Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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t-man

On this, Tyler’s birthday, I would like to share with you his childhood nickname. T-man was the little tyke who always had a smile on his face, and did his best to keep up with his big brother. 


It took a while, but when I got over the fact that he was not the sister I had been hoping for this little guy really grew on me.

When he was in Sweden last we were reminiscing and I mentioned how I remember him just loving candy as a child. Like actually love. When you’re little (and damn pithy) you like to say “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” T-man would have married candy, no questions asked. He wouldn’t even bother with whatever taunting tone you tried to have because he would have been so darn excited about the impending nuptials. 

From the perspective that comes with adulthood (we’re adults now, I think) Tyler says he still loves candy. Like love love. So I guess we’ll see what’s coming down the road (or aisle) in the future.

Happy birthday T-man! I hope it’s one for the books.

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mediwift

If I’m going to share my brothers’ childhood nicknames on their birthdays, then it’s only fair I share mine. When I was little my older cousin had a hard time saying my name. Marissa is only about a year older than I, but that did give her a leg up,in the talking thing. Trying to say Meredith, it always came out Mediwift. Which aside from being ridiculously cute, also made for an awesome, and at times still standing, nickname.

Marissa and Mediwift on my 3rd birthday


Meredith is actually pretty hard to say. Understandably seeing as there’s an R right in the middle and a -TH at the end. Just as any Swedish person who addresses me as Meredit (there is no lisping -th sound in Swedish). After recently taking a course on language learning for the preschool child I have more insight in this than ever before. Though I don’t want to get too boring technical I do want to say that the strategies Marissa used to say my name are common and work well in terms of being understood. And, again, just ridiculously cute.

So, if you’re feeling silly and want to say “Happy Birthday Mediwift!”, I will say thank you. I know you’re talking to me. Though this is a today only offer.


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book of march: the giver

They used to tell me that you should go back to a place of your childhood to see how much you have changed. Once you’ve grown up and moved away, the idea is that when you return to the places of your childhood they will have stayed the same, and it will be you who has changed. You can then use these places as a reflection upon yourself. It will become starkly clear to you, just how much you’ve changed.

Well I already know I’ve changed. But I can’t go back to the places of my childhood to examine these changes either. It’s a nice idea, but places change just as much as people do. Buildings get knocked down and re-built. Roads get re-paved, or disappear altogether, another road going somewhere else built in its stead.

Not that this is going to stop me. This summer I’ll be in my home town. (There really is no place like your home town, is there?) I can’t wait to see the new high school and go to the new ice cream place. Some things will be the same, that’s for sure, but some things will have changed more than I have since my last visit.

However; one place you can always count on to be the same is the world within a book. There’s something magical about knowing you can always go back to the same exact place written within a book. You may perceive it differently, or remember things inexactly, but the words printed on the page are the same every time.

The Giver

This month for my book of the month I decided to do some self-reflecting, and re-read a book off my 6th grade reading list: The Giver by Lois Lowry. One of my favorites of that year, I was excited to have allowed enough time to pass between now and my last reading of this book to be enthralled once again in the details.

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If you haven’t yet read this gem, do it at your soonest convenience.

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happy birthday ryan!

Look at that winning smile! I’d pay for that too. I cannot believe this little man is turning 20 today! On this day, the second of June, in the year 1992 Ryan came into the world. A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you little bro. Now stop it. You’re making me feel old.

In this birthday tribute post I scoured my memory in search of an event with which to define this day. All I could really come up with was various instances of my chasing him around the house in a bout of fury at yet another annoying thing he had done to me. Or that’s how I saw it. If it wasn’t chasing him down, it was attempting to lock him out of my room when a friend had come to play (made all the more difficult by the fact that none of the doors in our house had locks on them growing up). Then there was the time I tried to use the wily ways of words to convince him that he didn’t actually want to come into the club house my friends and I had constructed in the back yard. The one we had decided was ‘no boys allowed’. Sign included. This may not have been the best move.

