Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Snow Blossoms and Harrison’s (Unrelated) Exploits

Got a new background theme today from LeeLou Blogs. It makes me think of a story my second grade teacher, Mrs. Fuqua, read to us.

Legend of the Blossom Almond Trees[1]

Many centuries ago, before Portugal existed as a country and when Al-Gharb belonged to the Moorish, there was a young and famous king in Chelb (nowadays known as Silves in the Algarve) who had never been defeated in a battle.

One day, among the prisoners of war, he saw the beautiful Gilda. She was a blonde princess with blue eyes and a proud behavior. The Moorish king was so impressed by this beautiful princess that he set her free. He gradually won her trust and one day he claimed his love and asked her to marry him. They were happy for some time until the young princess got sick and nobody knew what the problem was.

An old prisoner from the same region as the princess, asked to visit the king. The old man said that the princess missed her faraway country full of snow. The king thought there was a solution for the princess’ sickness: he could plant almond trees all over his kingdom and when they flowered, the white buds would show the illusion of snow. So, the princess wouldn’t miss her country.

In the next spring, the king took Gilda to the balcony of the castle and when the princess looked at the white flowers she recovered from her illness.

The king and the princess lived happily for many years and they always waited anxiously for the next spring to look at the beautiful and flowering almond trees.

I’m pretty sure the fact that this is a story about the Crusades was glossed over when it was read to us. It was a second grade class, after all. However, the core of the story—the king who loved his wife so much he would do whatever he could to make her feel at home so far away from her own country—has always stuck with me.

In other news, Harrison is home with me today, as planned. So far, so good not terrible. We’re working on instilling gratitude in him—there’s entirely too much ‘gimme gimme’ going on around here and it’s wearing me out. We had a rocky patch this morning, but he seems to be coming around, at least for the day. We played our math exchange game and I won, which put him in a bit of a sour mood. Guess we need to work on good sportsmanship, too.

Finally, life around here has been a little bit ‘comedy of the absurd’ lately. Case in point: In the past few weeks, I have had conversations with Harrison’s teddy bear, his shoes and his feet. He, likewise, has had audible conversations between himself and his belly, his brain, and various of his toys (not always at the same time). So today, when he gets up from his nap, he brings his Speed Racer pillow into the office and greets me. He shows me the pillow (that I kissed ‘goodnight’ when he was laying down for a nap). I take this as my cue to greet Speed Racer, so I say in my most welcoming voice, “Good afternoon, Speed Racer—did you have a good nap?” (This is pretty much verbatim what I said to the boy when he walked in the room.) Harrison tilted his head, looked at me with squinted eyes as if trying to figure out why I had grown another head, and said, “Mommy! Pillows doesn’t talk!”

Of course.

Silly me.

[1] I am embarrassed to admit I don’t remember where I got this. I found this exact text online, but the site was one I had never seen before, so I can only assume it’s been posted many places. Anyhoo, if you sent me the website for this (it would have been some time ago—several months, at least), feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to credit you.

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