Sunday, August 27, 2006

Through A Child's Eyes

More Impressions on Day 3 of our Return to Holy Land Central (HLC) following a 2-month hiatus:

1) It's still bloody hot. Yes, it cooled down slightly and it's even pleasant with windows open post-sundown when the breeze wafts through. But that middle-of-the-day sun-beats-down muggy-heat body slick is everpresent

2) Adjusting back to the mentality here is... an adjustment.
- A complete stranger friend of a friend joining our cafe table the other day unabashedly asked my age and income in one fell swoop.
- The neighboring sweetie-pie lock shop owner commented "That's all?" when I told him the dog died/solar panel blew/cat ran away/apartment was burgled while we were away. And I'm not being facetious. He really is a sweet guy.
- The building contractor in the courtyard downstairs argues into his cellphone with clients each ayem around 7 in forte voce

3) Life here is hella lively. Full of vim and vigor and bounce. Hell, I'm not on vacation - that period of time when friends and family dote eagerly because your appearance is brief - and yet my Dayplanner/BlackBerry/Palm Pilot is buzzing. And this is the norm. I had forgotten.

A correction/recommendation:

- In an earlier posting, I advised reading The Devil Wears Prada. HOWEVER, that was following my movie viewing but prior to getting into the book. I retract. The movie was light, lively, very funny and well done. The book is a downer and stahm. Kudos to the film's screenplay adapter who liberally departed from the novel.

- Now reading A Million Little Pieces, James Frey's supposed retelling of severe alcohol and drug addiction and rehab. Supposed because he apparently took liberties with embellishment. Never mind. It's fascinating.

- In the same earlier posting, I neglected to add Jose Saramago's Blindness to my reading recommendation list. Yes, he was among the not-so-pro-Israel group of artists/academics/etc. (including Noam Chomsky) who vociferously objected to Israel's action during this summer's war. But setting politics aside for a moment, the book illustrates his proclivity for the Nobel standard.

About Loss
Children sometimes have unique perspectives on life and the world in which they dwell.

People have asked how Raphael, my 4-year-old, handled the news of losing both pets while away for the summer.

He cried. Of the cat, who Rapha habitually referred to as his sister, he is of the belief that she is outside partying with friends. She may be. Particularly since, while in the backyard conversing hours after landing in HLC, an identical look-alike ran unprompted and enthusiastically toward us upon hearing our voices. It bolted, however, when Raphael ran towards it in greeting. We continue to beckon.

Regarding our dog, I had to explain death. For a 4-year-old, it's a way-out-there concept. When I said that it means she went to sleep and won't wake up again, through tears he stammered: "But I won't get to pet her anymore!" And I told him that there are many, many dogs who need petting in the world. Through the flow he stubbornly insisted: "I don't want to pet any other dog. I want to pet Atticus!"

Otherwise, he has witnessed my emotional displays with curiosity. One day he handed me a Chiquita Banana sticker. "It's a no sadness don't cry sticker, Mommy. Atticus said you should put it on to stay happy." I promptly stuck it on my forehead and wore it in public all day. Someone in Walgreen's asked if I knew it was there. Yes, I replied. It's a no sadness sticker. Rapha was proud. And stunned the first time I broke into sobs with sticker still in place.

Upon returning to Israel, he confided to his father: "She cries a lot"

Last night at dinner he asked when Attie will come back down again to play.

When out in public, he obsessively strokes dogs and cats

Today he fell apart when a dog he wanted to stroke walked away too quickly. "That dog wanted me to pet it and I didn't get to," he cried hysterically. I hugged him tight and reminded there are many, many other dogs to pet.

*sigh*

I promise to blog about other stuff. Give me a moment. slf

5 comments:

Riihele said...

Hei Steph.

So very sorry n sad to hear that there has been so many trying things happening to you n the yours in past few weeks. =(

Take care.

PS. I like the fresh n bright new look in the blog.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for your kindness...I like it too. Although I'm not generally a PINK girl..slf

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I thought the Devil Wears Prada book was excellent. I think that to really appreciate the book, you need to have had a boss like Miranda - I have (and everyone else I worked with also thought the book was excellent - simply because we all lived through something very similar...)

I also read Blindness - thought it was good, but quite heavy going (too many Holocaust similarities...)

Stephanie said...

Maybe you're right vis a vis Prada boss. I had a male boss like Miranda but not as extreme. I just found the book to be a huge downer. And yeah, Blindness was heavy. Sometimes reading it I had a sick feeling in my stomach...slf

Liza said...

I can agree with anon's assessment, having had a boss like that as well. The book made me laugh, but it also made me shudder at the familiarity of some of the scenes. It was almost scary. The stories I could tell you about the former boss would totally make you toss your cookies.

Poor Rapha. If we lived in Tel Aviv, I'd let him pet and hug my dog for sure (though the dog might have different ideas...). That story makes me want to come give him a big hug.

I dread having to go through some of the same scenarios with our son when our dog leaves us.