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THE ROAD TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Lately, when we've been going on our walks and martinek has actually deigned to accompany me, he's done a lot of mysterious dodging and hopping about behind my back as we go. "What the heck are you doing?" I asked and was treated to a long discourse on the different values assigned to different designs on manhole covers in the streets. The ones with A are "bad luck"...the ones with V are good luck because they stand for vänskap (friendship) meaning you'll get more friends the more you step on them, and the ones with "K" are good luck because they stand for kunskap (knowledge) which also accumulates accordingly. ("Are you sure they don't stand for korkad?*" I asked slyly and was treated to a withering look.)

There are other letters and other designs and some are good and some are bad and some negate what you've gathered so far, much as passing a cemetary on your side of the road instantly kills all the cows you've counted on long car trips. The rules seems to grow and twist and generate new shoots much like kudzu, only faster, as only the hyped up imagination of pre-adolescence can provide. I'm an object of pity most of the time because I stride along without a care for where my feet land. "Oh no! Mama! You stepped on an A!"

I keep walking and echo "OH NO" back with a grin at my disapproving and saddened children.

Today, we spent the afternoon at the pool. Anders is gone for a long weekend so I took the day off and ferried the kids over for swimming lessons. They each have a 40 minute class with 50 minutes inbetween to stand in a dripping line at the kiosk to buy soda and Double Dip candy, and then run around like maniacs chasing each other and their friends and leaping into the pool whenever it seems that the exertion has gone to their brains. I sat tidily under a big umbrella alternately reading a book and writing letters and lifting my head to locate and watch the children for a moment before returning to my amusements. Periodically they would come and flop down on the towels by my feet and talk to me, but mostly they were leaping and diving and generally having a great time in and around the bright blue sparkling pool water.

Afterwards, we stopped by home and hung up swimsuits and towels to dry, before heading to Malmö for a sushi night that was supposed to be an AWC event but which turned out to be just us and one other woman. The food was excellent as usual, and because it was such a nice evening and neither Jennifer nor I was in any hurry to get anywhere, we set out afterward on a quest to find ice cream. Right as we came out of the restaurant, Martin made an exclamation and leaned over to pluck something up from the ground. It was a little plastic animal, some kind of strange little pangolin-armadillo creature, but with tiny red eyes. He was delighted and immediately pocketed the little beastie.

We rejected 2 places that only had pre-packaged stick ice cream, preferring to hold out until we could find scoops and waffle cones. We ended up at Stortorget where a kiosk had plenty of flavors to choose from and stood in line to order. After we got our cones we sat down at the outdoor café tables to enjoy the summer-in-the-city ambience. It was lovely with the sidewalk restaurants and the strolling tourists and the flower podiums and the rushing whush of the fountain across the square and the slanted light shadows shining down on everything.

Later, after myskväll and the donning of pajamas and the brushing of teeth and the kissing of Karin, I went into Martin's bedroom to say goodnight. He was standing in front of his bookcase with a thoughtful look on his face. I assumed he was choosing a book to take with him up into his loftbed, so I was a bit surprised when he turned to me and said, "Mama, I think I'm going to start believing in God."

"Oh?" I said, "Okay, but why so suddenly? Maybe you should read some books about God first so you can really decide exactly what you want to believe."

"Well," he answered, looking down at the little blue pangolin in his hands, "I think I have to because it must have been God that made me look down at just the right moment to be able to find my little animal."

I smiled at him. "Aha. I see. But how do you know it wasn't all those good luck manhole covers you've been stepping on lately??"

I got the hairy eyeball in response, and he's up in his bed reading Anders' old Bible Adventures for Children. :D

*stupid
 cheerful
mood: cheerful
music: Katy Pfaffl—Imperfectly


Comments

How precious. I love that you let him take on the world from his perspective, while encouraging him to see it broadly.

It's very important to me that my children learn about all the different kinds of faith and belief out there and that they make up their own minds, as I was allowed to :)

October 2019
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