« Success at School | Main | Old Archives | Ballet Class »

October 19, 2004

Naomi's Thoughts

Naomi Gingerich has given the go ahead for posting her thoughts on the Gingerich Family Blog. So here is her recent email.

Greetings from the little yellow house on the hill! I have a spare 10 minutes while Lydia is in school and Maren is at her second?third?once-removed? cousin Emma's house having a tea party, so I'll try to give you all a few snapshots of our evolving life here in the green Northwest.

Putting the last first (at least we're on solid biblical ground to start with), let's talk about Maren. She has recently discovered the joys of a split personality disorder. She is, on any given day, sequentially Maren and "this little bear." Maren, for instance, might smile pleasantly and eat her carrot sticks, but "this little bear" shakes her head mournfully and says "This little bear doesn't LIKE cawwots." or "This little bear wants mommy to hold her." or "This little bear doesn't need a nap."

In the rare moments that she IS Maren, however, she is studiously working hard in our "home preschool." In her ABC's, which she is content to practice because it makes mommy so happy, she can write most of her name and "Mom" and "Dad." In numbers, which she is just as enamored of as she always has been, she loves all the numbers 1-10 inordinately, and treats them as though they are her dearest friends. In Maren's book, an "A" is just an "A,", a "B" is a "B" and so on, but a "3" or a "4" - those are ecstasy. (not counting thirteen, which she still is not very fond of) And last, in philosophy, which is the subject we study on our way to the library story hour, she poses impossible questions to her mother. You've heard of philosophers asking "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" or "If a tree fell in the forest and nobody was there to hear it, would it still make a sound?" But how about "Can you hear the goldfish cracker singing silently?" That's Maren's latest question; "Mommy, can you hear my goldfish cracker singing to you?" What DOES one answer to such a question? It feels sort of like a test of merit, like in some churches where they ask you if you can feel the wave of the holy spirit blowing through the crowd, and everybody else is swaying and you don't feel a thing; if I was a really good Mommy, would I be able to hear the goldfish singing? (and if the goldfish was singing in the forest and nobody was there to hear it, would it make a sound?) Luckily for me, Maren announces at regular intervals "There, Mommy, the song is over." so that I can respond with appropriate oohs and ahhs of affirmation. "Such NICE songs your goldfish cracker sings. What an honor to be in the audience today."

Lydia is doing well, too, although she misses her friends in Goshen a lot. School is "mostly review" she says, which doesn't make her little hyperactive brain very happy. But she loves her teacher and is happy to run from my hugging arms to the bus stop every morning without a backward glance, so I guess things must not be too bad! She is also taking a ballet class once a week, and that has been a lot of fun for both of us. She really loves learning all the (impossible) positions and their French names, like "Shonsma" which is actually spelled "Changemont" but sounds much more like the first word and means simply "switch your feet" -but it LOOKS so much more elegant when the teacher is calling out words in a foreign language. In French, to be specific. I'm not sure if German would have the same effect.

Some of you will remember our experience of Lydia playing soccer. She stuck it out through all the games, but it was a little embarrassing to watch her doing ballet moves in the corner of the soccer field while all the other 5-year-olds ran in a shouting mob after the ball. (she did, once, accidentally kick the ball when it rolled right into her). Lydia doing ballet is exactly the opposite; she concentrates fiercely and picks up new moves quickly, and even though their teacher keeps them moving for forty-five minutes, Lydia leaves the class happy and bouncy.

As for me, I am still dashing about trying to accomplish everyday things in a new place, and working on all the little details of moving into a new home/community. In between, I'm reading things like "The Mommy Myth:The Idealization of Motherhood and How it Has Undermined Women" and "Living with Chickens:Everything you Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Flock." Apparently I have a thing for subtitles! The pictures in the chicken book are much nicer and more plentiful than in the mythical mommy book. (Fear not, landlords, pictures or no, I promise not to bring any cluckers on the premises without your permission) And I do find it slightly ironic that the only time I have to read about how women's lives are dissipated by the thousand directions their family/children pull them in is.....when I'm sitting around waiting to pick my kids up from their ballet & swim lessons.

Peace to one and all.


Posted by jeremy at October 19, 2004 01:14 PM


Finally!!!! Now, how about a back issue? I really appreciated pinning down the butterfly from some time back......And yesterday's 3 year old wisdom--goldfish without a song. By the way, Jeremy and Jennifer, I love the blog. Inspires me to return to mine....

Posted by: jennifer searls at October 19, 2004 08:17 PM