Thankfully my memory is also riddled with memories of building sand castles in the setting sun after a day of running through the salty waves. Times when we would become all too competitive playing pickup soccer games, or indoor crackabout. These would always end with a smile, as adrenaline pumping activities usually do. Memories of licking melting ice cream, dipping our toes in the side of the pool, making friends with the WMP guards of that summer. (Mostly so they wouldn’t yell at us for being so close to the water with our sugary treats.) More recent moments also come to mind. Attending his high school graduation. Working together at that same pool where we spent the sun-kissed afternoons of our youth. And most recently, during his side-splitting trip to Sweden over New Years. I’m pretty sure I’ll bring up the belly dancing episode for years to come. So, Ryan, you can prepare yourself for that.

Moving away from home has reinforced something I’ve always known about the importance of family, which is hard to put in words. All I know is that I am certainly looking forward to our future shenanigans. Here’s to you, on your day. Brother of mine whom I love so much.

 

NOTE: This post has been updated after the fact. My family members have informed me that the first picture I had posted, was, in fact, of myself. Also, Ryan informed me of the actual year of his birth. 1989 + 3 IS hard math.


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i was slashed

The other day at work I was re-listening to Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants. (So good, listen to this or read it immediately if you haven’t already.) When I realized. We had the SAME childhood!!!

Okay, there was just one story that was the same. Okay ‘the same’ might be pushing it. But hear me out.

In the ‘spring semester’ of kindergarten Ms. Fey was slashed in the face by a stranger in the alley behind her house. (Side bar: Ms. Fey is the one referring to the time of year as the spring semester. I dunno about you guys but I never had semesters in grade school. Or we definitely didn’t call them that.) To this day Ms. Fey has a scar from the experience. A physical one. Not sure how she’s doing emotionally, we’re really not that close.

Now, there are slight differences between her story and mine. For instance, I was not slashed in the face. I was slashed in the hand. Or thumb, if you want to get specific. It did not take place in an alley behind my house. The only thing behind my house growing up was woods, and my friend Peter’s house. It took place in my dining room. Finally, I was not slashed by a stranger, I was slashed by. . .well. . .me.

But as you can clearly see, the main details of the story are the same.

Note: details of this story may be edited by time – in that I may not recall the events as they took place, but this is how it happened according to me.

In preparation for two birthday parties I was to attend that weekend, I was wrapping presents. The best thing you can do to adorn a present is to have fancy ribbon on it, curled. This is where I ran into trouble. While I had never curled ribbon myself, I had seen it done on a number of occasions and felt it was within my seven year old abilities. I will warn you now, if you’ve never curled ribbon, ask someone first. or check Youtube. It’s harder than it seems.

I, at least, had the basics down. Take the ribbon you wish to curl. Start at the base of the ribbon, as close to the knot on the present as possible. Place one blade of the scissors under the ribbon, and hold it there with your thumb. This is where the concept got fuzzy for me. It seemed as though one just pulled the scissors as fast as possible while holding the ribbon flush with the scissors. The detain I failed to deduce was that you don’t actually put your thumb on the blade. Merely next to it. When I pulled, as hard as my monkey bar swinging arm could manage, I sliced open my thumb.

I’m sure I screamed, or made some sort of commotion that sent my parents running to my aid. I remember my dad wrapping my thumb in a towel, possibly with ice, and my Mom rushing to assemble the things needed to get to the emergency room. I was carried to the car by my father and deposited in the back seat. My memory holds that both parents accompanied me to the ER, however at this point I had two small brothers aged 4 and 1, so I assume someone was home with them. My mother rushed me into the ER upon our arrival, and the next thing I remember is her suggesting we count in Spanish while the doctor injected local anesthetic to my gushing thumb.

Four stitches later I was all patched up. This remained my most serious childhood injury to this day. You can still see the scar on my left thumb, in a small V shape slightly distorting the gentle swirls and curves of my fingerprint.

As a result of my ribbon curling shenanigans, I missed the first birthday, but was able to go to the second the following day. I was still determined to rock at all the games at Chuck E Cheese.

So, any childhood injuries of your own that left a lasting impression, if not a scar??

(picture credit: bossypantsribbon)