Wednesday, April 1, 2009


March 31, 2009 spaghetti

Basketti. That’s what Libby called it when we were little. Ba-sketti. And Kepich. That’s ketchup to the rest of us. I remember playing school in the basement, pretending the side of a cardboard box was a chalkboard and a crayon was chalk. I, of course, was the teacher and Libby was the student. “Now watch”, I would say in my old lady teacher voice: “ketch…say ketch” (and she would repeat exactly what I had said) “…now say up” (and she would repeat again.) “Now say ketchup” (“Kepuch”, she would say with all confidence). And then there was maz-a- geen instead of magazine. We tried it repeatedly for maybe fifteen minutes, which is a long time in first grade, and eventually decided to play Barbies instead. Somewhere along the way Libby learned to say it correctly and for years I have never noticed any hesitation when she talks.
Four-year-old Sophie had the same gift. Last Christmas I wrote a song about the Nativity we had done as a family, where she was Mary and Timo was Joseph and Anna Bella was a darling little curly haired angel. Parker was supposed to be a shepherd but he did NOT want to wear that shepherd costume! Gumpa read, and the Daddies and Uncle Jordon were wise men and the Mommies and Aunties were shepherds and angels, too. It was a beautiful moment, one to keep in the front window of the memory banks, so I put it in a song. When I write a new song I am always a bit timid about it, and I am always nervous to sing it to anyone. So usually I sing it to one of the little ones and see how they respond. Sometimes they don’t really respond, which is fine, too. At least I sang it to someone and broke the seal on it. In years past my best listeners have been Libby (she likes everything I do) and Annie (she was always the littlest and around me all the time when I was writing a lot, and besides she is so positive about almost everything except broken down cars). So when I was done with Mary Holds Him and was yearning to share it, the safest person around at the time was Sophie. She was coloring or something when I sang it to her. But I know she was listening because a while later, when I was loading her in the car to take her home, she said, “Gummy, when Timo comes to visit can we do that activity again?”
“What activity, Sophie?” I was trying to figure out if she meant Play Dough or making Chocolate Drop Cookies or maybe that game I bought at the 5 Hour Store where you fling fabric meatballs with strings of yarn that were supposed to look like spaghetti off of a plastic fork toward a chef who spun around on a motorized plate.
“You know, the Ac-Ti-Vi-Teeee!” She said it really slowly and purposefully, like I was hard of hearing or something.
“Golly Soph, I’m not sure which one you are talking about”
She took my face in her hands and repeated “Ac….Ti…Vi…Teee. You know, where I am Mary and my Cinderella doll is Baby Jesus! And Timo is Jesus’ Daddy.”
“Oh, you mean the Nativity! Of course. We can do that when Timo comes.”
Yup, I thought, we’ll act out the Activity and then whip up some Hot Chot-lick.


  1. cute! I wish I had written down every funny mispronunciation that my kids said. They are treasures!

  2. oh!! this post made me so happy. i love reading your writing. and i love that you have captured so many of these sweet moments. what a treasure. love you!!!

  3. wow. that was wierd. we commented at the exact same time tatiana!!

  4. yeah, Ash. Did you notice that we both even used the word "treasure" in our comments at the exact same time? Whoa! It must be all the same meals that we're eating.

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