Archive for January, 2012


January 14, 2012 2 comments

A few months ago my son started asking questions. He started with, What happened? Where did Daddy go? What’s that? Whose is that? (Mostly in English. In Serbian, he is not there yet.)

Sure, I knew this was a developmental milestone. It was fun to hear and answer his questions.

Slowly, of course, my son advanced to Why? And this opened a world of possibilities, for both me and my son.


Why is the bike there [outside, in the yard]?

Because Daddy left it there.


Because daddy thought that was a good place for the bike.


Because we don’t have enough room for that bike on the first floor.


Because the house is not big enough to accommodate that bike.


Because this is the house we bought.


Because we liked this house.


(Exasperated) I don’t know.


Because there are many things I don’t know. Read more…


Mad and Sad, Sad and Mad

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment

This reminds me of the chicken and egg question. Until now, I have never thought about the connection between these two emotions, or at least not much. Yes, I’ve been there, I said it: Yes, I was definitely angry, but, you know, all that’s left now is sadness. Now when I think about it, it has probably happened more often than I’d like to think. I probably just chose not to see the anger because sadness is just so much more noble emotion.

But now I have a two-and-a-half-year-old boy. He is two, and he is pretty intense, always has been. Sensitive too. And all I’d like to do is simply help him navigate through the labyrinth of his, at this point, pretty raw emotions. I try to label them for him. I try to point them out. I try to help him understand it’s OK to have them.

But at the end of many of these journeys I take with him, I am amazed at how it works. I suppose it’s so much easier to notice these connections when it’s not your own emotions that you are focused on.

My husband is about to step out the door to go to work. Andrei is suddenly mad. A year ago, he would have just sadly clung to Michael. Now, Andrei is obviously mad at Michael for getting ready to leave. He pushes Michael away. He comes back to my arms. He refuses to give Michael a hug or kiss. Michael steps out the door, and Andrei¬† whispers sadly, I want my daddy. It breaks my heart that both of us can’t be around Andrei ¬†24/7 now when he wants us to, but I remind myself we are preparing this little boy to live a life on this planet Earth, and that means he needs to learn how to handle all sorts of emotions. Read more…

Mama, Sing, Mama, Sing

January 4, 2012 Leave a comment

I sing to my son a lot. The not particularly musical me started singing when my son was born, after so many years of not singing anything. Or singing rarely. Once I started using my voice to sing, I found the place where my voice was most comfortable. Then singing just got easy.

As we are getting dressed, before Andrei falls asleep, at bedtime and before his nap, as we are walking down the street, as I am pushing the stroller, when it feels the house is too quiet. It feels like the songs are always there, so easy to reach, so why not sing?

I always sing in Serbian (with the exception of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, a song Andrei loves). I sing the songs I remember from my childhood, like Najlepsa mama na svetu, Ivin Voz, Bracu Ne Donose Rode, and those that I maybe knew of, but didn’t hear often when I was a child, such as Tata, kupi mi auto. Then I sing the songs I have always loved such as Makedonsko devojce, Bolujem ja, Biljana platno belese. For every single one of these songs I had to find the lyrics and memorize them before I could sing them to my son. Read more…


January 2, 2012 1 comment

We are in 2012. It’s early January. The most desolate time of the year. The most solemn. The most quiet. And perfectly bare like the trees I can see out the window.

The new year has just entered our sphere of existence. 2012. I don’t know what to think about it.

Sometimes I start from the formal analysis of the number. In this case, I don’t particularly like the digits 2 and 1, but the number 2012 looks OK. It’s balanced enough. It’s a leap year – I like that. I like that extra day in February. I like the quality of evenness the leap years have.

I’ve never thought much about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, but a few people have reminded me of it in the past few days. I still don’t have any particular thoughts about it. The political currents in the U.S. and the world scare me more than the end of the Mayan calendar. As for the Mayan calendar, there are many ways to interpret the end of it. However, many political happenings I cannot interpret in any other way but a negative one.

Back to the voice in my head: I am, of course, aware of the fact that I am turning forty this year. It’s one of those birthdays that can’t just slide by you unnoticed. For God’s sake, it’s your fortieth. You just have to make a note of where you are, what you are doing, and with whom. It’s that kind of place in your life.

Read more…

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