P.S. On (Not) Meeting Czech Standards

Lest anyone think I’m a supermom. I think I sent Shaye to preschool with jam from her breakfast still smeared on her face. I can’t see it from more than a few inches away and I noticed it when she stuck her face in my face when I was trying to wash the poop off of Marik’s bottom in the morning. I thought, “Oh dear, I had better remember to wash that off. It is the sort of thing I wouldn’t see and could forget.” But by the time, I had washed off the baby and washed out the potty and dressed the baby, it had slipped my mind and I don’t remember washing the jam off of her face. I might have automatically, but I might well not have and no one will ever tell me if I brought her to preschool smeared with jam. All I can say is I hope they connect the white cane to the jam issue and think I should never have had children because obviously I can’t see well enough, rather than simply thinking that I’m intentionally neglectful.

Gratuitous Cute Pictures

Here's a picture of Shaye in front of the preschool. It's a different day, so no jam.

Marik is concentrating very hard on trying to learn to dress himself on a morning when we have hurry up to take Shaye to preschool.

On Loneliness

Here is a quote on loneliness from “Forgotten Fire”, a very heavy but extraordinarily well-written book by Adam Bagdasarian that I have just finished reading:

“The problem with loneliness is that unlike other forms of human suffering, it teaches us nothing, leads us nowhere and generally devalues us in our own eyes and the eyes of others. It lies upon the soul lightly or heavily, depending on one’s age and one’s luck and swiftly transforms the hardiest of souls into a living ash of spiritual doubt and despair. It is impervious to medicine, common sense, wisdom, humor, hope or pride. It simply comes, sits in the center of the heart, where it cannot be overlooked and abides.“

It is not that I am excruciatingly lonely right now but I have been at times, and this quote rings true to me in a way that generally only poetry can. This is not about solitude, which is a completely different thing. This is about enforced, long-term loneliness. There may be people who have never really known such loneliness but I believe those who have will recognize Bagdasarian’s words. The saving grace is that there is comfort and company in that recognition of a life lived a century ago.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nathaniel Farnam
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 06:14:47

    Mmmhmmm. That quote about loneliness is right on. I’ve actually felt that, on occasion. Not lately, though.
    On face jam: I regularly bring Fern to kindergarten with uncombed hair and jam on her face. And am often late. Fortunately, the teacher either doesn’t mind or does a good job pretending that she doesn’t. I’m glad I don’t have to live up to Czech standards, because I know that I would fail miserably.
    Just make a habit of licking your child’s face thoroughly just before you drop her off. That will solve any face jam problems.


  2. ariefarnam
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 06:29:42

    Oh, yes, I will put wash faces before leaving the house on my list. 🙂 When you can’t see it, you really have to have a check-list. My point is only that it is a lot to remember.


  3. Julie
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 20:39:21

    Note: he didn’t say “wash”; he said “lick” (much more motivating :-). I miss you a lot after 9 days away from phone and email. Not lonely…just missing connecting with you. On Loneliness, I am going to print out and disperse amongst the staff here at mental health. I am fairly certain it is a huge, mostly unidentified part of what we are dealing with here. Thank you for the quote and the sharing.
    And, I’m sorry, honey, you came by the jam on face issue honestly. I was once told by a teacher to wash my kids’s faces and hands before I sent them to school. I am so sorry. I wonder if that teacher had any clue what it was like to live with no hot water, an outhouse, and poverty. I’m fairly certain that people who do know are not judging you and did not judge me. Others do judge — and it hurts, no matter what age you are or how undeserved the criticism or how hard you’ve worked. Humiliation and shame are so easily imposed.
    Why didn’t that teacher just tell my children to go over to the sink and wash their hands and faces?


  4. ariefarnam
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 05:49:35

    A lot of Romani mother’s would understand you quite well.


  5. Holly
    Apr 07, 2012 @ 15:09:42

    Just found your blog and read the last 2 entries. A friend told me last week: you will end up at the level of challenge you can handle. Of course, you’re still brilliant and leading a challenging, but interesting, life and taking a great deal of knowledge from it and placing some good insight into it as well 🙂 Glad to read it.


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