Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Learning Languages

There's my sweet 13 year old girl, Wynne. I learn so much from her and am so fortunate and proud to be her Mom. She and her brother (of whom I'm also proud) couldn't possibly be more different, so I get to flex my Mom muscles in many different ways. I'm so grateful for both of them.

I think I've already mentioned that I am doing my son's cat-sitting job for him because it turns out his cat allergy is making his migraines awful. The home with the cats actually has six cats that are kept in groups in different rooms because of the way they interact with each other. Right now, Romeo, Hunter and Little Debbie Snack Cakes (yep, that's really her name) are in the garage. It is really a lovely,  comfortable garage, without cars, with cushy beds, toys, their own litter boxes, food, treats, etc. These cats have a pretty sweet deal actually, and the temperature is fine. Dick and Jane stay in the laundry room and are similarly comfortable. The wild card is a sweet 19 year old cat named Butter. Butter's health has declined severely since we took care of her last summer. She has the run of the first floor of the house, and is even allowed to sleep on the bed in the Master Bedroom. I have been occupied this week praying for Butter. She can barely move or meow, and will not eat, poop or take her pills for thyroid and appetite that we are supposed to give her. I can tell she would really rather leave this world, but I hope she can wait until her mom and dad get home. That's selfish on my part, right?  Deep breath . .

So, that was a long way of explaining why, at 7:00 p.m. last night, after scooping litter boxes, cleaning up a tad of vomit and attempting Reiki on Butter, I was already feeling a bit like supermom when Wynne sheepishly said, "I tried to call you . . . I need a protractor,"

Well, I was on a roll already, I thought, so I said,"A protractor -- is that the demi-lune thing with numbers on it?" My learning language is not math. I learn strictly by the written word.

Wynne, the guitarist/singer-songwriter/artist responded, "Demi-who? Do you mean the clear half-circle-thingy? Then yes."

I hopped back in the car for a protractor.

As I was driving, in my typical stream-of-consiousness fashion, I started to think about the different ways we all learn. I know that, while language and writing are my things, I absolutely cannot learn from sound alone. I must see something in it's written form. My mother-in-law, a lovely East German language teacher, tried to help me brush up on Spanish with some audio tapes. She insisted it was the best way, because that was the way she learned. The tapes did nothing for me. I am a written-words person.

My son, a physics and math whiz, learns in numbers and spatial mental pictures, and does well with everything else too, but his language of choice is complex mathematical formulae.

My husband, gifted with a photographic memory and also a head for numbers, has enough stubborn ambition to muscle through any situation. His preferred learning format is documentaries. He doesn't care for reading.

Wynne, my daughter, is such a unique, emotionally well-balanced and wise individual. She's a slob but she's an artist. She's not too interested in academics but loves reading and she's a poet. She eschews girl-drama but will step in where she sees an injustice. She's not bossy but she's a leader. She's a great talent (in my humble opinion -- she's my kid!) and I'm honored to have had anything at all to do with her being here in the world. Wynne has her own youtube channel where she plays guitar and sings covers of some of her favorite songs. She's working on some technical issues -- some of the video and audio tracks don't match, but I love the sound of her voice -- especially the lower register -- very soulful for such a little thing. Wynne's a cool chick. I want to be like her when I grow up!


  1. I absolutely love this. Taking time to appreciate family and notice their individual gifts, talents, and skills is an awesome thing to do...and often. I will definitely check out her channel. I'm just about to start videoing some of our fam as well. Let you know when it happens.

    This is wonderful, lovely, and I thank you for sharing your loved ones with me.

  2. Thank you, Jeri, for such kind words! I also enjoy what you have shared about your talented and enlightened family. You are all very inspirational. Hope you are well!