Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Loving my Madeleina

Well, while I was away for a couple of days on the weekend, I was so darned enamored with the company I was keeping that I'll admit I didn't spend a lot of time thinking of my kids. I did think of them, of course, but at the same time knew they were fine and so allowed myself to be away. I do the same thing when I'm on jungle trips: There's nothing I can do if something goes wrong so please god/spirit/universe don't let anything go wrong.
But it's a joy to be with her again as well, even though I'm still so damned enamored with the company I had I can't see straight, much less think.
Yesterday in the car I decided to teach her a little Latin--which is a lot more than I know--when she asked me why Latin America was named Latin America and then answered herself with: "Oh, yeah, because we're Latins. What are Latins anyway? I mean I am one but I don't know how to define it exactly."
"No, darling, you are not Latin. You're half-indigenous Amazon Indian and half-Irish mutt. Latin America comes from the language groups. In Rome the language was called Latin. Rome expanded and took over a lot of civilizations and the languages that grew out of that included Spanish, which has Latin roots. And so Latin America indicates that you are from an area where interlopers introduced languages that had Latin roots."
"That's impossible. You're an idiot, dad. Now tell me the real story."
So I quoted a few words from my Catholic alterboy past: Susipiat sacrafeliat sacramentum.... (Spelling is completely up in the air, okay?) and then riffed on that:
"Veni, vedi, vici means 'I came, I saw, I conquered', in Latin," I said, not sure if I had that right but close enough for government work--particularly these days.
"What about "Peni, pini, pichi?" she asked, sliding into vulgar Spanish.
"Way out of line Ms. Madeleina. I'm going to have to wash your mouth out."
"Okay. But it sounds almost the same...."
"And in about 40 years I'm going to explain what that is....but not now when you're eleven. Got it?"
"You are a downer, dad. When was the last time someone called you a nerd? Because you define the word with your presence."
"Okay, it was gonna be organic soap with mint flavor, but I think you just downgraded to detergent..."
"Oh, dad..."
"Oh, yourself."
And then we were laughing, laughing.
And then she whacked my arm and said I was lying when I claimed to have brown hair with some gray in it. "It's gray, dad. Face it. You're older than that McCain guy, and he looks like he's been dead for a couple of years."
"This is my blog. No politics..."
"You mean this is your blob..."
"I want to hear 800 notes on that flute in succession, Little Miss. Got me?"
"Yeah, dad. Like that's gonna happen."
And then today, just a moment ago, when I suggested she do homework or play the flute, but in either case just turn the television and stereo off so that she could concentrate, she responded with: "My leg...oh, my goodness...my leg hurts...I can't do anything..."
And when I suggested that the thought of homework or music work was what was causing the sudden leg injury she responded: "Coincididdle, dad....you have no idea what kind of pain I'm in!"
And now I'm just sitting here loving her. What the heck. She's Irish like me and if there's anything we know how to do it's to fill in the blanks with a whole lot of cow manure. Where she got it is anybody's guess, I suppose, though some might point fingers right at me. Imagine!!!!

2 comments:

hagenshape said...

Hi Peter,
Thank you so much for all the inspiring and beautiful stories. I've done a piece of artwork for you inspired by a vision you had in one of them. I was wondering if there was an email I could send the piece to you at as an attachment. My email is hagenshape@gmail.com. Thanks again Peter and keep it up!

Hagen Gilbert

Jorge Luis Villacorta Santamato said...

Mmm... very strange...

What do the daughters eat today????

Well, she does not want to do homework... in Spanish we say:

"La letra con sangre entra"