Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Monday, April 12, 2021

Scoutie Scoutie so very pouty


Scout really does take after me--he hates going to the doctor. 

Big A had to take him in because we found a mass--it didn't seem to bother Scout (and that it didn't bother him bothered his doctor dad, actually). 

The clinic said he's put on 10 pounds. Probably pandemic related, right? Humans home all day, sharing additional table food and treats?

Big A called him "Mr. Fatty" on family chat and the lovely human kids immediately jumped on him for fat shaming. I don't think Scout's forgiven him yet.

Fingers crossed on his microscopic report.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

tiny hellos


These (rue anemones?) yesterday--unlooked for and delightful. I thought back to them all day.

A long day of teaching, lots of individual conferences checking in on student research projects, and very little time for admin stuff that needs doing. 

Tomorrow is another day. 

A quick visit to At to drop off groceries and measure his chest (for a birthday present). 

LOTS of hugs.

 Back home, Big A's poke for dinner, and a snuggly semi-sleepover with Nu, Scout, and Huck. 

(Meaning--I'm supposed to be watching Umbrella Academy with Nu, but I fall asleep ten minutes in. The show is good, it's just that I'm tired.)

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Hello, Sunshine

Sunshine and an all around golden day. 

At had headed home after his vaccination yesterday in case he needed cosseting (he didn't) but we had him until brunch today.

Nu got to spend time with At watching video clips and playing Goose and generally realizing that their older sibling needs clear requests and communication or else all their time together might be spent hearing the good news about socialism... or something.

The human kids did an Easter egg hunt in the backyard while the puppy kids followed me around for treats (pictured). It was fun making rhyming clues and hiding presents and generally babying my babies. 

Savory casserole and store-bought Easter cupcakes for brunch and biriyani leftovers from yesterday for dinner. I got to read a Mary Stewart AND fall asleep in the sunshine, so that's two things off my let's-get-happy list.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

in time


a body rises like an ocean 
willing like magic
identity shifts and orbits
--another trick

a star/stare, what will it mean
to you, to me
if only it could move a prayer
to open actuality

time cheats, you know how
we try to scribble it
here we are; there we go--
still hurt, counterfeit



-------------------------------
At (in Michigan) and my sister (in Bangalore) both received their vaccination #1 today; yay!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Of pens and pizza and other not so little things

Barely the beginning of the week, and I'm already so exhausted... I think we're all way more burnt out than we realize.

Before I left for home, however--a personal visit, a handwritten note of congratulations, and a luxe pen from the college. Somehow they even managed to engrave my very long, doubly hyphenated name on it. 

Somedays, it's the not-so-little things and immense kindness that do me in. 

And then Big A's pizza for dinner. It's impossible to not feel so loved when I see one of the pies on the table is the goat cheese, spinach, and slices of hard-boiled egg one. Probably sounds awful to most people--I'm the only one who eats it, so it was made just for me.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

We're on


We're on dueling sofas. I'm reading; Nu's doodling me. Clearly, I'm happy :).

It's a good evening at the end of a very busy day where both my computer camera and I stayed on all day.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Mothering


Scout finds his water dish 
empty, he reminds me to 
fill it by batting it around.

Like every other toddler 
he eagerly loses himself
in all the glorious noise:

he's cocking his head
and bouncing his dish--
my little drummer pup.

Now I bring him 
a new bowl of water 
and he flings himself

into it, lapping, slurping, 
I'm stroking his head,
and my old body forgets 

it did not birth him--breasts 
spread like wings, tingling
like they did when I fed babies. 


Friday, March 19, 2021

The Incredible Giant Effing Crybaby

I'm starting this post at 2 pm--there's a departmental meeting in < 30 mins, and I wanted to say I've already had two crying jags today + (merely) teared up a couple of times in a drafting meeting. Yay, me. 

I can't even attribute something expansive/altruistic/noble to the last jag. I've had an infected spot that remained even after a two-week course of antibiotics, and I'd made an appointment to see my doctor on April 20th, which seemed far enough in the future that I didn't have to worry about it for a while. Big A thought that was rubbish and said we needed to go to urgent care TODAY. That was terrifying. He promised his hand to squeeze if it hurt and to buy me Taco Bell if I went. So I went. (He wasn't able to be in the room--Covid rules--but I got lidocaine and it didn't hurt as much as I had feared it would.)

I've discovered Taco Bell late in my immigrant life. People were raving about the return of the fiesta potatoes on my social media and earlier this week, I finally understood their adulation. Fiesta (potatoes) forever!

[Pic is some rainbow flashes on the library walls from all the crystals in there.]

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Staying alive


At had kind of not been ok, and I thought a green comrade in his dorm space might be nice for him, so I gave him a potted dracena on his 'Boss Day.' At the last moment, I stuck a fake succulent stem in there too. 

