Saturday, June 21, 2014

Upside Down

I recently returned from a week long trip to Missouri for my brother's wedding.  I don't think I saw the white's of Avee's eyes a single time in that week.  Her and her cousin RED just disappeared into their own world and never came up for air.  I love that she has that built in best friend for life.

Shortly after our return, I came home from work to our Vietnamese neighbor waiting outside for me. About once a week he comes over with a piece of mail he needs help deciphering or responding to.  Helping him has made me very aware of how difficult it is to live in this country and how much red tape there is to get through.  He can't handle automated phone instructions and his English is pretty poor.  Actually, his English is really good, he knows a lot, but the pronunciation makes it hard for him to be understood, particularly over the phone.

I was on the phone as I pulled into our driveway and he waited patiently for me to be done, but as soon as I hung up he said, "Where you go!!? Where you been!!??"  He said he'd had a form for immigration that he needed help completing the week prior.  He waited and waited and waited for me to come home one day. I never came. Everyday, my car never showed up in the driveway.  He never saw the kids playing outside.  "Your husband, always inside. Alone." Days passed, and no sign of me or the kids.  Finally he had to take the form to the immigration office and get help completing it there.

He clutched his heart and said, "I thought your family broken. I thought you and husband were upside down."  "Upside down" is his translation for split up or divorced.  He was clearly so saddened at the prospect of us splitting up, it kind of melted my heart.  I assured him I wasn't that easy to get rid of and he laughed and laughed and then said, "Your husband had girls here every night lat week." Then he doubled over laughing, slapping his thigh at his own hilarity.

Today, he came home from the grocery store while the kids were playing outside.  Avee reported that when he saw them, he immediately began rooting around in his grocery bags and pulled out a bag of grapes.  The kids were delighted to receive this gift.  If we make eye contact with him when he has something in his hands, we get offered some of it.  One day he saw me packing the car for a trip and brought me a bag of apples and a bunch of bananas.  A couple of days ago we found a package of Oreos on our doorstep.  The best thing that comes from this is the commentary among the kids, afterwards.  Today's went like this:

Avee: I don't know if he's trying to impress us, or if he's just really, really nice.
Danyo: (matter-of-factly) Well, I think summertime here is his Christmas time, so....

So....that's explains everything.

Well, I wanted to blog about Father's Day.  Because it was funny.  Because Mother's Day was a bit of a flop 'round these here parts, my friend suggested to me a few weeks ago that I should make Father's Day about me.  She suggested a couple of ideas and although I was skeptical at first, I took the idea and ran.

So, I instructed Avee and Bo to write cards about how glad they are they J married me.  And I ordered a cookie cake that said, "You're a father! (Because of Mom)" and then I made a handful of coupons, offering things that already happen.  Like, "One night of quiet and solitude for uninterrupted study time" (Okay, to be fair, that doesn't happen regularly but we try.)  Also, "Good for one foot rub. (mine)" and other clever ones.

So, the day of, we went for a beautiful hike to a waterfall, had pho for lunch (we found a place THAT day, right here in town!) and just spent the day hanging out with each other.  We didn't even really talk about it being Father's Day or anything.

Around 5:30 PM I ran to pick up the cookie cake.  It was priceless.  I laughed all the way home.
I'm not the only one that royally fouls up cake decorations around here....

"Your Father" made me laugh and laugh and laugh, but Because of Mom put arbitrarily into quotations marks really troubled me.  I didn't understand that "creative license".  I FINALLY remembered, I had said "In parenthesis" and apparently they are interchangeable at the local grocery store bakery.  My bad.

The one thing that has made me laugh all week, and impressed me tremendously with the humor, was Bo's card.  I gave the kids one simple instruction.  Make him a card and in it talk about how you are glad he married me.  Well, for Avee, if she's making a card for J on any given day, I have to say, "DON'T make it about me" so this was like a non-instruction for Avee.  Permission to do so was met with glee and a giant bubble lettered "BMF" at the bottom of J's card.  Which stands for "Best Mom Forever", of course.

So this is what Bo's card said:
"Dear Dad, I like your haircut.  Mom cut it.  I am glad you married Mom.  I get my curiosity from you and I get my manliness from her."

In one fell swoop, the boy insulted half our family.  It's just so funny to me because of that, and also because I think that is ridiculously clever for an 11 year old boy.

Also, the cookie cake was really good.


Kira Dee said...

You blogged!! It makes me so happy that you blogged. I love you family. And you too, of course. And I'm so glad Jay got to marry you.

Heffalump said...

I haven't been checking blogs in a while, and imagine my surprise when I see TWO from you!
I'm so glad to be reading your words again!