Monday, February 25, 2013

Fluency

My beautiful, soulful daughter told me on the way home from school today that she much prefers listening to the music made by dead people than music made by people that are still living.  She mentioned Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, the Beatles (well, two of them at least), and Beethoven.

When we got home from school, she had a letter from my mother waiting for her.  She read it out loud, needing help with the words "imagination," "concerned," and "decide."  With her eyes lit up, she held it in front of her and said, "This makes me want to read it over and over to increase my fluency!"  She has been learning English for seventeen months.

She later talked about how she wants to keep it forever, that it's something to "treasure."  Tomorrow, her reading group is supposed to bring to school something that they treasure, and she's going to bring a necklace one of our neighbors made for her out of stones from Ethiopia that she'd gotten last year while there with a team of local doctors doing pelvic floor surgeries.  She has never worn the necklace; it stays in its box, and I'm nervous about her taking it to school tomorrow.

This afternoon after we got home, another neighbor was out, and I ended up talking to her for a while about books, my young kids, her grown ones, and how fast time goes by as we age.  She's one of my favorite neighbors (among a splendid bunch), one that I don't always talk much to but always connect with when we do chat.  She's invited me to be a part of the book group she's been in for the last twenty years.  Their next selection is one I already had, so I was taking it across the street to loan to her. 

One of her daughters is getting married in a few months, and she talked about how much she misses the days when her kids were at home in her orbit.  She liked the feeling that she could gather them close should they need her for anything.  She seems in a state of disbelief that her daughter is old enough to be getting married.  The conversation was a good reminder to me.  My kids are in my immediate orbit right now, and though it's the tiring years, these are the years I'm going to look back on with wonder that they ever happened at all.

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