Tuesday, December 18, 2012



Amaya had the flu two weeks ago, and then she admitted she had swallowed a quarter in an unrelated medical emergency.

As a side effect of these events, Amaya briefly became very introspective. She faced her imminent death. She compared her misery to better moments, asking me if I could recall times when quarters were not in danger of being removed from one’s intestines. We reassured her over and over again that she would feel better eventually. When she woke up on the third day, she cried because she knew she was still sick and she knew it was unfair. She hugged and cuddled and spoke quietly for about five days. She didn’t enjoy eating and mealtimes were made of tears. I let her watch Phineas and Ferb for longer than anyone should.

amayaboots15 Jake and I remembered how endearing she could be. Even her tantrums had good reason. She slept with our picture under her pillow so she “could always remember us.”

Then she got better. We washed the vomit off the car. The quarter was not present at the xray. Her tantrums started making us shake our heads and send her to time out again. She lost a tooth and the tooth fairy remembered to visit, this time. The hole in her smile is hopefully as momentary as her new inability to smile naturally.

Temporary and fleeting hardship is the sweetness of childhood. Recent tragedies make me so amazed and grateful at the constant change and impermanence that exists in my life.  Children deserve that.

Enjoy now. Merry Christmas. amaya boots 12

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Imaginary Numbers

Amaya is probably the only person who truly considers positive integers to be as abstract as metaphors.

When she started Kindergarten last year she couldn’t count to ten. When she finished Kindergarten she could sometimes count to twenty. Now half way through the second time around she can count to 39, and then she says “twenty”.

I’ve tried to explain how this works to her. Four comes after three, and therefore, forty. If I help her get past 39, she gets stuck at 49 (back to twenty) and so on.

Today we were counting and she said, “I don’t think anyone can count to 100.”

I said, “Lots of people can count to 100. I can count to 100.”

“WHAT?! I thought it was almost impossible!”

I said, “Once you learn how to count it’s like a pattern, and you can count as high as you want.”

“But no one can count to a million. It’s a sploder!”

“A ‘sploder’? What’s a ‘sploder’?”

“It’s like 33,000. Or a really long car ride.”

Only Amaya can create a simile about a number with an imaginary word compared to a number, and it still makes some kind of strange sense.