Many years ago in England, I gave my daughter a St. Christopher’s medal, a very small one on a fine golden chain. To my surprise, she wore it. She always wore it. Soon after that, we began to travel, or rather move lock stock and barrel to the United States. Subsequently, as she became an adult, she traveled even further a field, to China, Tibet, Mozambique. I had forgotten about that little medal. I had no idea that it traveled with her.
My son cycles through his current favourite scripts. Because they are scripts, they are word perfect with no detectable speech delay. Because they are acquired from here and there, they demonstrate a wide range of accents and emphasies. He voices his scripts as he plays a Wii game with enraptured, high energy joy, oblivious to everyone and everything around him. Whilst he plays I go about my evening chores, a combination of laundry and cookery when my daughter appears, “I’ll do that for you mum.”
“I think I got some flour on those dark jeans.”
“Ah, it’ll brush off.”
“Don’t try this at home!” he chants.
“It’s so easy to sort and fold the laundry now.”
“Oh that’s very kind of you dear, but you don’t need to bother, I’ll do it in a minute. Don’t you need to finish your packing?”
“Batteries not included!” he shouts.
“Nope. The back packs full. I’m happy to help, especially now that it’s so much easier?”
“French Fries! Get your French Fries here!”
“Yes, everything of yours is sludge coloured and everything of hers is pink.”
“Hmm yes, it is a worrying trend.”
“Be a man no more, be an ape.”
“The sludge? Got to be expected at your age.”
“Actually I meant the pink.”
“Got to be expected at her age.”
“Whacked out on Vicodin!”
I reflect upon this conversation the next day, in the utility room. I empty the washing machine after dropping her at San Francisco airport for her flight to Australia. I lift out the little medal and turn to see Nonna hovering, “ooo gawd!” she flutters, as I hold it out for her to see in the palm of my hand. She steps back into the kitchen to grab the cruet, “ere, throw some salt over your shoulder, quick! I won’t tell anyone! Ave another Vicodin and stop it wiv your worrying.”
3 hours ago