little sarah Big World

Tag: small children

Lucky

Clover

On the way to work, cutting through the park as always, I saw two of the 5th graders looking for something in the grass. One of them I recognized as my own–facebook-obsessed, very social, very silly. I figured they were looking for a lost earring or bracelet. Nevertheless, it seemed an idyllic little image, a nice snapshot of my workday. I snuck a photo and didn’t get caught.

In class, their teacher used Sharing Time to briefly acknowledge today, September 11th, asking what that means to them. I did a mental double take, then did the math to confirm, when he pointed out that it was 12 years ago, before any of them were born. It doesn’t seem that long ago, to me. They don’t seem young enough to not know.

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Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

“There’d Be Days Like This, My Mama Said”

-The Shirelles

Days where you are too anxious to eat, but Mom makes you tofu curry scramble and fresh salted garden tomatoes. So you eat, and you do feel better.

Days when you have to explain to your little sister what breaking up is, how if you are boyfriend and girlfriend with somebody, and you don’t want to be with just that person anymore, then you break up. And that means you don’t see each other as much anymore, and that means Rosie won’t be seeing her friend Kevin as much anymore. Do you understand?

She doesn’t, but she tries, and she holds my hand and kisses my cheek.

Days where you go to a Ladies’ Luncheon, laugh about the bad decisions you’re making, make light, feel better. More like yourself.

Days where you play music in a church, where beautiful girls sing pure and powerful, like sirens. And your friends tell you they love you, and when you lean your head on their shoulders, they lean back into you.

¡Hola de España! no.3‏

This one was by far my favorite, which is why I reproduced it verbatim in the zine. But I’m also still going to post it here, just because. So far you’ve only missed:

¡Hola de España!

¡Hola de España! #2

*       *       *

¡¿Que tal, todo el mundo?! Speaking of which, ‘que tal’ is a phrase that is used all the time here (like ‘que pasa’), and yet none of us is quite sure what it means. It seems to mean both ‘how are you doing?’ and ‘how did it go?’ All I know is that if you reply ‘bien’ (‘well’), you’re in the clear. Maybe you can help me out on this one, Carolita.

In other news, Im broke. Well, not yet, but my money is basically just evaporating, and I think we all know that I’m far from being an extravagant spender. And I thought I was going to have this temporary nanny job in Madrid in July, but that didn’t pan out. So I’m going to try my hand at street-musician-hood (which is legal here…I´m pretty sure). There’s this older man who’s always playing his violin in the shopping district, and I’m about as good as he is, but I think I’ll play over near the cathedral, because I need to claim my own turf. And besides, I won’t need to use sheet music like he does, because I’ve got my shit MEMORIZED (and because I didn’t pack my stand).

Also, Beatriz just put on SO MUCH perfume. Like 15 spritzes. I don’t even know. I couldn’t count. But it smells good.

And now for some observations:

-When the cross-walk sign here goes from little green man to flashing little green man (before it’s little red man), it flashes, like, TWO TIMES. So there is no time to fool around and you have to run. However, the time between when the light turns red for the cars to stop and when the little green man appears for the ‘peatones’ (pedestrians) to go is FOREVER. It’s so long. And some people jaywalk while others don’t. I do if I’m in a hurry.

-The dogs here are full of personality. They’re all over the city and off the leash, just walking down the street with their owners like ‘Oh, hey, what´s up? Yeah, me? I´m just goin’ for a walk with my human pal, no biggie.’ It’s awesome. I want to steal one.

-All of the children here are immaculately dressed. They’ve all got cardigans and knee-high socks and leather shoes and it looks like from the forties but it’s now and I want to steal one of these, too. Dashiel says I should pick a young one so it won’t have memories of its parents.

-All of the grandmas in this city have their grandkids in the afternoon, out and about. All of them. Or so it seems.

