Unless otherwise noted, all materials on this blog are (c) 2009 by Madeleine Vedel
I've a huge wine tasting translation to finish by the end of the month. The Grand Guide to Wines. It's great fun, if a bit repetitive, and a touch stressful all at the same time. When I have a day at home, I get loads done. When I bring my computer along to Leo's hand-ball practice, ditto. Concentrated time alone (or relatively) to work is rare. Far more common are the days when I'm in the car 3/4/5 times with minimum 30 minutes out, pause, 30 minutes back and so on and so on. For instance, today. I luckily didn't do the morning route as my carpooling buddy handled it. But, Jonas, my little one, had a tummy ache, so he stayed home. Thus, up at 7, breakfast on the table, fire lit in the stove, costumes found for the Carnival party at school, snacks prepared, out the door at 8. I clean up from breakfast and sit down with a second cup of chai (yes I'm trendy, I love this beverage!, particularly the Tazo black chai... heaven). Jonas cuddles next to me and is quiet for a while as I type away, With its notes of tobacco and spices, this honest and seriously structured wine is still a bit linear, but with great length. and Dense, serious, tannic, with beautiful scents of wild herbs. It’s an intense and masculine wine, finishing on opulent and rich fruit. etc., etc.,
Today I'm in the clean up and improve the English stage. It's the second batch of translations, with a third (the largest) awaiting me, that I'm hoping to begin tomorrow. I work my way through a good chunk before Jonas pokes his head out of the covers, takes a drink of his hot chocolate and disappears upstairs. He comes back down thirty minutes later with a couple masterful bionicles in hand, proudly showing me arms and armor and spikes and swords. I ooh and ah appreciatively, and try not to be to quick about it. I then look up, uh oh, already 10 O'clock, got to get ready to go and collect the large organic bulk purchase -- grouped with 3 other friends. I make a snack for Jonas, settle him in with toys and covers, check with my neighbor to keep an eye on him, and off I go.
Back at noon, I put away the groceries, figure out what the girlfriends owe me, and start making lunch for my crew, soon to arrive. Jonas wants to play a hand of cards, so I oblige. Once everyone is happily fed, I then have from 2 to 4 to work some more -- but Leo is in a snit about the weekend plans/vacation plans and sits in front of me, arguing, debating, negotiating... This takes time. Then my 12 year old teen boarder wants to send an email (mine is the only computer in the house), and we need to get ready for handball, and I prepare everything to work at the practice... and forget my computer. Argh. So I take the time to write down all the phone numbers in my cell phone, just in case the worst happens some day... And why not a bit of yoga while I'm hanging out in a gym? Leo can handle the minor embarrassment of his mom being weird in the corner.
Now, tonight, I have managed to work through some more, but I'm getting tired and sloppy. Not a good state of mind for the precise work of language revision. So, a pause is necessary.
I'm also a bit out of wack due to a family crisis. We had a major young teen female moment. My twelve year old, lovely young brunette teen, graceful, a bit spoiled, persistent, persuasive, and determined... wanted to do a bit of shopping this afternoon for her party this weekend (at her mom's). She caught me off guard. I wasn't sure. I was out from 4:30 till 6:30 with Leo and his hand-ball, I could drop her off, but not pick her up right away. I couldn't accompany her, and nor was there a friend in town, nor her sister. Couldn't she wait for Friday when her mother would be here? She was quietly, intensely determined, and I said, ok, but, two hours is a long time to be in town for a short errand, why don't you walk straight home, the sun doesn't go down till 6, so you should be home in plenty of time, better that than to wait in town for me in a café for two hours. Or so I thought.
Yes, the classic (but far from the worst) happened. She took her time in town, visiting other lovely shops, and walked slowly home. On the way, now that the sun was down and it was already getting dark, she was hassled by young men in their cars who slowed down, spoke to her, drove on ahead and turned around and came back. Scary for her. A right of passage for way too many lovely young females barely out of the cradle. Somehow we live in a world where men think it's ok to hassle and proposition a lovely young girl who's only barely 12 years' old! I certainly lived through that, as I think most women have. I was whistled at, hooted at, ogled etc., from pre-puberty on. But I was more of an urban child, perhaps, I don't remember being afraid, simply finding the men ridiculous, and I would just lower my head and hurry away.
So, as is obvious for parents of young girls, she will not go again to town on her own and most certainly will not walk home on her own again. Yes, I was slow on the uptake. My son is amazingly obedient, and I know him, his level of innocence, his level of city-smarts, and what is ok for him. No doubt my limits are more relaxed than some mothers, more strict than others. I've not had girls till this year, and starting with pre-puberty is pretty intense. I should have put my foot down, simply said sorry, not doable, and not allowed myself to be persuaded by this graceful and determined young woman. I'll get a second chance, thankfully, and she's now had a very unpleasant lesson in growing up, and in why parents set limits.