Friday, April 30, 2010

The Joys of Divorce

My eight-year-old student tells me that she's moving to England next year, but that she'll be moving back for school the year after. She fails to mention that her parents are getting divorced.

I'm not sure if she knows, but I'm thinking she has to suspect something. Divorce doesn't often come without signs and trauma of some sort. Screaming fights, chilling silence, frightening absences, something to indicate that all is not well in Pleasantville.

I love this girl; she is imaginative, sincere, sweet, a regular cupcake in the world of tutoring. I couldn't ask for a better student. Except...she has a tendency to make things up so I can never quite gauge the truth about whether she did ALL her reading, or why the vocab cards are tossed over the ledge, which is not surprising given that her years of living are still in single digit range.

Some of her lies are great:

"I see fairies in my country home. Real life fairies."

"A lot of boys like me at school. Here are some cards...Rosanna and April, those are boy names."

"My brother's girlfriend makes edible jewelry, all out of gummy candy....No, it doesn't melt because she smushes them to make them hard."

There are so many more. I have to resist the urge to laugh.

I wasn't laughing, though, when she described her upcoming move as "fun, no big deal" because I know her abilities for myth-making, and stretching her reality to fit her needs.

Today, I took her to the park to meet Adele after the tutoring session. I care for both these girls in very different ways while realizing that they have such contrasting lives. Stella, comes from a family of money that coats just about everything they touch, a family that can provide her with every material happiness imaginable. Adele will, most likely, never have such a luxury, but she will be loved in a secure home with endless attention from her parents.

Only in New York City can two completely different girls meet and play for an afternoon in Central Park.

I wish Stella the best and will sorely miss her.

This afternoon, she asked, 'What's the meaning of your daughter's name?'
'Pretty. My name means star.'
'Very pretty too.'
'They go together!' she yells. 'Starlight.'
With that, I smiled at her and squeezed her hand.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another NON flight from Hell

We were scheduled to be in Mexico today, vacationing under the hot, sweltering sun, but no, instead, we find ourselves caccooned in the great blizzard of 2010. This is AFTER the hell of yesterday.

We get to the airport to find that, yes, indeed Adele needs a passport, that the government travel website erred when it said a birth certificate would suffice. We missed our original flight (the one that would have safely taken us to our resort) and spent the entire day running around Manhattan trying to get stinky a passport. This morning, we woke up to a clear sky, but were ultimately dismayed when we saw CANCELLED in our flight status email.

Thank you Jet Blue for letting us know at 3am when you said you'd let us know by 4pm the previous day. We lost our hotel deposit (ghastly sum) and have no hope of retrieving it.

Tears would flood out of my tired, bloodshot, twitching eyes, but I'm beyond that now. I accept the fact that I cursed when it comes to flying.

Our honeymoon was supposed to be taking place right now, but instead, I am staring at what looks like sideways snow.