-The word for refrigerator here is ‘frigerifico’ which translates to ‘fridgerific’ which translates to ‘awesome word.’ Almost as cool as ‘autostopista’ (hitch-hiker)

-and this one’s an anecdote: My mom here has this spray that she does in the kitchen after her boyfriend smokes a cigarette, or really just whenever she feels like it, and anything that isn’t on lockdown (i.e. in the refrigerator or sealed by me and not her) gets the spray in it and then it tastes and smells like chemicals for ever after. Like this turrón candy that she keeps pushing on me. Or the sandwich bread. The other night she made me a ham and cheese sandwich and it tasted like poison, so I was trying to eat as little as possible while still being polite, and then she offered to toast it, which either evaporated the chemically-ness or just singed it deeper into the food, but either way I ate it and I’m too wussy to be like ‘Listen, Beatriz, it’s about the slow poisoning that you’re accidentally imposing on us…’

And now it’s midnight and I need to go to bed because I have to get up at 6ish to catch a bus to Bilbao. Woo! This is our free weekend, and I’m going to Bilbao and then to San Sebastian with the twins and a quiet boy named Kevin. We did fake interviews in pairs today in conversation class (in Spanish), and we all had to draw a famous person’s name out of a hat for who the interviewee would be. I was the interviewer in my pair and Katrina was Madonna. We won. She just kept saying ‘Madonna IS Kabalah, she IS yoga’ and I guess I did a good job of being the caring/concerned host (‘¿Cómo estás, Madonna? ¿Cómo. Es. TÁS?’). Kevin was Cookie Monster, and he played it totally straight, like ‘Well, I usually just hang around Sesame Street with my friends, Elmo and Oscar–he lives in the trash–and we count to ten, or we talk about different letters, like M, or maybe S.’ I thought I was going to pee my pants.

And that´s all for now! Oh, there’s so much more to write about! Later, though, later. I love you all! ¡Hasta luego!

-Sarah

p.s. Those of you who are receiving this for the first time: Yeah, that’s because I decided you should recieve this now.

How to Sundee (Part 1)

~OR~

Sunday is for Brunches

(and Family)

Oh, it is rare that I take a day to just relax, Friends. A day without non-stop obligations and to-do lists and accomplishments. But today was one of those rare days, where I don’t have “back-to-back plans” (as Kevin said). Mostly because I am not feeling well, but STILL. I’ll take my lessons where I can get them.

So today I rose early, and prepared scones

Then I went to a family brunch at Sister Natalie’s house, because Dad’s back in town, and because the weather’s nice, and also just because.

The weather truly has been amazing this week–in the 80s and sunny, with a pleasant breeze. Sunshine for days.

So of course there was trampoline jumping with the kiddos. Because there is no resisting kiddos and a trampoline, and because Kevin and I are the youngest and most-childish of the “grown-ups.” And also just because.

Later we napped, did laundry, went for a walk. We stopped by a going-away party (of sorts) to deliver some cookies, but I was feverish enough that all I wanted was to dive head-first into the ice-filled beer bucket. So we went home. Easy does it.

Sad that it takes a fever to remind me to slow down, but I think I’m getting it. Well done, Sunday.

Big Sis, Little Sis

~OR~

Rosie Has Two Mommies

(and so do I)

Saturday night my little sister Rosie slept over. She is five years old, and sometimes I’m hesitant to explain our relationship. Technically, she is my mother’s lesbian lover’s daughter. So…no, we’re not related by blood. But what does that even matter? I don’t call Beth my mother’s lover, anyway. I just call her Beth, and I refer to her as my step-mom. Which…well, admittedly that confuses people.

Though, interestingly enough, living in Utah means that I can be a 26-year-old with a 5-year-old sister, and most people don’t bat a lash. We’re professional reproducers here, folks.

But…living in Utah also means that I’ve never been too jazzed to reveal my personal family information to strangers. Because not only am I a non-Mormon (born and raised), I’m a non-Mormon raised by a lesbian and a Jew. Try telling THAT to your friend’s mom while she’s carpooling you to soccer practice!

But I do believe in honesty, Friends. It’s just that I also believe in, you know, protecting what’s mine. So sometimes there’s internal conflict.

But…honestly? Mostly there is little conflict. Mostly there is watching Tangled and eating home-made popcorn with little Rose, who decides that she DOES like my special seasoning (Earth Balance butter + salt/nutritional yeast/Mrs. Dash) and also that she should probably just tell me the entire plot of the movie before-hand. Just in case I might get scared.

