Saturday, October 24, 2009

two favorite eliots... feeling poetic tonight

one of my favorite verses from TS Eliot, from "the rock:"

What life have you if you have not life together?
There is no life that is not in community,
And no community not lived in praise of GOD.
Even the anchorite who meditates alone,
For whom the days and nights repeat the praise of GOD,
Prays for the Church, the Body of Christ Incarnate.
And now you live dispersed on ribbon roads,
And no man knows or cares who is his neighbour
Unless his neighbour makes too much disturbance,
But all dash to and fro in motor cars,
Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.
Nor does the family even move about together,
But every son would have his motor cycle,
And daughters ride away on casual pillions.

and here, more choruses from "the rock:"

There are those who would build the Temple,
And those who prefer that the Temple should not be built.
In the days of Nehemiah the Prophet
There was no exception to the general rule.
In Shushan the palace, in the month of Nisan,
He served the wine to the king Artaxerxes,
and he grieved for the broken city, Jerusalem;
And the King gave hom leave to depart
That he might rebuild the city.
So he went, with a few, to Jerusalem,
And there, by the dragon's well, by the dung gate,
By the fountain gate, by the king's pool,
Jerusalem lay waste, consumed with fire;
No place for a beast to pass.
There were enemies without to destroy him,
And spies and self-seekers within,
When he and his men laid their hands to rebuilding the wall.
So they built as men must build
With the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other.

O Lord, deliver me from the man of excellent intention and
impure heart: for the heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked.
Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite and Geshem
the Arabian: were doubtless men of public spirit and
Preserve me from the enemy who has something to gain: and
from the friend who has something to lose.
Remembering the words of Nehemiah the Prophet: 'The trowel
in hand and the gun rather loose in the holster.'

it goes on, but that last one is one of my favorite lines in poetry of all time! so poignant and well-said. i love the biblical/historical reference. beautiful Eliot to deepen one's evening...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

all's golden

golden is hilarious and is making so much progress in life! she is fascinating to watch in her bilingual development.

her most recent favorite activity is... reading books. i was a little concerned for awhile that she would not get the literary immersion sparrow has gotten, as i didn't spend much time reading with golden so far, but still spend lots of time reading with sparrow. my other concern was the fact that i don't have that many german books, so i try to translate them as i go along, but my grammar is not the best, so i was fearing that she would get corrupted language skills. which is still a legitimate fear, but the former has been debunked. golden makes SURE we read to her now! all this started about 3 or 4 days ago, when she began this little process: she brings you a book, then she wiggles herself onto your lap, nay, she pushes into your lap with her rear and commandeers it, and she doesn't just hold the book herself. she clocks you in the face with it, as she holds it up for you to take, so you MUST engage with her; she's not going to look at the book by herself. she does this at the most inconvenient times! when you are making the bed, when you are trying to have a conversation. but how can you say no to such an insatiable, sincere little mind? so golden's reading times take place throughout the day. her favorite book is goodnight, moon, and maisy mouse books are not far behind. even the childcare worker at mops yesterday commented on golden's reading love and described her lap-wiggling to me.

speaking of childcare workers, they all seem to love her. whether she is at mops or sunday school, i always get comments that she was good, she plays happily, she entertains herself, she's a joy to be with, etc. last month i was helping clean after mops when one of the nursery workers from last year came up to me and said, "you're golden's mom, right?" "yes." "oh, how's she doing?" she gushed. "i always loved sitting with her so much; she was such a delight, such a joy..." "she's good, thank you! she just learned to walk. she is in the boat room right now, if you want to go say hi!" "oh, could i? thank you!!" and the lady walked in eagerly. how sweet!

golden's longest word to date is "ballon" (balloon, of course, pronounced "ball-ong" in german, like the french.) she looooooves balloons, like most babies, but being able to say the word is so cool, that she just says it all the time now, whenever she sees something looking remotely globe-like. she can say just "ball" too, but of course ballon is better. she pronounces it more like "blong," and it elicits such enthusiasm in her that it makes all of us laugh.

one of her favorite english words is "hide," which she pronounces like "hi," except she says it in a loud whisper, and you know in context that she is saying "hide," since she says it when she covers herself with a blanket and waits eagerly for her daddy to come find her!

speaking of which, she used to say heiss (hot in german) the same way, but in the past few days, she's been adding the ss on the end there! we got in the car today, and it was quite scorching; she whimpered a little and said "heiss." wow! so cool that she can communicate with WORDS that I taught her!

