Her Magical Childhood

1954 (10)

Her childhood had been sweet,
filled with marshmallow hugs & chocolate kisses,
of butterfly, angel, & Eskimo kisses,
of kisses that flew from her hands like cosmic dust
to decorate the sky,
& of kisses from Grandma
from that gold-paved paradise over the rainbow;
of stork bites & tales from the Cabbage Patch,
& monsters in the closet & under the bed
that disappeared with the always precise aim
of Mom’s crafty glue gun;
of make-believe games & make-it-yourself puzzles;
of art class with junk mail scraps & broken crayons,
& a refrigerator that had become a museum gallery,
with Lego magnets holding up hodgepodge collages;
of music class with the laminated lyrics
of hymns, folk songs, & Christmas carols;
of PE in the park,
field trips to everyday places,
& lunch where cookie butter & Nutella sandwiches
were always on the menu;
of science class on the beach & Sunday school under the trees;
of math class with numbers that had special significance—
in her life or the lives of others or the history of the world;
of a 24/7 library with fairy tales, folk tales, & tall tales,
& thick scrapbooks that told the family history—
the history she would end up repeating—
that of happy marriages & childhoods,
with written instructions & real-life examples
on how to make them happen.

1954 (2)

Book Review: A Big Mooncake for Little Star

81cV6C6+K8L

As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp: https://sarahleastories.com/2019/06/08/post-k-summer-reading-boot-camp-2019/

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin isn’t great writing but is charming nevertheless. My daughter loved this book from the beginning. The illustrations are stunning–I loved the black background with the white writing and the “not-busy” illustrations, the latter of which was an excellent use of negative space.

Though the language could have been richer with more use of metaphor, Mooncake was reminiscent of a Greek myth (i.e. an origin legend), which I enjoyed. However, I feel like this story could have been meatier (or should I say cakier?), for it would’ve been interesting had the craters on the moon been explained–like too much soda water in the batter or something.

Little Star’s an adorable but mischievous little girl who should not be excused for repeatedly disobeying her mother, who seems to not only know her daughter will disobey but expect it. I think this was a major flaw and something I have to address every time I read the story to my daughter (for whom listening can be an issue).

Though tying this tale into the phases of the moon was clever (as was the “twinkling crumbs” for the stars), there was a problem, which another reviewer on Goodreads pointed out: Where is the waxing phase?

There wasn’t any wasted space with this book, though I think the author should have used a different illustration on the inside front cover (as the illustration is the same on the inside back cover). Perhaps that was by design, showing that Little Star and her mama, like the moon, are in a continuous lunar cycle.

I do think the author including the note about the Chinese Mooncake Festival made me appreciate Mooncake more.

Though the story isn’t a compelling one, it’s okay because there isn’t a lot to read, and the illustrations and the idea behind the story make up for it. I recommend reading this story with a bit of ad-libbing to get your child interested in astronomy and/or another culture.

Recommended coordinating activity: Make a mooncake. This is the recipe I am going to try: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/swans-down-1-2-3-4-pound-cake.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34362953-a-big-mooncake-for-little-star

Marriage roles

Wedding.jpg

It’s funny how an article I read days, or even longer ago, will pop back into my mind when it relates to my life in some way, when it has found its place.

See:  http://simplemarriage.net/know-your-role-live-by-it-and-redefine-it-as-needed/

My husband and I have what we call a traditional marriage in the modern sense–he is the handyman, and the primary breadwinner; I work part-time, feed the baby (solids and liquids, but he helps with the bottle feeding), bathe her, and read to her (he’s read to her on occasion, but he’s not a reader himself), though we are split on household chores.  He does the deeper, once-a-week type cleaning while I take care of the laundry and dishes.  Because he works more outside the home than I do, I not only believe this is fair, but I am happy and comfortable with this arrangement.

We both like to do the grocery shopping, as we both cook (though not lately, because it’s summer, and because he’s been working more and I work in a restaurant).  This is one of my weakest areas because I hate the dirty dishes that come with the territory, so it is something I want to work on.  I want my daughter to see me cooking, and cooking with whole foods (breadmaking will probably be the one thing I’ll never really get in to).  I don’t bother cooking seafood (because it’s so expensive, and I would cry if I had to throw it away), I don’t know how to grill (grilling is my husband’s thing, baking, with the exception of bread, is mine), and my husband is a better fryer (and all around cook) than I am, so I leave that to him.  He’s good with the grease and the outdoors, I’m good with casseroles and the indoors.

As far as the interior decorating goes, my husband loves my taste, and I have the freedom to decorate our home any way I please.  I can make any room look feminine, without looking too frilly.

Anything concerning outside our four walls, including our car, he takes care of.  He pumps the gas, and is always the driver.  I only drive myself when he isn’t with me.

I pay our online bills, and he takes care of any that have to be paid in person.  I am in charge of printing coupons (clipping is so 1990’s) and keeping up with sales and deals, and he does the negotiating.  I stay abreast of the free 8X10 photograph enlargement offers at Walgreens, and I reminded my husband (whose birthday it was today) to get his free birthday sub at Firehouse.

Neither of us, prior to marrying, discussed our marriage roles, though we both knew that whoever made the most money would be the one working, while the other worked part-time or stayed at home.  If, by the time I finish school, I will be making more money, then there will be not so much a role reversal, but a shift.  Whether or not the man should be the breadwinner is the only thing we’re not traditional about.

Like my friend Mandy, I think it’s important to “know our role”, which can sometimes alter or change.  How we determine what our roles are, I think, come down to whatever is best for the family.  It just makes sense that my husband is the picture-hanger, not because I don’t want to do it, but because he’s better at it.  It makes sense that I’m the one who sings to our baby and teaches her new songs, because I sing better than my husband (who I sit next to on my deaf side in church).  That’s not to say we should allow our weaknesses to remain weaknesses, but for now, this works for us.  Meanwhile, I’ll be trying at least one new recipe a week, if I can just stop forgetting to remember that was a New Year’s resolution.