BondingTuesday, August 31, 2010
I have finally caught up and here I am writing in real time for today’s blog. The events of Saturday are mostly in my mind. Because we had planned a surprise belated birthday party for Rebecca (August 17), a surprise that we had also kept from hre parents I called up Hilary and told her, “Please ask Rebecca to wear a dress and tell her she will be amply rewarded. Tell Lauren to wear a dress, too.” Rebecca dislikes to wear dresses and when she arrived on Saturday afternoon she told me quite clearly that she expected to find out soon what “amply rewarded” meant.
I took the pair of them outside and set up my big light but shot them with my iPhone. I also took some big camera pictures in b+w and with Ektachrome. The four or five pictures with the iPhone were delightful.
Alas, on Sunday a quirk/bug (one that I had no yet read about) erased every picture I had ever taken with my iPhone from its memory. Fortunately I had periodically downloaded them on to my computer’s hard drive. But those four or five pictures were gone. I know how to prevent this problem from happening again. We all need something like this to alert us to a confidence in electronic equipment which may be much too optimistic. The event, in any case, has made me reflect on the loss of a wonderful moment as I pointed my camera at two little girls (one not so little anymore) on a beautiful summer day (could it be the last one as I see the rain falling outside my window?)
In the picture I was attempting to show the sadness inherent to children growing up in the waning days of summer. The events that unfolded after were all pleasant. Our dinner was a good one and the surprise birthday cake was a smash hit. Only the subsequent failure of the refurbished iTouch dampened our spirits.
Yesterday Rosemary came to me and with a serious face said, “Come here.” I prepared for the worst. What she was showing me was this scene of Lauren with Rosemary’s cat Casi (Casi-Casi, Casanova, Casa, etc). It was the kind of scene that can make even the hardest heart soften like lime Jell-O. Mine did and I took the iPhone snap you see here.
The picture has made me reflect that it is not all that bad to compare one granddaughter to another. There will be differences. But there are certainties about them that are not certainties. Rebecca says she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Yet, here is this little girl who had bonded with Casi since he arrived to our house some months ago. Rebecca does not seem to have much interest in petting the animal. Lauren spends hours in the garden and Casi follows.
For some years I have asserted that I can always reason with Rebecca because she has a fine reasoning mind. Yet her constant lapses into berrinches (temper tantrums) indicate that she might be ruled more by her emotions than by her mind. And here we have a relatively more quiet (I like when Rebecca has sleepover away from home, it so quiet here,” Lauren says often.) Lauren who looks at me straight in the eye and I can feel some sort of intellectual understanding. She is almost Spockian!
We watched a terrible film on Monday night, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst and Lauren stayed awake until the end of this slow film. She kept asking us what had happened to Marie Antoinette, over and over until Rebecca lost her temper and told her to shut up. It was at this point that I went to bat for Lauren and told Rebecca that she has the obligation of being more patient with her younger sister. If her younger sister shows a curiosity to learn and to know about things she must satisfy it with good spirits and a smile.
It was yesterday and Saturday in the garden that I understood exactly what it is that Casi the cat sees in Lauren. I see it, too.