Saturday, August 27, 2011

Very Patriotic

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It is 1am, I should not be doing anything but getting myself to bed. I had to drop a quick note to let friends and family know that my husband became an American citizen today.

The ceremony was not what I was expecting, but then again, who knew what to expect from something you'd never experienced? The three speakers were welcoming, especially the federal judge who urged the new citizens to remember where they come from, to teach their children their native language and to be themselves, thus adding to the rich diversity of our culture here. (How perfect is it for children to hear, from the presiding judge, that their "other" language is important and that they need to practice it each day?) This can and will be repeated in our house.

It is not an easy decision to decide to begin the procedure that leads to citizenship. It's a different sort of commitment than buying a house with the intention to live there for many years, or choosing  an educational approach for your children, both big decisions as well. You are accepting a new culture and choosing to make it your own, after many years in that country. Still, I was not expecting the warmth and the emotion that was present in the room and remained with us all throughout the evening. Congratulations, mon cheri!

Front and Center; our new American

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Eczema Conquered

I have been struggling with eczema for years. This is a condition in which doctors look at the itchy bumps on your skin that: come and go, keep you from sleeping, make you worry about what you eat and what you touch, itch to the point of bleeding and scaling, and keep you ugly in way too many places and they say: "oh, it's eczema, not a lot we can do about it."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Becoming Better: Life with a Dog

It is so lovely to have a new family member. This tiny puppy brings sunshine and love and doggy kisses. He also brings a new kind of accountability. There is no faking or cheating with a dog. He takes you for what you are and understands who you are. A child who cringes when picking him up? Will be used as a chew toy. An adult who allows him to gnaw on a shoe or sock in a moment of laissez-faire? A new bad habit. 

His needs also need to be met, on time and unconditionally, every single day. I don't feel like getting up at 5:30am? There will be consequences, and I will have to deal with them. It's too hot, no walk today? Try one over-excited puppy destroying the house until he is walked. He's small, but mighty. I forget to play after taking him out? Watch the toes! He will remind me and keep me faithful to his routine I have, after all, established in order to help him grow in confidence and obedience both.

Thank you, Tuxy dog, for teaching me the value of predictability and rhythm in a whole new way, and keeping me true to my promise to bring to light one great family dog. Some day I might even forgive you for chewing a hole in that hand-knit sock.