Sunday, May 22, 2011
Who sent us this book?
Curious, I ripped through the yellow envelope reinforced with packing tape to find a book-- this book you see above-- inside. Nothing else. No note. No explanation. No sign of who on earth sent it to me. It's mysterious. It's fun. It's intriguing. It's driving me crazy trying to figure out who my secret Santa, or is it secret Freud, is.
The book, called 1001 Reasons to Love America, is a particularly apt gift for us right now. I am assuming one of my readers, one of you, thought I could use a reminder-- as well as a way to practice our French-- of why we returned to our "homeland."
They were right. We did. We do. And we love it. Thank you.
As much as I am still in shock-- culture shock, geography shock, ecology shock, insect shock, family shock-- we are encountering reminders every day of things we know, remember, and love. Most particularly at the end of the day, when the sun starts to flirt on its way down behind the mountains in hopes we will fall asleep dreaming of butterscotch.
Last night, on our walk home from visiting friends, that flirty sun backlighted two teenage girls playing toss and catch, mitts in hand, with a softball on a vast, freshly-mown green lawn.
"I love seeing girls playing all these sports," Esther said, in a perfect impression of me.
(This from a girl who came home that afternoon with grass and dirt sticking out of her sock tops, after a raucous soccer match. Who says girls aren't aggressive?)
I saw a similar scene a few nights before, in the form of a solitary, skinny boy throwing a baseball at a hand-made cardboard box target, practicing his pitching perhaps, in his driveway. That scene, while so infused with pure Americana, made me think of all the energy we spend trying to force our kids to do things-- practice this, practice that, study this, study that-- when, as it so often turns out, if you give them time and space and quiet, they might just hear their passions calling them out to the driveway, or the mountains, or the drum set in the garage, or the library, and you don't need to say a thing.
Coincidentally, just the other night, before receiving this patriotic book, Esther discovered a little American flag here at my parents' cabin and used it as a prop to stage her own patriotic parade of silliness.
Long story short: Whoever you are, thanks for thinking of us, whoever you are.