Then there is giggling in bed, and going to sleep at 9:30, and then waking up at 7:30. There is trying to play Simpsons Clue at a coffee shop, where we both drink hot chocolate and eat bagels. By then it is only 10 or so, so we decide to go bowling. Because Rosie’s never been, and because…why not?

Because that’s what sisters do–they hang out, watch movies, have sleepovers, go to cafes, and try new things together.

And that’s the honest truth.

 

If You Can’t Be With the One You Love…

…Love the One You’re With

I have a very rainbow-centric job…

…and I kinda dig it.

Truth Time: remember when I was not digging it? And not dealing well? (Here ‘s a refresher. Also here.)

And, really, I was pretty all over the place with most things. Emotionally.  Some days my jobs were okay, some days I liked my friends, some days I felt like MAYBE I’d made the right choice…but other days I was just hanging in there. Like a cat on a tree branch.

But…then I decided not to make any more plans. Because making plans was stressing me out. See, making plans meant making A DECISION, which naturally involved re-assessing all past decisions, in an effort not to eff everything up again. But it also meant trying to figure out the future, and what I might want a month or a year from now.

And I just don’t know that, Friends. I just don’t know.

*       *       *

So. No more plans. Just here. Just this. Some other quote from Rent…

Seriously, though, letting go of the past AND the future has done wonders. Guess what? My jobs are awesome. I love kids. Even when they’re little shits. Okay, especially when they’re little shits. They’re just so bad ass. Look at what my kiddos did for the storytime craft last night:

A metaphor:

You know how some times everything sucks and your friends are flaky and your family doesn’t understand you and your job is killing your soul and you don’t want to do anything and nothing is ever going to get better? But then really it turns out you just needed to eat?

I guess I just “needed to eat.”

The Seasons, They Go Round and Round

~OR~

We’re Captive on a Carousel of Time

(Joni Mitchel)

Ah, but where does the time go? It seems not even a year ago that I was making Passover puns in poor taste…

…probably because it wasn’t even a year ago. Sometimes seder  has to be moved up a few weeks, to accommodate world travelers. And–as Joey pointed out–it’s usually “a bit more reverent.” Listen, we do what we want.

But oh, we have fun.

Except…except this year’s (early) Passover seder turned into a metaphor for my life:

Everyone was having a good time eating and drinking and wanting to dance all night, but then they all got distracted talking about relationship troubles and babies and the seasons of our lives.

And I still just wanted to dance.

Pants on Fire

So I lied. I acted like everything was sunshine and rainbows and self-improvement and growth. And it was.

Until it wasn’t.

Last night I cried myself to sleep, and not even softly, but in a major freak-out style. Bedtime is not my best time. Sometimes I lie in bed thinking of what I’ve posted for the day, and I’m like “Ugh, shut the fuck UP, Sarah.”

Sometimes the PMA and general optimism is too much even for me. The can-do attitude. You should know that’s not who I am, or at least not all the time. You should know that I’m moody, and that I am still having Spain-related regrets, and that I bawled loud enough last night that I’m pretty sure my neighbors heard me.

I tend to get super emotional around my birthday. Probably something to do with “another year passed” -style introspection.

Because I am not where I want to be, Friends. My jobs are fine, but they are not my life’s work. They are a way to make money, to mark the days flying past. Everything’s moved so quickly, since I got back from Spain, and I don’t like it. I’m all for being industrious, but not if being so busy means not a moment to spare to look at my life and ask myself what it is that I think I am doing.

Last night I realized I don’t know what I’m doing. I know what I wanted, what could have been, but those ships have sailed. Now all I know is that I don’t want this–to live in Salt Lake, surrounded by children, and weddings, to have so many empty social engagements and not enough opportunities to just sit down and talk, to be working nearly every day, early mornings and late nights, all in an effort to save up money, and for WHAT?

I don’t know for what, Friends. I don’t know what comes next. And so I cry.

*       *       *

Incidentally, the sight of my clean, dry dishes in the sunlight this morning pleased me in an inexplicably deep and sincere way. I have not forgotten how I felt last night. I need to look into that. But today I have a rack full of clean dishes, an example of some measure of foresight. And that pleases me.

For now.

Sistah SIStah!

