Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Memorial Day


Are you having a good long weekend, my American Internets?  I hope so; we certainly are.  We have gotten to sit on a variety of lawns with a variety of babies over the past two days; we will go to a first birthday party/cookout in a few hours; two of my collection of aunts are in town and, after sleeping in following a choir concert for one and a midnight harbor cruise for them both, will I hope come visit us again today.  We’ve seen them twice this week, and the Bean is thoroughly enraptured.  The pediatrician one of them was chatting with him while I was talking to the other, and suddenly called out, “BIONIC!  This child just said a sentence!”

I can’t claim to have heard it, but if her professional opinion can be trusted, the Bean’s very first sentence was: “Dogs they go woof-woof.”

We’ll sort out that double-subject problem later.  Sigh.  The things we parents suffer through.

He certainly does like to talk about dogs, or “dawch,” as he says it, with a Southern dipthong and a softly Scottish/Yiddish ch.  Other topics of conversation include balls, birds, ducks, and applesauce.  On Saturday he caught my eye, gave me a wicked, knowing grin, and said, “clap-clap” as he beat his hands together.  I am so excited about language that I find it impossible not to crow a bit; he can crawl forever if he will tell me jokes.


As much as I love a three-day weekend and the coming of summer, the free ferry to an island in the harbor, a respite from the pounding rain of the past week, there is under it all, like an organ pedal point, the low drone of memory.

Here is Roselle‘s tree, as it stood on our visit to campus last weekend.  I will call the college Botanic Garden soon to ask about on injury to its trunk, which worries me, though it is not fresh.

I don’t have anything new to say about Roselle.  (The story is here, if you missed it.) I did talk about her a little at reunion to some people who didn’t know her, apropos of a conversation about the career office blowing off the offer one made to talk to students interested in going into the military; our college does have some tendency to laud women in certain kinds of public service while ignoring others, I think because of issues surrounding class (Army bad, State Department good is not a tenable intellectual position otherwise), but Roselle wasn’t the only woman I lived with there to join the service later.  They were shocked to hear one of our alumnae had died in Iraq, probably because of the same sense of class protection that made me so shocked to hear it myself.

The shock is fading, though the sense of unease surrounding the official story remains fresh in my  stomach.  Whatever happened, though, she is gone.  I am grateful to you all for remembering her with me.



6 thoughts on “Memorial Day

  1. In no particular order:

    Roselle’s tree is so beautiful and fitting.

    I am suffering further campus yearnings.

    “Dogs they go woof-woof.” Ah! There’s the boy.

    Also. Spare a thought for your European friends, won’t you? Slaving away over a hot melamine desk, still elucidating the masses. [Insert weary Euro sigh.]

    • My dear one, I have so much more than thoughts for you. Interpret as you find enjoyable. Certainly include: affection, admiration, backlog of unleft blog comments.

      I was only trying not to be the kind of cultural imperialist who assumes everyone follows our holiday schedule.

      T prove my love, I will now experiment with the squiggly line icon I’ve just noticed on this screen:

  2. Beautiful tree.

    I love that sentence from the Bean. Love it. (updated Bean pics soon, please?) (Says she who is eagerly waiting for her son to say anything that resembles a word.)

  3. Love the Bean’s first sentence. So cute. Juju is up to 5ish words now, Mama, bye-bye, hi, bird and I’m going to count “Bah!” for cat because it’s so consistent. Watching her learn to talk is beyond amazing. Go ahead and crow, the Bean rocks!

    Love the beautiful tree. So sorry you lost a friend like that in what feels like such a senseless way. I am glad she is remembered, though.

  4. Love the bean’s expression! The toddler verbal explosion is amazing, aint it?!

  5. Oh my god, are you telling me your child’s first sentence involves topicalization? That’s some extraordinary syntax. The linguist in me is envious, though thankfully she also tells me comfortingly that my child’s failure to produce words of any kind doesn’t mean she’s not going to be a verbal ninja in a few years. But anyway, what a magical little fellow he is.

    Thinking of you, Roselle, with sadness and gratitude for your bravery.

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