Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ten: part two

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.
Oh, gee,
It's up to my knee.
Oh my,
It's up to my thigh.
Oh, fiddle,
It's up to my middle.
Oh, heck,
It's up to my neck.
Oh, dread,
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.


  1. Hi there, I'm stopping by from Canadian Charisma! Thank-you for linking up and we look forward on seeing you next Thursday! You can link up all week too!

    I was the way your mom was with Michael Jackson. I looove him so much!

  2. Kissing snakes! Oh Kim-he sounded like a bad boy:)
    If it makes you feel better-I'm slightly older than you are. I find a nice strong gin and tonic help to ease the pain.
    You look fabulous, my friend-and always will:)

  3. Wonder if my kids would eat polenta? It's actually not one of my favorites.

  4. Such vivid memories! I was in a portable, reading Shel at almost the same time! I was teased--the kids called me "Nancy Reagan"

    So, yes, I'm 36. We're almost exactly the same.

    I didn't remember John, though. My parents were folk music people. Peter, Paul and Mary.

    Sigh...I want to eat at your house.

  5. Reading hour was also my favorite time of day in my grade school class

  6. Polenta seems like such an inoffensive food, but kids sometimes take a while to warm up to something new.

    I will never forget arriving home form boarding school on winter break and as I was still standing in the hallway taking my coat off, my brother came in crying and said John Lennon has been shot.

  7. I feel bad for your mom at that moment. It must have been startling to you to see her so upset.

    That boy with the snakes was definitely trying to get your attention :)

  8. I love this. What a great idea for your birthday! I will never forget the day John Lennon was killed. My sixth grade teacher was devastated. It was so horrible.

  9. Your little one is gorgeous! Loving scanning through the pics on your blog!

  10. I like that you've broken it up so it can be more detailed.

    I often skipped school to catch up on work. So I never had perfect attendance and always felt sad about it. But I did win a math award and a science one, too. I think I even won a PE one. But seriously, I think that was just because I DID show up! But perfect attendance alluded me for 13 years. Nice work! I think it has more to do than just showing up. It means that you're a reliable and dedicated person. So, be proud of that.

    And seriously, you're turning forty? Definitely did not see that one coming. You'll definitely be a young forty. Any fun birthday plans?

  11. I also adored Shel Silverstein and the one you mentioned was a particular favorite.

    I cracked up about what you said re: your attendance award. LOL

  12. Isn't or wasn't funny how the boys always "knew" when we had a crush on them and then they would do something dumb and embarrassing...I think the dating scene is still a bit like that for adults too. LOL


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