Thursday, September 01, 2005

El Matador

Yes, yes. Another new post. There's a part of me that's fairly certain that I'll cut down on my blogging soon. I feel like I'm preparing to leave and I have so much to say before I go. Who knows? Maybe that just sounds better than saying 'Hello my name is Mint and I'm a compulsive blogger". The funny thing is I have a full life. My days start at 6am and are fairly packed with family, work, friends, and the house. Wow. I can't believe I'm freaking defending writing a new post.

Anyhoo. The Boy started kindergarten this past week and I have to admit I got a little choked up. I was 27 and fiercely independent when I got married. If you had told me back then that the smell of glue sticks would bring a tear to my eyes I would have said you're fucking crazy. Alas, there we were. The 8am bell rang and they allowed parents to go in with the children. We marched the Boy to his classroom and found his table and name badge. As I pinned the badge on, I had this overwhelming urge to just cradle him in my arms like I did when he was an infant. I flashed back to the night before my labor was induced. The nursery was done in clouds and glow-in-the-dark stars. I sat in the rocking chair and wrote all my hopes and fears and desires for this kid in a journal. Nothing specific like be a doctor, or be the first Indian baseball player to make the Chicago Cub's (D's secret wish). Instead I wrote things like be a productive member of society, give more than you take from the world, discover the world that's beyond your front door, and whatever happens, be happy and know that we love you with every ounce of our being. The Boy had a rough birth and ended up in the ICU where I whispered these things over and over in his ears so he would know that I was by his side. That little baby was now a 5 year old manchild who was shooting D a look like "Dad, she's not going to cry is she?"


The Boy was the calmest amongst his table mates. Next to him was Kate. Kate's mom, who is this very cute Chinese woman with freckles, kept snapping at her American husband. "Tim, take a picture. Make sure you get the name badge in. Is the lens cap off?" Across from Kate was Luke, another Chinese/American child who looked petrified. Across from the Boy was Avery, who looked every bit like you imagine a child named Avery would look; right down to the Gap loafers. The boy's class is full of Arianas and Dillons and Pipers and is quite the UN Convention. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that JB, the Boy's Malaysian-American friend from preschool got accepted at the same time and was in the same class. The family just got back from a holiday in Kuala Lumpur. The more we hang with them, the more I find myself taking on their linguistic cues. "We can't go to the park lah, it's raining."

The first day I picked him up, the boy gave me a thumbs up and told me lots of details regarding his day. The second day the following interaction took place:

Me: So how are the kids at your table?
Boy: Kate's grumpy.
Me: Why's that?
Boy: Because she's a girl.
Me: (stifling laughter) Well, there's gotta be more to it than that.
Boy: (nonchalant) Yeah, I told her she should have her mom give her a big hug in the morning cos that always helps me get rid of my grumpies.

Today was day 3 and every girl in the class said bye as the Boy was leaving. For those of you who saw the pictures of the Boy and his friend Claire, you know the affect this kid has on women. But all he talked about on the walk home was Hurricane Katrina and how some kids don't have a home now and how we should send them stuff. "We have stuff mom...we should send them some of our stuff". My heart fluttered when he said this. "You're absolutely right honey. We'll send them some of our stuff" I went home and let him dial the number for the Red Cross and we made a donation. And when I think about the Hurricane or the stampede in Iraq that killed a thousand people, I hug the kids a little harder and realize that I don't mind the smell of glue sticks.


Oh. I almost forgot. The Boy came home yesterday and said he had to bring a CD to class that is, as he described it "culture". I take this to mean culturally significant to the Boy and run through my favorite Ravi Shankar pieces or even a little Ali Khan. Perhaps I'll add the soundtrack to Riverdance or some U2/Van Morrison for D.

Boy: I wanna bring Matador
(El Matador by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is one of the Boy's favorite songs and he tries to sing along even though it's all in Spanish)
Me: That's a great song but it doesn't really represent us as a family.
Boy: Sure it does. We all love the song and it makes us happy. Ms S said that's what families are all about.
(Well shit. He's got a point there.)
Me: Matador it is then.


Anonymous vAgue says...

thats a gorgeous post, mint. I don't want to talk about different parts of it and spoil how it feels right now.
dont even think about going away, you!

Thu Sep 01, 12:49:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Pink says...

This boy makes my heart melt.. Dear God, if I have to have a boy, let him be like your boy. :)

Thu Sep 01, 12:56:00 AM CDT  
Blogger D says...

:) nothing to say... nothing to add... just reading what you wrote makes me smile... warmly... quietly.
you arent "allowed" to go away....

Thu Sep 01, 12:59:00 AM CDT  
Blogger The Box says...

(choked up)

Colleague: Are you ok?
Colleague: Oh-kay! Jesus!

Which is so totally not how I felt about your post.

(getting choked up again)

Thu Sep 01, 02:50:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous AB says...

Your boy will be a heartbreaker. Watch out:)

Thu Sep 01, 03:05:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Rat says...

Well from what i have seen of your boy I can tell hes going to be real heartbreaker !! And hes such a good kid ! Your so lucky Mint.

Thu Sep 01, 06:31:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Madame Mahima says...

=D i like Boy!
he sounds like a well read 30 year old guy trapped in a 5 year old kids body (he's 5 yes?)

heh heh the women are gonna LOVE him!

Thu Sep 01, 09:44:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous meditativerose says...

Awww ... I'm a mid-20s fiercely independent woman, but your post still made me go awww
(Will not admit to the tears in eyes being a possibility though ;) )

Thu Sep 01, 10:10:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Sunrayz says...

What a lovely post...
Nothing more to say...excpet that I hope the boy turns out to be exactly the way you wish :)

Thu Sep 01, 10:14:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Jane Sunshine says...

Very cutelah ypu, my friend Mint.

Thu Sep 01, 10:47:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Menagerie says...

Your post makes me want children even more, so adorable. I think kids nowadays are so much smarter. I like the "Dad, she's not going to cry is she?" look....its so sweet!

Thu Sep 01, 03:20:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Wandernut says...

Your boy is such a sweetheart-lah.
If I were 5 years old, I'd be in love with him too.


Thu Sep 01, 09:36:00 PM CDT  
Blogger shakester says...

lovely...the stuff of archived journals
watching bits of kindergaten cop yesterday (yes I know...get a life), and was thinking. Talking to children is the most heart rendingly simplistic thing. It is the one way when you will know how much clarity you have on what you are saying, because their uncomplicated take on everything just throws our so-called 'adult' outlook out the window...

and yes, whats all this about going away, eh? c'mon speak up! bah!

Thu Sep 01, 10:41:00 PM CDT  
Blogger APOO says...

OK. Ya kid gives me a complex! :)

And that part of you which is fairly certain its gonna cut down on the blogging. Ignore that part of you!

Thu Sep 01, 11:29:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Tartrazina says...

keep it going Mint... u make many blogger's days :o)

Fri Sep 02, 01:08:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Sa Re Ga Ma says...

Made me miss my mom, but it is such a smiling post!

Fri Sep 02, 06:45:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous says...

She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
L-o-l-a Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

Do not deprive us of Mint. Please.

- A fan

Fri Sep 02, 07:04:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Spot says...

sniff...because that's so touching AND am saddened that you may be going away...*small sob*.

Fri Sep 02, 10:23:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D says...

hey lola! (personally mint is nicer!)
since there are no comments activated in your latest post am leaving a comment here...
am sorry your day turned out bad... but dont bail out... please?

Sun Sep 04, 05:47:00 AM CDT  

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