"What we do in this life, echoes in eternity."
Maximus, Gladiator
"Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wiggly Tooth

My baby boy is almost six years old. He wakes up with a smile to go to kindergarten, early in the morning, with the older kids. He loves break-dancing class. He comes home from school and turns on his iPod so loud I can hear it all the way from the kitchen, while I smile as I imagine him twist and bend with the music, releasing the energy he had to contain in the classroom.

When he thinks I don't see him, he babbles in Arabic to his toys or daydreams on his swing--he could be in a Caribbean beach and not in his room. El Cangri ALWAYS has something nice to say about everybody. He would tell me how pretty I look first thing in the morning, and I know his words come from the heart. No other than a child would say that to me :-)

I've wondered if being positive increases his self-confidence or if his self-confidence helps him be positive. I wish I were more like him in that respect, see the bright side of things.

In his cave-man talk he said last night, "One of my teeth will come out soon." And his eyes sparkled with pride and maybe a tinge of fear.

He's my third child. I should be used to this kind of event. Still, emotion surprised me as I verified that yes, he has a loose tooth. So many months waiting for tiny teeth to finally cut through and end the agony of teething--my boys had always the hardest time while teething--and then one day, without notice, they become wiggly and fall off.

My Cangri is growing. So fast I don't even want to blink in case I miss all the wonder that he is. But every night, at about two, muffled footsteps by my bedroom door, take my attention from even the most fascinating book or dream. He snuggles close to me and says, "I love you, mama."

He's still my baby. My precious third child, so glad to grow up.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kid History - Episode 1

This is the greatest Youtube video I've ever watched. I won't spoil it for you, but I warn you as Jaime (who posted it on her blog first, and I just had to share it) did in her blog, I hope you're not drinking anything while watching this video. You've been warned...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five libraries from the garbage

I can't let Halloween go. That's the only excuse I have for not updating my blog since the beginning of October. I promise I've been blogging in my mind everyday, but as the great Neil Gaiman would say, "it doesn't count."
Before I blog about the most amazing Christmas of my life, or my new nanowrimo experience, my trip to Argentina, the most beautiful bookstore in the world, or a million other things, I want to share the story of Jose Alberto Gutierrez, a humble garbage truck driver from Bogota, Colombia.
His life changed when he opened a box, and saw Anna Karenina was in it, along with several other books. He took the box home, and his mission of rescuing books from the garbage started.
Since that day in the year 2000, he's rescued more than 12,000 books and he has opened five libraries in humble neighborhoods. The first one started from his home, in his wife's sewing shop. One of the libraries is operated by a 12 year old who volunteered.
The libraries also function as community cultural centers, with reading groups, theater, puppet shows, etc.
This man, who didn't have the opportunity of a formal education, became a promoter of literacy. The libraries don't receive any kind of government subsidies or help. They're there because of Jose Gutierrez's desire to share the books that for other people were garbage, and because of that desire to learn and curiosity that defines as humans.