~OR~

Diff’rent Strokes for Diff’rent Folks

(and by “Folks” I mean “Fathers”)

Still no internet, Friends. I’m working on it. I even figured out how to use imgur and how to do a double space, html-style. It’s awesome. Awesome in a “Yes, I learned some basic skills of the Twenty-First Centrury, and now I’m patting myself on the back about it” sort of way.

ALSO right now I am filling my weekends up busking at Sundance Film Festival in Park City. With Eric Rich. You know, the piano bike guy. So there will be more on that to come.

*       *       *

In the meantime, I highly suggest that you internet-meander over to my LINKS page to check out what my friends and favorites are posting. Lately I am all about Joy the Baker and The Dainty Squid. I read them while waiting for my own photos to upload, for full blogging submersion.

They are very much a pair of homey little sights, writing about baking, decorating, collecting, cultivating a cozy little corner of the world for one’s self. And I guess I’m into that? In theory, at least. However, my Sister Natalie is into that shit in practice, in real life. She is a full-blown adult, having completed the grown-up triumvirate of home-owner/mother/wife. And now she has her very own blog! I am so proud! Sister-to-sister pride YES.

Anyways, check it out, is what I’m saying. The Nat Kitchen. That’s my sister. Yes, we are related, no we don’t look alike. She is nesting hard-core, and while I like to think that I’m into that (reading up on these blogs and all), after about five minutes at her house all of the babies and animals start throwing up and won’t hold still and I remember that this is not the life for me.

Oh, also: pictured above is my nephew, Sebastian. That’s her son. He’s pretty awesome. You might remember him from this. Yes, I am linking to other peoples’ hard work, no I am not really posting anything new.

*       *       *

Strange, though, that I should be so interested in these domestically-blissed websites, while I am obviously still in the depths of what my father calls my “Odyssey Phase.”

I mean, somebody’s got to have the adventures, right?

Voluntary Sterilization

I’m not sure if I want kids or not, and lately I’ve been leaning towards not. When I was in high school, I couldn’t wait. In fact, my high school boyfriend (the first one) and I used to fantasize about having kids together, even going so far as rubbing my puffed-out belly and pretending I was already pregnant!

(PS – One of Life’s greatest reliefs is that we didn’t act upon this particular impulse. Seriously, I thank my lucky stars about it ALL THE TIME.)

Add to that a lifetime of babysitting, nannying, teaching English to kids, working in a children’s library…and it would seem obvious that I’m destined for maternal bliss. But I don’t think so. I’ve got a five-year-old sister and (as of today) FOUR nephews to hang out with and exorcise my arts-n-crafts, sing-a-long demons. I think that’ll be plenty. Plus I like my time and money and would prefer not to give that all away to an irrational egomaniac, or “toddler”.

My Dad doesn’t believe me, though.  “Oh, you say that now, but you’ll see. You’ll change your mind. I felt the same way when I was your age, but it’s one of the greatest joys in life. You’ll see.” Lots of grown-ups say this to me, actually. This is because when they were my age they were lawyers or some other professional type, far removed from the harsh reality of small children. They didn’t have to deal with this on a daily basis:

This little act of misconduct was carried out by a team of brothers (I’d guess 2- and 4-years-old), while their mom sat planted in front of one of our “kids only” computers, on Facebook.

Right after cleaning this up I had to give a stern-voiced “STOP IT.” to another set of brothers; one was kicking the other in ribs while he lay curled in a fetal position. Hearing my reprimand, their father glanced up from his computer with a look of shock and disapproval, as if to say “Don’t you talk to my kids that way!”

Later, while begrudgingly helping me clean up a cluster of wrinkled magazines splayed on the floor (“He was just reading, what?”), the mom of the first set told her 2-year-old “Shut up. Nobody wants to hear it.” in such a cruel and condescending tone that I almost couldn’t take it.

…And this is what I’m talking about. This is what my mom calls “free birth control,” and it works like a charm. If I were a fellow parent, I might be tempted to understand and empathize with these parents. But I don’t want to. I just want to go home, eat dinner, watch my programs while working on Accomplishments, read my book, and go to bed. And since I have no children to call my own, I’ll be able to do just that, no interruptions, no hassles.

Why would I want to ever change that?