“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Gillian asked a nice series of questions.  I will tackle those first because I am just not ready for the SCA-related ones. 

 What is your favourite part of the day and why?

I think my very favorite parts of the day are the very beginning and the very end.  Those are the times I spend quietly with my son and husband.  While everything in-between tends toward the frantic, I have kept the mornings and evenings under control.  My son and I spend our quiet together time in the morning.  We eat our breakfast together in the kitchen at the big wooden table.  We sit for a while together under the blanket on the couch and watch cartoons.  Then I dress myself and him, and we go to the car together to go to school and work.  It’s a peaceful routine, and one I look forward to every morning.

In the evening, Kris and I usually cook together, or take turns cooking, we play with Harry, and bathe him, and lay down with him to go to sleep.  After he is asleep, we watch TV or talk.  It’s our wind-down time. 

 So – don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I guess my favorite time of day is any time I am actually at home.

Do you play a musical instrument, if so, which one(s)?

I play several – none of them well.  I am currently learning violin, and though I am making pretty good progress, violin is a harsh mistress.  It’s a VERY hard instrument to learn.  But I really love it.

I also play flute, guitar, recorder, and clarinet.  All with varying levels of incompetency.  The only instruments that I can claim any expertise on are a variety of hand drums – doumbek, conga, anything that involves tapping, slapping, or otherwise bashing.  I have rhythm.

What are some of your own childhood memories?

This is harder for me to answer than you would think.  I have excellent, almost photographic, recall, but I don’t always control it.  I can think back non-specifically, and remember very little.  But if triggered by an event, smell, sound – I get memories in sharp, vivid detail.

Walking on the beach this past September in Florida, I could almost perfectly recall playing in the Carolina dunes in the spring, the green-brown shoregrass poking through the sand, the sticks of spent bottle rockets poking my feet, the rainbow pearly insides of a shell, the salty smell of sea air on my face.  The screeching of gulls always brings me back to home on the Great Lakes, watching flocks of gulls huddle on the black pavement outside my school, eyeing me with anticipatory distrust.   

I eat Cream of Wheat for the simple nostalgia of it.  I remember sitting on the wood floor in the cold of a New York winter,  fighting with my brothers for foot-room against the warm heat register, with that hot little Tupperware bowl balanced in my lap, stinging my cold hands, smoothing the lumps in my mouth with my tongue.

The smell of grease and hay will always take me back to the barn on my grandparent’s dairy farm and the hot-tractor metal tang hanging in the hazy dust of the air – the rectangular slice of light from the hayloft leaving spangles of light dancing in the rays. 

Those are the things that come to me in patchworks of memory.

Do you have any traditions that you would like your son to pass down to his family?

My family was not heavy on traditions – or maybe tradition seems to heavy a word to apply to the familiar repetitions of our life.  Our family holiday cookies – passed through at least four generations – are somehow the matriarchal way of conveying love at each significant holiday passage, cut into shapes appropriate to the season, packed into tins and shipped to colleges, new apartments, christenings.  Family dinners are eaten together at the table.  Sunday mornings are for the newspaper, fought over and parceled out by age and interest.  Our traditions are only the daily rhythms of our lives, I don’t really know any others.

Perhaps we will make our own traditions, my son and my husband and I.  And he will take what he loves with him.

February 8th, 2008 at 12:54 pm
One Response to “Question miscellania, part one”
  1. 1
    Ariadne Says:

    okay, I have questions.
    1. How has becoming a mom changed you?
    2. What changes do you see in Moose now that he is a dad?
    3. How has parenthood changed your lives?
    4. Which of these changes were completely unexpected?

    Elizabeth