On Being Accommodating
Approaching the Nones of March (and the Ides)

Roman History, Greek Memories, Jersey Rides

 

Can't believe it will be spring break at Jim's and my respective schools the week after next. I'm just a bit behind where I wanted to be in my Roman history class, on the cusp of the second Punic War (I'd wanted to be onto the final century of the Republic but we will be there come the week after the break). I think about Greece all the time, the memory of the three trips I took there (in 2009-2011) with students so very strong and streaming in at certain moments, as on a 5.45am walk Charlie and I did on Friday.

After going to sleep at 9.30ish the previous night, he had woken at 2.30am. He snacked, played music on the iPad and after I dozed off on the couch, was standing over me at 4.30am. I had a feeling he would go back to sleep if he took a walk so as soon as it was light enough out we went and had a pleasant time, me channeling early morning strolls before the hotel breakfast in Athens and Thessaloniki. Charlie went back to sleep in the brown chair while I went out running and then as I made coffee and got ready for class and was awake when I left. Jim reported he was groggy getting on the bus.

Charlie did well at school Friday (except for 5 unhappy minutes in the swimming pool; he pulled through it) as he had on Monday after waking at 12.30am. He slept deeply both Tuesday and Wednesday nights and had up-and-down school days Tuesday and Wednesday. No coincidence, I think, as we've noted the same patterns before.

By 7pm on Friday night, Charlie was sound asleep, only to wake at 11.30pm. I wondered how we'd get though 6 hours waiting for a walk but after pacing, snacking and to the tune of the Pogues, he went back to sleep till 9am.

We had a very good time out in Jersey horse country where, the snow and ice and wintry winds prevailing, we have not been for some weeks. Absence can make the heart grow fonder and Charlie enjoyed visiting the sometimes a bit uptight 'general store' for carrot cake and gamely did 12 miles on his bike.

For the rest of the day, Charlie kept asking to go to quite a few (5) of the eating establishments (except the Golden Arches) that we routinely visit. He ate some of the food but hardly with his usual zest; that antibiotic he has been taking for the rash on his face is probably proving, as those meds do, less than kind to his sensitive stomach. After a walk, a nap on the blue couch, and a local bike ride, went to Jersey City for Vietnamese food. He had a cup of peanut sauce and handed me the bag of food, then asked for burgers.

We went home, Charlie bellowing 'no home!' on the way. Then he was extremely happy to be back home.

I would say, he is trying to get across the sometimes and often contradictory thoughts and uncertainties and puzzlements in his mind. Having mostly a vocabulary of concrete nouns (maybe 20 in circulation at a given time) and without any of the bits of language that add nuance and precision (like the numerous particles in Ancient Greek and the seven verb tenses and parts of speech -- Charlie doesn't really use verbs but the ones he does are all present tense), Charlie has to use what he has.

I don't know if we are right in our estimations of his meaning. I am very glad Jim enjoys driving so much, and that I put some more gas in the car while he and Charlie were on the bike trail.

And that soon I shall be able to talk about Catullus and Virgil, in their own time.

 

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