many in my life.  M.  My dad.  Andy.  Father Noone.  My Godfather, Poppy, who was also my grandfather; he passed away before I was even engaged.  I could say a great many things about each of them, and perhaps I will, but I’m distracted today by one I almost never even think about at all…my birth father.  (My birth mother was a married woman with four children, one of whom had already died when I was conceived outside of her marriage).

They give you a bit of non-identifying information  in New York State, if you are at least 18 and you request it.  The paperwork euphemistically states my birth mother was “separated” from her husband, during which time she became pregnant with me.  There is some information on my birth mother.  A little bit.  She was in her early thirties when she gave birth to me.  She was a “collector” (at a bank).  She enjoyed watercolors.  Her father had a heart attack and died when he was 45.  Genetically, from her side I am English, Dutch, German, and Indian.  I have always wondered what kind of “Indian” they meant.

From his side, though, there is nothing.  No information.

No paternity established.  Mystery Sperm Donor.

I guess I am half John Doe along with the English, Dutch, German, and Indian.  So that makes me a Heinz 57, and Jonah — well, he must have a bit of every nationality ever known to mankind.

Jonah Boo is the only person I am related to, that I know of.  I might want to know more of you related-to-me-people.  Maybe.  Why don’t I have right to know who you people are, and talk to you — just once?  It would come in handy with a lot of Boo’s medical issues, too.  The doctors say they wish they had genealogical information on my side, and I feel I’m entitled to at least that.

I wasn’t adopted until I was 6 months old.  Foster parents had me because there was some issue with my feet (which they either did not fix or over-fixed, for I’m a pigeon-toed thing to this day).  I wonder sometimes if the foster parents maybe wanted to keep me.  Wasn’t I just a little freaked out to be whisked away to a new home with new, forever parents?  Those forever parents tell me no; I settled right in.

“You were fine,” my mom and dad both insist.

I think that means I was one weird little baby.  If someone took Jonah away from me when he was 6 months old, I don’t think he’d have been fine.  To tell the truth, I kind of wouldn’t want him to be fine.  He was my baby boo.  Mine.  Maybe when you are fostering a baby, somehow the baby knows s(he)’s not your baby.  Maybe, somehow, these little new-humans understand more than we know or can remember.

I forgot about yet another father – one I’ve never thought about at all until today.  My foster father, who raised me so briefly, from birth to 6 months.  Unless I only had a foster mother.  I’m not sure, but I’ll bet it was a couple.  My dad tells me when he and my mom drove to get me at the Department of Social Services or wherever, the “transfer the baby” lady told them there were more than a few tears when they came to my foster parents’ house to take me away.

I wonder how many other babies they’d fostered, and if they adopted any of them, or had any kids biologically.  Didn’t I miss them at first, just a little?  Their smells, their touch?  Or was it bad there and so I was happy to get the hell out?

I think about my foster/birth people on three days of the year, mostly.  My birthday, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.  That’s if I think of them at all.  I wonder if and when they think about me.

I was talking to M earlier about how my dad and I used to watch cartoons together when I was 6 or 7, and how much better the cartoons were than the crappy ones they slap together today with computer animation bullshit.  My dad and I watched the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show every Saturday at 11am.  We’d lay across the couch with our hound dog, Flower, and laugh at Foghorn Leghorn or Daffy Duck, circa mid seventies.  He even watched things like Little House on the Prairie with me, God bless him.

Today we went to church and then out to breakfast, and it was really good.  I thank God I have a forever father, and that my son does too.  Gracias, mi padres.

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There’s no earthly way of knowing… which direction we are going…” ~ Willie Wonka

Not only don’t I know which direction we are going, but I don’t even know now where I am.  I sleep as early and as much as possible – greedily falling into the cushion-y darkness where everything turns OFF for long, glorious hours.  I wake confused, then teary, and I gulp down the pills that help me through the day.  I’m just not hungry lately either.  It’s as if I got to an anxiety/fear point so high I smashed through its glass roof (Willie Wonka style, speaking of the great confectioner) and now I’m flying around grasping at different ideas, completely ungrounded, definitely dazed, and evidently, flaking out as well.

All these thoughts.  I decided I ‘m going to learn Spanish.  I want to visit Mansfield, MO, home of my beloved heroine, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I’m going to read books even as an English major I’d never dared attempt:  Les Miserable and War and Peace.  I’ll learn to play guitar.  Write a novel, maybe even out of this blog.  Visit my relatives, send them all care packages.  Volunteer to read to kids at the library.  Walk dogs at the humane society.  Do yoga.  Learn to paint.  Anything, everything.  Something so I’m not nobody doing nothing.

Sometimes I have these grandiose plans to change the world, at least my world and the people in and around it, making positive deposits in the great big bank of karma.

But still I play out scenarios of the day we drop off our son, over and over, with different circumstances and outcomes each time…except he is always gone at the end.  In the scenarios we always have to go, we always drive away.  He is always, always gone, and he will be gone, and he will be gone soon.  No wonder I am meditating on impermanence.  I can’t really comprehend any of it.

Andy and I met with a mediator and we have workbooks to fill in, just like we did at the church when we were planning to marry.  Everything is cyclic.  We will wait until Jonah is at his new school and then we will re-convene, workbooks completed, bringing yet another thing to its conclusion.

My friend H (bless her) invited M and me and Jonah to her pool again tomorrow, thank you thank you thank you little H.  To her it may not be much but to us it is everything.  Yesterday M and I had to drive Jonah around the entire time we had him; there was simply nowhere we could go.  It poured rain and Jonah didn’t want music.  I got him singing at one point but then he started his repetitive requesting-phase:

Wannatakeabath?  Wannatakeabath?  Wannatakeabath? Bye Bye M.  Wannatakeabath?  Daddy?  Wannatakeabath? Bye Bye M.  Daddy?  Daddy?  Grandma?  Swim-pool? Swim-pool? Wannatakeabath? Wannatakeabath? Wannatakeabath? Wannatakeabath? (Insert BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM instantly followed by giggling laughter).  WannaseeJack?  WannaseeJack?

And I curse myself for gritting my teeth and wanting to shout SHUT UP because soon enough I’ll wish I could hear his little voice, no matter what it was saying or shouting or screaming.

Oh, what a weird place in time & space this is.

“For the rowers keep on rowing,
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing…

~Willie Wonka

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