for the first time (in America, since those three years in Ethiopia,
of course). I had a lunch appointment, and Saffron had stayed home
She called me several times to give me an excited play-by-play, but
the best was when I came home to find they had barricaded the front
door with a cooler. Apparently, they found this more protective than
the boring deadbolt I had suggested.
This morning I finally succumbed to that nap I've needed for a week. I
turned a movie on for Willa in the room next to me. When I woke up her
movie had ended and she was hiding behind the couch in the other room.
"Boo!" she said as she jumped out. She was giggling, but she explained
that she had been hiding since her movie ended both because she wanted
to jump out at me, and because she was scared.
"Next time if you're scares just come in my room," I said.
You can take the girls out of the place where they had to preserve
themselves, but you can't take the preservation out of the girls.
Willa is just now eating lunch (well, a few bites when she can fit
them in to her busy schedule) while she plays an African drum, and
gives me a play-by-play of her thoughts. This includes:
-"This kitchen?" said while pointing at her meet. Chicken and Kitchen
are forever confused.
-A recount over and over of how she jumped out at me.
-Accusations of me "copping" (copying) Saffron because I dared to make
stew, which is very much like the Ethiopian wadt Saffron makes, minus
her three-alarm spices. "Mom you watch Toukoul cook and then you make.
Why you copy?" (Willa refers to Ethiopia as 'Toukoul,' the name of the
"Actually, this is America wadt and my mom made it when I was a
"Oh! So you go Toukoul even you face no brown and then you grow big
So apparently, if my mom ever cooked this then we must both have lived
in Ethiopia--even though our faces are not brown.
And . . . Back to the drum. You gotta love this stuff.
Emily Mabey Swensen