My sister has eight children, managing to juggle her very healthy share of family life with her professional one as a doctor. Her youngest is now three, a little girl named Elfur Fríða. She walks around with a little notebook and a pencil, asking everyone she meets: „So, what can I get you?“ My sister and her family eat out a lot.
Children are funny. The other day my grandson asked me how one said Zombie in moonlandish. Something I had not given much recon to until then. I told him Zombie was one of these words like Taxi that is the same in every language. On the moon a Zombie is a Zombie. In the US a Zombie is a Zombie. In Iceland a Zombie is a Zombie, but a Taxi is actually a leigubíll.
Not only is a child’s thought process less bound by reason, they are also more open and honest about everything. Life has yet to chisel them into whatever passes for the standard in their homeland. Their dreams and aspirations are limitless and have yet to be weighed down by what is possible or practicable. If they want to be an astronaut they will say so shamelessly. Or a waitress like my little cousin. Later on when human negativity has pounded a lattice of fine cracks into their positive outlook, they will reply with what they think they can live up to. Or simply say: “I don’t know.”
My sister is moving away this summer which is probably why I am being a bit depressive. She has gotten a job in a brand new hospital in the States where her days will focuses a lot more on her speciality within the field of medicine than is the case here – I must note that her speciality is within a field I cannot spell, not even close enough for the spell checker to give me suggestions. So I cannot go into any detail here.
So my sister will go away like a lot of other doctors here that are tired of the endless cut backs that relate to the quality of services they are able to provide. It is not easy when a country’s finances go belly up.
On my desk at work the other day was an envelope delivered to me by the daughter of my 7th grade teacher, who has now passed away. This being Iceland I am related to these women and when the daughter was going through her mother’s papers she took aside certain things with my name on it. These were in the envelope. Amongst test papers (I was a very contentious student) and homework there was a report I had done on my family which was really strange to read. For one thing I do not recognize my own handwriting which has apparently changed a lot through the years. Also, I do not have the slightest recollection of ever having written what I surely did. But it was good to see that I felt happy and loved my family every bit as much as I still do today. It ends with a sentence something akin to: Even though my family is not the most perfect family in the world I would not swap places for anything. Awww.
Despite this being very cheesy, I deserve credit for leaving out: “for all the money in the world”. Maybe it was because at 12 I realized how awful repetitions within a sentence can be. Or maybe I no more wanted to be the owner of all the money in the world at that time than I do now. Who in their right mind would want all the money in the world? Aside from a few crazed dictators I cannot imagine there are many other names on that list.
But seeing that spring is here there is no reason to wallow in melancholy or go down the road regarding crazed dictators where I can see my mind is heading. That must wait.
And regarding my little cousin. I do not think she will become a waitress. At least not a very good one. She never brings you your order.
Yrsa - Wednesday