Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Daddy, Aren't There Any Other Choices?"

iTunes Music Selection This Morning:

Leona Lewis wailing "Bleeding Love" in the background... now Mat Kearney's hip-hop "Undeniable"... Colbie Caillat singing her sensually carefree "Bubbly" and finally, Paolo Nutini's soothing, evocative, "Rewind".
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Yesterday early evening Leah was in her personal heaven.

She'd spent the afternoon at Aarya's Guna Ghola party at the Hyatt, the only girl invited to share the important occasion with her friend from school and their shared Sunday art class. Aarya, of course, was dressed as a Hindoo princess, complete with diamond brooch (that her Dad said was going right back in the safe deposit at the bank after the ceremony). They were playing delightfully among the exquisite white chocolate and ice cream bar while the parents were eating and drinking out on the Hyatt lawn.

But when Marcus called, we remembered that Moa was on her way over to our home for a sleep-over. She got there even before we got home, of course. Although, immediately, the two of them were out running around in the backyard, freed from their parents' constraints and swilled w/ the pleasure of simple friendship. They took our Apso-Shitsu, Gumbi, out back to race her on a leash on sunken floor of the recently drained big pond (so it can be waterproofed around the boulders). Girls' joy with a puppy amid nature. Does life require any more?

Far from their child's view, Geeru was still digging out around the rock garden while I watered the bamboo and transplanted evergreen trees.

The setting sun was fading in the western sky and the slight crescent moon was shimmering a few degrees north on the horizon above the Vishnumati mohan (source) ridge.

Then, her dear friend, Choyang, the Rimpoche's daughter, also from her Second Grade class, came through the backyard door and Leah leaped w/ pure childhood joy. More girlfriends on a Friday evening and life was complete.

Before long, however, we had to go inside to find matches or a lighter, as Leah wanted to make another small campfire by the boulders once the sun set.

As we came back to the garden, from somewhere in her child's clear joyful mind, and, no doubt, her reading of "Winnie the Pooh", appreciating, as Winnie often does, the need for some serious thoughtful, adult-like statement to mark this important Friday evening ("my fourth most favorite day!"), out of the blue, Leah said to her friends, "Give me liberty or death!"

Was it a 2nd Grade history lesson, I thought, or, as she later told me, something she'd heard on some obscure TV show?

I said to her, "Sweetheart, I think it's 'Give me Liberty or Give me Death!'"

Patrick Henry's famous cry from the American War of Independence, as everyone American school kid knows.

To which she turned to me and asked in that mellifluous, charming, unforgettable, seven year voice,

"Daddy, aren't there any other choices?"

To which I replied, "I sure hope so, dear..."

"I sure hope so..."

2 comments:

Joshua said...

Daddio, i love this little leah is too much, makes me realize how much i am missing. Yet, it also comforts me to know that she is growing up to be quite a little women/princess.
Lotsa, Love
Joshua

Keith D. Leslie said...

Joshu,

Yes, at 7 years old, she's already quite a young woman... She's very bright, has amazing handwriting, is a wonderful artist and (like her mother) can't make sense of numbers. I think she's thrilled that she gets Mom all to her self while we're galavanting around the States & Honduras. Then, as soon as I'm back, we'll start planning her 8th birthday. I'm sure she'll love having you & Ezi around for a longer time this summer.

love, Dad