Saturday, April 4, 2009


When Laura comes home from school,* I usually greet her with a kiss
and piece of fruit, which she eats while listening to Spanish guitar
music on the kitchen radio. As Laura was coming home yesterday
afternoon, I was doing a flamenco-cum-tango dance number with a banana
and quietly giggling in anticipation, because Laura always laughs and
joins in when I goof around in the kitchen (I wouldn't dream of doing
a silly kitchen dance in front of anyone else, except perhaps
Véronique, though she's less receptive than Laura to my goofiness).
But instead of laughing or greeting me with a big happy smile, Laura
walked over to the cupboard with a deadpan expression, took a glass,
went to the kitchen sink, and poured herself a glass of water without
saying a word. She calmly drank her glass of water, turned to me, and
said matter-of-factly "You're embarrassing yourself." I was crushed.
Laura is nine. What's she going to say when I goof around when she's
14? Will there be any goofing around when she's 14? I'm happy to
report that a few minutes later, Laura had gotten over her seriousness
and condescension and shared with me the best April Fool's pranks
she'd heard and read about (including several reported in the kids'
newspaper she reads).

* Laura gets home at 4:15 p.m. and I'm always there waiting for her
(which means that I get up at 4 a.m. to leave work early). After her
afternoon snack, Laura usualy does her homework and plays the guitar
(while I work out) and then we read or study German or Spanish
together, before I cook supper.