Yesterday, he texted to ask about its watering schedule--and while he was watering it...

At: This succulent is fake. lol

Me: I promised you you could keep all this alive. I wanted you to feel good about yourself!

At: Love you lol

Me: Love you <3

At: How often should I water the real plants?

(The picture is a real succulent L gave me last year... I'm bad with succulents, actually--I overwater, and they have no restraint and drink everything and then individual leaves get too heavy and plop off...)

Sunday, March 14, 2021

DST Sunday


Time feels so strange anyway right now, that an hour's early start... on a Sunday... should make no difference, but even in the pandemic, DST still makes things disruptive. 

Being told why DST happens had some odd drama to it as a new immigrant: the implicit trust that this new world ritual had some higher-order rationale that I would eventually appreciate, but in the meantime--here's this "Fall back-Spring forward" mnemonic to keep track. Remembering Chelli's friend MH waiting up precisely for 2 am to turn the clocks still makes me smile, and we just talked about MH this weekend, and they're still best friends. 

But what a lovely sun-kissed weekend, nevertheless. No coats, so much outside play, the melt revealing the abrupt way things had suddenly ended with the one big snow. Family sushi, Puppy playdates (BS and JL), a sleepover with Nu, a movie via Zoom with EM (Bombay Rose, HIGHLY recommended!), a marathon phone call home, and now a ton of work waiting for me. (I feel 100% recovered from the second shot, BTW.)

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Three Little Puppies (2)



HD, Scout, Huck (L to R)


Scout, CS, Huck (L to R)


Puppy playdates are the fun pandemic-approved hangout time I need.



Thursday, March 04, 2021

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday usually falls right in the middle of Spring Break... Except we started a week later this year, so for the first time I was teaching on my birthday. I got all excited about this and stocked up on birthday treats like I was in elementary school. And my students, for whom the treats were meant, were so sweet and wrote happy birthday notes on notebook paper and asked if they could sing for me. 

I love my students. 

I was supposed to go home after that last class, but I was hoping to get a birthday hug from At before I left for home. I sent two texts--including one that read fairly desperately: "Birthday hug: yea or nay"--because it's At and he's completely capable of forgetting my birthday in his gentle, absent-minded way. He texted back that he was very busy, couldn't meet, but would explain later. I was pretty crushed, and remember thinking he could have at least said "Happy Birthday" before he brushed me off. 

Yes, he's in that picture--he'd driven home to have birthday dinner with us. 

I'd asked to be surprised for dinner and it seems like Nu, At, and Big A had each picked three things I like to eat so there was an incongruous all-you-can-eat buffet situation with sushi and green curry and poke* and pao* and a glorious olive oil cake* with raspberries, lemon zest, and pistachios (the last asterisked three by Big A and his kid helpers). AK and KB had dropped by at work, LB and EM dropped by at home, so I have more presents than I deserve.  More books to read, notebooks to write in, so much chocolate, and so many bath bombs.

At had parked at the end of the cul-de-sac because his presence-present was a surprise, so I got in a magic walk by starlight when I walked him to his car. And then some magic--albeit smelly--cuddles with Scout, Huck, Nu, and Big A to end the day.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Mad at Mama





Big A locked them in their room because their paws were wet...  but I'm the one getting the glares!

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Thaw


I looked up from my desk to this glorious sunlit sky in my sliver of office window. Being here physically was relief and sustenance after the torture of trying to make things go right with Nu yesterday.

Reading students encountering Laura Mulvey, Hanif Kureishi, and Shauna Singh Baldwin, introducing a new class to invitational rhetoric, referencing an old student's lesson plan involving the 'Red Rover' game... everything felt like a fresh spring--at least in my soul.

By the time I got home to little Nu, the 'sad' part persisted, but the 'mad' part had melted away.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Regression redux


I am the most gullible jackass in the history of parenting; the resident 13-year-old scam artist has been faking schoolwork again. I don't get it, it seems like it takes more work to fake it than to actually do it? They seem quite blithe about it and completely oblivious to how vile this behavior is. I feel bad for them and their teachers, and my whole body just hurts. 😞

I've managed to limp through my to-do lists: grades, student updates, and class prep are done. I even got outside, and it was chilly and windy enough that it numbed my pain about Nu for a bit.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Weekend Magic

Three long, snowy hikes (with LB and BS), one long-ish run (5 mi), two short yoga sessions. I can't remember when I've had a weekend so full of physical activity before. Two raucous and movie-heavy sleepovers with Nu and Scout and Huck; sadly, not much contact with At--I mean, a picture of a nice omelette he made himself on family chat--but he seems to be mostly ok.

