Tuesday, October 22, 2013

  1. For a few minutes I am blinded by the morning sun coming through the office window. That is the only good thing I can remember from the time I spent at work.
  2. I am able to sneak through the door and to the forest before anyone realizes I am not around. Gone with the wind, literally, with southern winds, actually.
  3. I remember the hard times Em and I had when she started piano playing in 2nd Grade. She didn’t like to practice, yet refused to quit altogether or to restart the following year. Now Jay is that age and sits by the piano as long as it takes for her to learn to play the tune she wants. I admire her perseverance tonight as I, a laic in music notation myself, try to teach her the positions of notes on the staff.

Monday, October 21, 2013

  1. A clearing in the middle of the forest, a blue sky with clouds and a butterfly fluttering near the tree tops.
  2. Knowing my Mom needs to be at the gym by 6 p.m. pushes me to do my hike at a much faster pace to get home in time which is good for my lazy Taurus nature.
  3. I bring a big pile of old National Geographics from upstairs to search for some images for Jay’s school project and praise the day I refused to discard them while decluttering.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

  1. Every time I see her at church I am reluctantly enamored by the colors of her clothing. Today I notice her pink shoes. And they are really lovely.
  2. I can’t help to tickle Jakob from time to time, and to hug him, this sweet little toddler.
  3. Sunday is not my favorite day of the week, and while I do Em’s hair (like I do every Sunday evening) I learn it isn’t hers either. We both dread Monday mornings. I think that by knowing this we can make Sundays (and Monday mornings) a whole lot more fun and easier to cope with for one another.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

  1. Everybody loved the clowness show! Especially the red sponge balls we get to throw at the end, pretending they are tomatoes!
  2. I panic because of my sudden left eye inflammation but after a few hours and lots rinsing I am better.
  3. It’s very windy, but Jay and I continue on our way to the southern side of our hill, leaving our 3 p.m. autumn shades behind.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  1. I had a bad day at the office, really bad: a work overload and a low tolerance for everybody around me, having time to talk more than the absolutely necessary, or even to laugh and to joke around. Then, when I want to leave, I can’t find my car keys, and think that is really unfair because I am late and just about to lose my temper, so I plead ‘Please, God, don’t do this to me”. And I open the drawer and there they are.
  2. The scenery I am driving through is stunning: the contrast between the light and shadows, hills covered with forests in shades of warm autumn colors, like they were big soft pillows I would like lay down my head on, and golden fallen leaves over the highway like they were golden tokens someone had thrown into the wind. As much as I would like to just go home and dive into the afternoon with my girls, looking at all this beauty even if from the car is an unexpected gift.
  3. I can’t resist walking down the Miklosiceva street all the way to the Three Bridges. I stand in the middle of the Preseren’s square along with many other people, pretending to be waiting for my date, then shudder from all the memories and continue on my way to the nearest bookstore where I find wonderful treasures for my girls. An unexpected glance at my reflection in the mirror reinforces my sense of reality, yet I feel more my confident younger self than I have in a long while.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

  1. We take off our jackets, then put them on again, look for autumn colors in forest covering the hills around us, and there is just the anticipation of them, but this sun, this bright Autumn day…!
  2. While Jay searches for more stones to throw into the stream I look up and see a girl with curly hair waving in the wind walk downhill towards us. I know her but she seems too adult to be… It’s Em, says Jay.
  3. All three of us manage to get ready for bed by 8 p.m. and I think that is really super for a Sunday evening.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

  1. As I knock on the window pane Em turns and waves back with a smile and then continues on her way to school.
  2. I write an e-mail back saying no to her request. This saves me at least one hour of time at the office to focus on priorities, but that is not the best part of it. It’s the “no” part that gives me the most satisfaction.
  3. Em tells me about the one chocolate that their teacher had brought to class (for not making the recent excursion a nightmare for her) and how her husband had eaten the other one the night before, removed her note that it was for the class and left an empty wrapper and a new note in the fridge, saying one bar was enough for her pupils. We laugh at the thought of her face in the morning.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

  1. My desk at the office is covered with papers and I don’t have the slightest idea about what my priorities are. My closest coworker was fired on Friday and my superior that had been assigned to her position a few months ago is not coping. But I am taking all this mess and stress remarkably well.
  2. I look through the window and there are ladybugs everywhere, on the panes, the window frames , roller shutters and walls, all the places that had been exposed to the warmth of the autumn sun.
  3. Jay builds a colorful tower out of crayons that reminds me of the towers in the wooden forts in the wild west. We take photos and then she knocks it down with a magic wand and I manage to catch that magic blurry moment with the camera as well.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

  1. I find Jay with a phone in her hand, having just dialed my number, because she was worried Id be late and she would miss her athletics.
  2. Jay hurts her face but she is brave and doesn’t cry. Late in the evening while talking to my Mom over the phone, she whispers into my ear that I should tell Mom about her little accident because otherwise “she will go crazy when she sees it”. I know exactly what she is talking about and we start grinning.
  3. Em is not in her best mood. She opens up, and there are tears and smiles, and tears again. I listen and try to give comfort with hugs and words, and think about how vulnerable and how tough and again how vulnerable we are.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

  1. At first I feel like I don’t know how to stop her from continuing with her tantrum… but then I just listen to my instincts and have her sit in my lap for a while.
  2. We thought we had missed the beginning of the radio bedtime story, but when we turn the radio on we hear the jingle.
  3. Em returns home from the school excursion impressed by all the things she had seen, and also by all the things she had experienced among her mates, and from the expression on her face and the sound of her voice I can tell it wasn’t all pleasant. She says she will share more when she feels like it. She is obviously dealing with it. And growing.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

  1. Ice-cream with strawberry topping at the office.
  2. We look up at our garden as we walk down the driveway and there are the sunflowers, in late full bloom. We should take photos of them again, says Jay.
  3. I had bought the last edition of the book a couple of years ago, thinking it would be nice if Em had read it one day... Then a week ago she volunteered for an extra assignment at history class to read this exact book and to present it to the class. She walks right up to me tonight, with a smile on her face, saying I finished it, then her eyes begin to shimmer with tears and next thing I know she is clinging to me sobbing. My beautiful almost-14 year-old, safe in my arms, and the book by Anna Frank on the kitchen counter.