"hi" and "bye" are perfectly clear, and she says "hi" to everyone--i LOVE that innocent stage, and it grieves me when strangers don't notice or don't respond to that tender expectant, enthusiastic greeting. to be greeted by a baby is such a blessing. fresh, innocent, full of heartfelt love and goodwill toward the world.

she is getting her M-O sounds down now, and says "mao" for meow when we encounter a cat in life or in books, and she also says "mo" for moo and mond (moon). oh, yesterday she was sooooo excited to see the real moon up in the sky that she squeezed me, really squeeeeeeeezed me as i held her on the way to the car, excliming "mo! mo!" and wildly doing her moon sign.

oh, yes, the funniest thing: recently my milk hasn't been coming as fast when golden nurses. mostly due to her not nursing that often! anyways, since she has to be so patient for it, i started lifting up my palms and shrugging my shoulders, saying "wo ist die milch?" ("where is the milk?") when she lets go in frustration. so now she has made it a tradition: every time she nurses, she lets go and shrugs with her palms up, looking puzzled into my eyes! sooooooooo cute, it's a miracle i haven't eaten her all up.

she is so sweet with her sister, too, and rarely picks fights or gets contentious with sparrow. she has a little sign for "sister," where she rubs her (own) cheek. when sparrow is nearby, golden will rub her (sparrow's) hair or her face. the other day they were supposed to be settling down in their own beds for nap time. i heard giggling in the monitor, and when i came in, i found sparrow in golden's crib, under a blanket, and golden sitting on top of her and jumping up and down! too sweet to elicit punishment.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

september speaks

"my horsie says 'criminal.' it bit my finger, it's very naughty, and it is big and wild." -sept. 5

"i'm so happy cause i love my horsie. and it's OLD." (we found an old rocking horse and took it home) -sept. 5

(thomas drinking bubble water)
sparrow: "that will burn your eyes out."
me: "what?"
sp: "that. the bubbly bubbly." -sept. 5

and here's a cute one from golden:
i was showing golden a pillow and saying the german word for it, "kissen."
she leans over and gives me a kiss! -sept. 5

"did you hear that mom? my fart was really loud! it scares people." -sept. 7

(rolling a toy dump truck around the floor.)
"mom, move your glass! the truck is not watching where it's going!" -sept. 9

radio: "march of dimes, march for babies."
sp: (excitedly) "we gotta march for OUR baby!" -sept. 10

"not occation, vacasion." -sept. 10
(that mix-up is even hard for me to pronounce!)

(we call boogers "boogies" at our house)
sp: "what about a boogie on a board?" -sept. 14

one day in the car sparrow sang a song consisting of the phrase "what's going on out there" repeated over and over and over... then she explained it all to me:
"i'm singing a song right now. it's about a little bird that's lost in a forest, and there are wild things, and they want to eat the bird."
then she proceeded to sing "what's going on out there" for another full ten minutes! -sept. 16

(reciting psalm 84:11)
"no good thing does He withhold from those who...are up there!" -sept. 19
(it really says "from those who walk uprightly)

me: "we have lots to do on thursday."
sp: "are we gonna thurs?" -sept. 21

me: "what sound does the letter B make?"
sp: "zzzzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzz." -sept. 21

family napping together in the bed.
sparrow: "we're all mixed!" -sept. 27

sparrow cutting paper, a cd is playing in the background
sp: "hey the lady in the CD doesn't know that i'm cutting." -sept. 28
and also "hey that girl in the CD sounds like a boy." (hah! it WAS a boy for all we know!)

me: "you've gotta get on your own bed because mommy needs to sleep next to her husband. when you have a husband you'll get to sleep next to him too."
sp: "i want a thomas one." -sept. 29

"i want to marry you and daddy and golden AND my husband. then we'll both have husbands." -sept. 29

five verses

recently i dug through a box of memories and found in my mother’s old purse a few verse-memorization booklets. i remember my mother using these, flipping through them on errands or in the car, and reciting “do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth!” i got them out and set them aside, and when i opened the first one to get started on my own memorization, a cannonball struck me, for these vulnerable words were the heading of the uppermost verse, the last one she had flipped to for comfort and encouragement: “Assurance of Salvation.” with 1 John 5:13 staring out at me. there were three of these booklets, one with one clear pocket, and two with two clear pockets each. and here is where i will remember the five last verses of my mother’s heart, a strong, amazing woman, but dying of breast cancer:

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

“‘though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

“Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.” Psalm 119:132