Finding Fair in Foul

We found the book!

I am so happy we found the book. Mummy was so puzzled as to what might have caused us to temporarily misplace, not one but, two library books in a matter of only a few weeks, when we have rarely had that happen over the last few years. I think it has something to do with managing library books between two households. But just when we thought Porcupining was lost forever, we found her. And the same thing happened an hour ago, Elanah, when you went looking for a hat in the closet and ended up rediscovering the (we thought) missing Lego Ninjago book. Missing books can be found if you just stay the course and keep looking. Actually, sometimes you should just stop looking. If it’s find-able, you’ll find it. Eventually.

I know it can be so frustrating to not be able to find something that you know you have. That you know is somewhere just waiting to be found. Usually we end up finding what belongs to us in the end, like we did with our missing library books! It’s kind of like the end of a Shakespeare comedy– it might seem tragic at moments throughout, but it always ends with the restoration of things: truth, justice, love. The couples who are meant to be together but are set apart by twisted plots, trickery, circumstance, and villainy always end up right where they are supposed to be –together– in the end. The evil-doers are exposed as such, mocked, and punished justly and the lovers come out from hiding and disguises and silliness to be together. One of the things about Shakespearean comedies is that lovers are sometimes put through crazy, nutty trials involving deception, mistaken identities, and disguises. That’s drama. But then, harmony and order, on the whole, are always restored. It wouldn’t be Shakespeare if they weren’t.

We love happy endings, don’t we. We love them because we know they are always, really, happy beginnings. There are tragedies, of course. Once I lost a very nice camera and never found it again (someone else did, though), but what’s best to do is to accept the lost things we’ll never get back while  still keeping a hopeful eye out for the ones we’re meant to find again. Life cannot stop when you lose something you value. That’s the thing about life. You just gotta keep on truckin’.

It’s about to storm here. I’ve had a long, productive day, and I saw you two, so my day is complete and now I am getting cozy, sitting by the window, watching the sky go gray and yellow on the grass, getting ready to watch and listen to the storm. As long as it’s not a severe storm, I love storms. The only time I don’t love storms is when there is a tornado warning. Remember the incident a couple of weeks ago in which we came close to encountering a real tornado? That was actually scary. I felt scared but I did not let it affect me. I had a big smile on my face and told you that I wouldn’t let anything bad happen to you. But I also prayed, in my head, because even though I like to play the witch, I do not actually have any control over natural disasters. We were lucky, and Mummy learned her lesson about not leaving one Midwestern town for another without a full tank of gas, because they are so far apart.

But for fun, next time we’re sharing space with a tornado, let’s chant like the three witches from Macbeth, okay?! As you two so nicely put it a couple of months ago, “Double, double, toilet trouble”!

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Fair is foul and foul is fair sometimes, Darah and Elanah. What that means, when we’re talking escaping a tornado, is that you sometimes have to see the silver lining (or good part) of a bad situation and that sometimes things that seem good on the surface are actually very bad underneath it. Sure we were in the path of a tornado and our gas was running out and there were no towns for miles and miles, but we kept calm, made it to a gas station, and all was well because it turned out that the tornado was ahead of us, all along, so we were chasing it! That’s right. Take that, Tornado!

“Fair is FOWL, and FOWL is fair / Hover through the fog and filthy air” What’s FOWL about this picture, girls?

Can you believe it? We were storm chasers! The title of our story can be “Three Storm Chasers and a Shakespeare Air Freshener Survive Midwestern Mutiny in a Medusa Mobile.” Foul was fair, at least that time, my loves! I like witches because they are survivors. History has written them a bad deal but they expose history for what it can be: a bunch of malarkey. Witches survived their cruel history.

We’re survivors, just remember that my Hexlings! You can get through anything. Pray to God, love yourselves, always know you’re special, and remember that, no matter what life throws at you and what tempests come to pass, you must always face the day and press on. Each day: do your very best.

Today I faced this giant roach when I stopped home for lunch in between classes. This is the biggest roach that has crawled out of hiding to die in my view yet. I didn’t even scream. This means I am getting used to cockroaches. If this isn’t a sign of strength and progress, I don’t know what is. When I was little, I was scared to death of bugs, birds, germs, and most other things, too. And now I see a tablespoon-sized cockroach and I stop in my tracks to say to it, “Well, hello” or “Oh great. Look who’s here.”

Meet my friend, Mr. Dead. Just another adventurous lunch date in the life of Mummy & The Hexlings. Momma Si wants to practice eating bugs, so I think we have a treat for her.

I am strong, little Hexlings. Strength is not about muscles; it’s about what you can survive and about what you do when life gives you hell. Life has given Mummy a lot of hell this year, but Mummy is using it to become stronger than ever. And do you know why I am doing this? Because I have the very best kids in the world. Because of love. Because, Darah and Elanah, YOU make me strong.

