Spellbound

hard
showing
reading
early
amphibian

These are just some of the spelling words Jeb has to learn this week. Test is today and last night we were studying.

It’s become a family affair.

Not having been taught English in school, the Bohemian has learned the language solely by listening. This leaves a little room to brush up on his spelling and he’s taking advantage of Jeb’s second grade weekly list of words.

There they are. Jeb and the Bohemian, their blank pages numbered one to fifteen, pencils poised.

“We’re ready,” the Bohemian says with that slightly rolling ‘r’ of his.

Tonight’s prize is a special dessert to the one who gets the most right.

And when it comes time to correct their work, it’s all stars on the right ones and a little furrowed brow and shake of the head from the Bohemian on the wrong ones.

Afraid he may miss a sweet treat, Jeb tries to finagle out of misspellings.

“I just forgot that ‘n’ there, but I meant to put it in – can that one count, Mom?”

Words that give trouble: since, species and amphibian (though, for the record, Jeb gets ‘species’ right and a short dance with triumphant hands in the air ensues).

In the end, we don’t even tally who got the most right. We know there is the Bohemian’s left over birthday cake and everyone’s going to get a slice.

Homework with Jeb has been a downer all year. I honestly don’t know who dislikes it more, him or me.

But I can chalk another one up for the Bohemian, in the countless ways he makes the unpleasant, pain-free. Thank God my fiancé’s at the second-grade spelling level.

Status Update

I figured it was time.

Though I use Facebook so little, I had to go to the Help menu just to figure out how to update my profile picture.

I opened a FB account years ago, before I even knew what I was getting into, not expecting the slew of friend requests from high school acquaintances.

Feeling sensitive about privacy, I stopped posting photos and hardly ever log on anymore.

You can laugh about the privacy thing. Being that I post some rather soul-baring content here on the Archives, daily, and loyal readers have gotten the play-by-play of a romance that has blossomed between the Bohemian and I.

I don’t know what the difference is between a WordPress blog and a Facebook Profile page. But somewhere in my little mind I’ve drawn a distinction. I still have not clicked that handy link WordPress offers, authorizing connection from my blog to FB.

But this morning, I pushed beyond my comfort zone. I must live a more-than-charmed life if the ‘discomfort’ I surmounted consists of making an update to my status on Facebook.

I really pushed the envelope. Updated my profile picture. Even posted a comment, reflecting on the Julia Butterfly Hill quote I love so much.

“What is it that calls you to stretch beyond what is comfortable into places that are uncomfortable, and to realize that you are more powerful and more magical than your mind could have believed?”

The woman lived in a 180 foot tree for two years without touching the ground. She knows about fear and discomfort and I don’t think it had anything to do with the internet.

Me, I just live this little push and pull between open-hearted sharing and hermit-like retreat. This morning, the hermit was encouraged to come stand in the light of day. Update her status.

It wasn’t all that bad.

Unflappable

It keeps coming into my mind. This odd word, with unknown origin. A term I rarely use.

And now I’m beginning to think that I do not possess its quality in the least.

It’s the daily challenges that seem to get me most. That post-work hour when dinner hasn’t been prepared, Jeb’s homework has not been done, the sun is going down and everyone at home is tired and hungry.

It’s right about this prime time when cranky is most likely to crack me that I find the Bohemian exuding utter calm. And not in some self-righteous way. Not in some laze-about “what?-just-chill-out” way that would send him relaxing on the couch while I’m still wrestling pasta on the stove.

No, it’s in this whistle-while-you-work way, that usually has him humming at the sink, washing dishes or tidying the house. Between domestic chores, he’ll peek over at me in all my fluster and smile – some sort of subtle SOS flagging me to bring it down a notch. In one soft look he’ll remind me that nothing is such a big deal – even 27 Reading Mastery sentences due tomorrow.

Good god. I’ve been seen. And now the truth is out:  I am so far from perfect.

As he skims about the house on some sort of tranquil cloud, the word just blinks in my mind like a flashing roadside sign. It makes me want to slow my 90 mph speed, park my sports car and ponder.

Unflappable.

It seems impossible to make this man flap.

Where I, on the other hand, seem to be like some tarp unleashed, flailing in gale-force winds, tethered only by one corner about to spiral off into a storm of Oz proportions. In the mellow reflection of my beloved, I am realizing a truth about myself I did not see before: I am, quite certainly, flappable.

courtesy of Mark Heathcote

Oh, I can get the job done. That pasta on the stove will be reckoned with and served. We’ll get that Reading Mastery completed. I’ll even cross a few more items off of my to-do list and probably get some laundry folded (ok, maybe not yet put away). But am I doing it with grace and ease?

Once in a while I’ll hit a magic stride, though usually the winds have died down to a breeze my tarp can handle. Give me extreme crisis and I find myself tapped into some sort of emergency calm.

But the daily demands…they still seem to flap me.

And the Bohemian, well, he’ll just be whistling Jingle Bells (I kid you not), sweeping the floor and smiling.

Unflappable.