Tuesday, October 4, 2011



At a recent Vandy game, we had to drive through Fraternity row very close to game time. The yards at the houses were quite a mess. I guess some things don't vary even if you do go to a fancy private school. As we drove by, Jackson was gawking and he said "Look, mom! They are having a Littering Party!" Score one for the green lesson. Score two for the distaste of fraternities at an early age. Now to ensure he doesn't get picked on should he become a hippy.

Our neighbors are Iraqi natives. They have 4 American born children and 2 of the girls go to school with Jackson. He LOVES those girls and they love him too. I think he enjoys riding the bus because of them. One day, they were at our house on a rare occasion because their mother had a doctors appointment. We didn't know how long they were staying but we had planned to go to a park. I asked the oldest girl to call her mother and make sure it was ok if they went with us. I would have called her but there is a significant language barrier when we are in person that might not be overcome on the phone as easily. Treske, the oldest girl, spoke to her mother in their native language. They both understand it, but Treske speaks it as well. Jackson listened intently, he wanted them to come with us to the park badly. When she got off the phone, both girls translated the Kurdish conversation into a YES! Jackson looked at her and said with a shocked tone "WHAT kind of English was THAT?"
Poor boy. I do my best to bring him culture and that is how he thanks me.

After a recent round of "No you can't have candy, no not any gum either, it's almost dinner time," Jackson announced to me, "I'm going to let my kids have whatever they want. I'll let them eat all the candy they ask for. I'm going to be the best dad in the world." I'm sure you will son, but for now, I'm playing boss and I say NO Candy!

We had dinner at a local pizza place last week with friends. It's a VERY small scale Chuck E. Cheese type place. More like just a bunch of old arcade games in the back with an air hockey table. Most of the games were over my kids head and I was far to cheap to keep feeding them quarters to play games less entertaining than my phone or computer have to offer. We were there to eat anyway. Jackson had fun watching the other kids play their parents hard earned quarters in return for countless bouncy balls. I was trying to have an adult conversation with my friend Mari. Jackson pulled me to the back where the games were and pointed to an old, bland looking change machine. He adamantly said, "I wanna play THAT game, those kids keep winning MONEY from it!" Ah, to be nieve again.

Nashville is a great city. There are very few "bad parts of town" to be found but being that it is a large city there are still some. We found ourselves there by accident one day. I was concentrating on getting us out, for safety. Jackson asks me, "Mom, are we in the gecko?" Yep, that's a good way to put it. We were in the "gecko" and I got us out of there, asap. Where do they get these things?

We are seriously working on manners. Especially table manners. Even little Lincoln burps loudly and then says " Scuse me, mom-mom." We've been talking about just NOT burping, or suppressing the sound instead of bellowing it. We also discuss the same courtesy when passing gas. Sometimes, it can't be helped. Sometimes it can, and should. It isn't nice to draw attention to it but it is nice to excuse yourself. Jackson told me after school recently: "Mom, even when I say excuse me when I fart at school, the kids still laugh at me." He was serious. I laughed hysterically. I tried but I guess you never grow out of some things.

There is a Geisha temple on a road we travel frequently. It is elaborate with golden roofs and waterfalls outside the large gates. It's a sight and Jackson is mesmerized by it every time we drive by. The first few times, he'd ask if someone LIVES there? or Is that a hotel? We talked about it being a church but they don't worship the same god that we worship. It's not an easy concept to explain to a 5 year old in discovery mode. Thankfully, I may have been in my teens before knowing there was anything else. On our latest pass of the temple, Jackson told me, "Mom, I wish that church worshiped the same God that we worship so we could go to church there." Again, to be so nieve.

Last week, I made a pretty great pot roast. It was an adapted PW recipe. I decided not to cook the potatoes in the roast but instead to mix white and sweet potatoes and roast them in olive oil and rosemary. I love the flavor of rosemary but the woody stems it produces can be a bit annoying. I can handle it for the love of flavor but Jason doesn't care for it much. My cousin was here eating with us, Jason was at school. The boys were actually eating dinner for once and Jackson said, " Mom, these potatoes are pretty good but they have something like dad's toenails on them!"
Ewww. I don't get grossed out very easily. That about did it for me. No more fresh rosemary stems. Nothing and I mean nothing at the dinner table should allude to dad's toenails. Gross.

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