Strong women abound. Today Mummy had a really happy moment at the end of a class. One of my students told me something that made me smile. Elizabeth is her name. She is a phenomenal woman who is a CNA and came to Macomb from Ethiopia a number of years ago. She loves to cook, help others, and dance. She even performed an Ethiopian dance during one class and showed our class how to make and serve coffee in a traditional Ethiopian style during another. Well, today she came up at the end of class to tell me that when she was being inducted into an honor society a couple of days ago, she was asked who her inspiration is. She told me that she shared with her fellow inductees and audience that I, your mummy, am someone who inspires her. She then told me that I have encouraged her to be more confident and joyful, and that the way I teach the public speaking class has helped her. She said it in a fancy way and I could see that she meant every word from the bottom of her heart. That really made my day. She’s a wonderful student and a great contributor to and leader of our class. I wish you could meet her. I love teaching and I always learn along with and from my students.

A love of learning is important, and I know you two love learning because you are always asking me a thousand questions. In fact, just a day ago when I brought you with me to school and you saw a bit of the end of “Rear Window,” you two asked so many good questions on the drive from one high school to another that I thought, “Hey, I should have had these two help lead class discussion. They would have set a good example for my students.” A curious mind, more than anything, is what defines a stellar student. I’m so proud that my girls have curious minds. Never stop asking questions.

Elanah, I noticed how when I was lecturing and leading a film analysis discussion with one of my classes, you were watching the discussion with interest, attention, and fascination. You were a good listener! You sat in your chair behind me and just watched. I wonder what you might have been thinking. And Darah, everyone in the class knew what YOU were thinking because you were being a little classroom elf. A mischievous imp. A little troublemaker! A clown! First you made lots of jokes about Mummy, which were funny, I admit and showed a lot of cleverness. Then you wrapped me in a roll of paper towel while I was lecturing. It was while I was talking about something similar, actually– we were talking about criminal behavior and, just at that time, you were sitting on the desk behind me (I was sitting on the desk in front of you), and you were making my students laugh while I was saying something (I’m sure) brilliant. I knew what was coming next. Just as I was saying something very important about the theme and symbolism of perception and what is seen and unseen in the film, down went the strip of paper towel over my eyes. You know, little one, that you were co-teaching with your mummy. You were my eight-year-old teaching assistant. And you were accentuating my lecture and emphasizing my points by creating a timely and apropos comic visual. My students were having a ball watching the two of us play off of one another, and you were cracking them up– but my points were not lost. If anything, the students will probably remember my points more so because of your shenanigans. Plus, I made things right and lifted your blindfold up onto my forehead to make a crown. Queen Mum. That’s right, you little stinker. Of course nothing could stop you. You had to start making slip knots out of paper towel, linking them to my laptop bag, and then engaging me in a tug-o-war while I was making really smart analytic remarks (oh what were they?!) about Alfred Hitchcock’s good-humored commentary on the genre of detective fiction.

Phenomenal Darah, I just hope you remember to tell YOUR teacher, Mr. H, that Phenomenal Elanah mistook Prince William for him. On the cover of a tabloid.

Speaking of strong, this is Mummy at the Women’s Center 30th Anniversary Celebration last Saturday. I can’t wait to get the two of you involved in the good work that women’s centers do. Yay for phenomenal women and women’s centers!

Now…I have to go throw away the dead roach, girls. I don’t want to do this. I want someone else to do it. But no one else can do it but me. This task is mine. And I will do it… right after I finish this blog and say goodnight to you. I am also going to eat a cupcake (NOT with a cockroach on it– don’t get any bright ideas, Darah!) and think about how we had cupcakes together last night and how we’re going to have a big Shakespeare Slumber Party with a big Shakespeare Cake together on Saturday, in celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday and in celebration of us, because we love to celebrate, especially with frosting and cake! Yum.

To honor Shakespeare’s birthday, we printed out a copy of a photo made by an artist named Andrea. She is from Croatia. Someday we will hang it in our library when we have a little place of our own.
Mummy + Hexling Solidarity = The Shakespearean Vulcan Salute!

Thank you for being such wonderful girls. Thank you for being the joys of your parents’ lives. Thank you for being God’s gift to me.

It’s your bedtime right now, and I know Momma Si has you all ready and in bed, according to schedule and the Bayberry Lane Timer, so I can really say goodnight to you in real-time. Somewhere in your precious little hearts you hear me.

I love you. Goodnight.

Love Always,

Your Mum

P.S. Let’s fall asleep to the soothing sounds created by one of Mummy’s very favorite composers– Beethoven. It will bring us peace and calm and togetherness. Love is immortal.


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One Comment Add yours

  1. Sue mason says:

    Your writing my dear Jessica is a work of an incredible genius. You have and will be touching so many other hearts as you go on with your trials tribulations and masterpieces you’ve conquered.
    Love you forever and so do your hexlings and many others. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
    Your most proud, Momma

    Liked by 1 person

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