Finished Oona Out of Order--which was meh at best, and frequently irritating--but I grew to care about the characters after all although I didn't care for their idea of gentrification as a beneficial development. Started Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings. Again. I couldn't get into it when it first came out and I remember being roundly castigated for it by world lit friends. I've been humming and channeling a lot of Bob Marley (because I MISS my mom so much) recently, so I'm giving Seven Killings another go. It's intense. 

Also intense, Judas and the Black Messiah, which I watched with Big A. Fred Hampton--especially how much he did at so young an age and how much he could have gone on to do had he not been assassinated has been a trigger for me--but the film was oddly heartening. Especially as Akua Njeri and Fred Hampton Jr. seem to have been such a central part of the film's making.

I disengaged from most work all weekend. And something that helped was that I didn't get a single work email! Is this everyone deciding to institute strong boundaries since we work from home so much these days? On Friday, which was a "Reading Day," I sent out an inquiry on behalf of an advisee and my senior colleague reminded me to "take the day off." Knowing everyone is doing it, and that it would be rude and interruptive not to, makes it so much easier for me. I still have some grading to catch up on, but hope to get it done by Tuesday when I will have to face people in real time again. That's not magical thinking, although I did wish on the beautiful and magical wishing tree BS gave me this weekend. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

"Bloom! Bloom! Bloom where you're planted"

Meetings started at 8 am and ended after 7:30 pm today. Such a FULL non-teaching day with everything from curriculum planning and faculty training, to new protocols for CASA from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  

Lots of support from Nu and Big A who told me they were proud of me. That was unexpected and felt SO NICE! Also, when I was being hugged by those two, I was surprised anew by how much taller than me Nu is now--their face is still such a Baby Nu face!

We liked the vegan dinner I made today (a nicely-sauced stir-fry of Impossible meat and rice noodles topped with mint, julienned peppers, and shredded cucumber) a new-ish, Vietnamese-ish palate with our usual ingredients. We watched a bit more of Korra, (which is sad, neoliberal apologia compared to ATLA) and will probably finish the series this weekend. What's next for us? Perhaps Schitt's Creek, which we've tried twice but can't seem to get beyond episode 4 or 5. A colleague-friend said maybe we should just start from season two, and perhaps that's just what we'll do.

I don't remember going outside today; it's still freezing with snow up to my knees. I did spend some time in the tea garden where we have everything from floppy paperwhites and ratty poinsettias from Christmas to the cyclamen showing up to say, Spring, suckas. The cyclamen gave me such a pang of nostalgic yearning for Greece where it would grow even in the rockiest niches. And apropos of that tiny synaptic nudge, that super-insistent song the sisters taught us in school, "Bloom! Bloom! Bloom where you're planted" started playing in my head. I think I'm trying.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Basement Biker*


There were triathlons in the old days and there may be outdoor bike races again someday, perhaps even as soon as the Ides of March...

But for now I get to see Big A do his thing in the basement--and it's a way more accessible spectatorship. (And not just for me, he has quite the fan club globally and at work.)

* I've been calling him "Basement Biker" and the song version is basically just "Paperback Writer" plagiarized for my own snarky purposes.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Concise Bharatha

This isn't my birthplace and I am 

louder for my heart is misplaced;

I dwindle but first I do no harm.

Then I turn calm, you must come 

too--time shrugs on, on its own. 

*

He hugs the walls when he walks

my sister says of our dad.

We should have bars in the shower 

my husband says of my dad.

I think of my dad--


mightiest of his four brothers

how he sat all his brothers on his 

meaty biceps--or was that Bhima

also second-born--I'm confused

by the words rolling in my mouth.

*

It's easy to break, ask water--what's 

next in the shadow of time's coming.

Of first learning to trust every day's 

ordinary dance, stepping to calm, 

to harm; saying: I'll take it.


--------------------------

Notes: 

My father actually has six brothers, but my youngest uncle is seventeen years younger than dad and so the five older brothers were routinely referred to as the Pandavas in dad's childhood. Dad, although affected by polio as toddler, was somehow also the strongest and sportiest brother--captain of several teams in both school and college. 

I routinely confused stories about dad and Bhima when I was a kid. Still do. I don't know if seating all the brothers on his arms was a dad thing, a Bhima thing, or a dad thing inspired by Bhima... and I'm not going to try to find out. Naturally, I was shaken when my sister told me this morning how weakened he's become because he looks not very different in photos and when we video chat. 

The Mahabharatha because it is so long (the longest!) and has so many embedded frametales sometimes works on me as a reminder of how life is transient. Lives get lost in that huge narrative, and somehow recognizing individual insignificance is calming? Here, I'm reaching for an abridged version of that fatalistic calm.

Distance is a huge in the pandemic, and I yearn to see everyone 'back home' knowing it may not happen for months or even this year. So the other part of what I was trying to do was to call back to the old country "Bharat/Bharatha."