I was mentally writing a post for Ten: part two at dinner tonight. Shaune made polenta, served over top of his fresh tomato sauce, sauteed shitake mushrooms and grilled asparagus. For the kids he added spaghetti to the tomato sauce and gave them a side of polenta and vegetables. Deaglan ate the spaghetti but would have no part of the polenta even though we called it corn mashed potatoes. He wouldn’t eat any even when Shaune offered him a dollar to take just one bite. We looked at each other across the table and rejoiced silently that he ate the spaghetti.
After Ten: part one I had no real plan for Ten: part two except that turning 40 next week has been plaguing me and I thought I'd get it all out by writing a four part series of reflections.
I’m stumped already.
The year I turned ten Ronald Reagan was sworn into office and MTV had just aired. Sadly, without Googling it, I don’t have the foggiest what was going on in Canada. Except that I was in Ms. Waters’ grade four class out in the portable.
That’s about it. All I can remember.
Oh yeah and I got the award for perfect attendance. I remember feeling embarrassed walking to the front of the gym. My name was called between the kid who got the science award and the one who got one for being the best at math. Thanks for showing up, you weren’t particularly good at anything but we wanted to give you a pat on the back for coming.
My favourite time of week was when Ms Waters read to us. I wish I could remember what book it was that year. Something about pheasant hunting but when I looked up novels about pheasant hunting, a list of books about pheasant hunting came up. How-to books, not novels.
I also remember doing our class play where we acted out Shel Silvertein’s poem Boa Constrictor:
Oh, I'm being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don't like it--one bit...
Ms Waters asked us to bring in stuffed snakes we had at home. Then we were partnered and had to recite the poem while one person worked the snake, slithering it up their partner’s body until that last line
Well, what do you know?
It's nibblin' my toe.
It's up to my knee.
It's up to my thigh.
It's up to my middle.
It's up to my neck.
It's upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff . . .
I remember during one rehearsal, the boy I had a crush on, took two of the stuffed snakes, making them kiss while looking at me. My face hot and flushed, I looked away. I don’t think I spoke to him for several days.
I also remember that just a few months prior John Lennon was shot. We were playing in the basement of our Manor Park house and my mother came downstairs. She was crying; sat on the second stair from the bottom, put her head in her hands and sobbed wildly. One of us, I can’t remember who, asked her what was wrong. She told us, crying even harder. She’d been one of those Beatles fans you see in the footage, a pretty blonde girl in a yellow romper, screaming at the mere mention of the four British rockers.
John had been her favourite.
I'm planning a Ten: part three for some time tomorrow. Hopefully.