Be Here Now

conversations with hank and molly

(leaving the grocery store)

Molly: (desperate to practice her tight rope walking on the parking lot curb) PAPA! Papa, wait! PAPA!

Pai: (in a rush to leave)

Me: You pack the groceries. I will deal with our future circus performer.

Molly: Thanks, mama.

Me: Can you do it or do you need my hand?

Molly: (struggling to keep her balance) I can do it! (loses her balance) ARGH! I NO CAN DO IT, MAMA! (foot stomp)

Me: Would you like my hand?

Molly: (determined) Yes, I want to go there. (points to the very end of the parking lot where the curb turns at a right angle)

Me: Well, that is your problem, MaGoo.  In order for you to get all the way over there you have to be here now.

Molly: Now? Here?

Me: (holding her hand) You have to focus only on your steps now in order to keep your balance.  You cannot think that far ahead, that will only cause you to lose you focus, stumble and fall.  You have to be here now, with these steps, breath and focus on your feet.  Do the work of walking balanced here and that work will carry you to where you want to go in the end.

Molly: (holding my hand and balancing, putting one foot in front of the other) one foot, other foot, one foot, other foot.

Me: That’s the way.  Be here now. Focus.

Molly: One foot, other foot, one foot, other foot, one foot, other foot… I ALMOST THERE, MAMA! (excitedly loses focus and stumbles, grabs on to me tight) WHOA!

Me: (helping her find her balance, squeezing her hand) Don’t panic, stay calm and breathe. Don’t look ahead yet.  Be here now. You will only get there when it is time.  It takes every step to get you there, you can’t rush it, be here. Don’t get lost thinking you’re almost there and have no more work to do.  Almost is not enough.

Molly: One foot, other foot. I doing good, mama?

Me: You are doing well; focus, balance and breathe.

Molly: One foot, other foot, one foot, other foot, one foot (gasp) MAMA, I DID IT! I here. I here now.

Me: You are indeed.  Congratulations.

Molly: I here now. I good. Let’s do it again.

Me: Yes, let’s.



Hungry or Hungary?

Photo by Hank

Photo by Hank



Molly: NO!

Me: ‘Fraid so

Molly: But I’m hung-ger-y!

Me: I don’t think you’re really hungry.  I think you’re stalling.

Hank: Are you sure you’re hungry and don’t just want to go to Hungary?

Me: Oh, I want to go to Hungary and sit at the edge of the Blue Danube, but what I am not sure about is if I want to do that in Buda or Pest.  I guess I can decide when I’m there.

Molly: Whhhhhhaaat?

Me: Hungry is a thing you are when your belly is empty and tells you to eat food and Hungary is also a place.

Molly: A place?

Hank: A place you can go!

Me: A place you can go where everyone is so hungry all the time they are called Hungarians.

Hank: Are you sure that is how it works?

Me: Have you ever had Hungarian Goulash?

Molly: Goooolash?

Hank: That isn’t a thing.

Me: It is indeed.  It is a thing like Feijoada is a thing and Chili is a thing only once you eat Hungarian Goulash you will never be satisfied by another meal ever again and will remain for the rest of your days hungry because it is that good.

Hank: Not true.

Me: The part about it being that good is true and don’t be fooled by American Imitation Goulash! The difference between the two is comparable to the difference between Crab and Imitation Crab, but I digress.

Hank: (to Molly) So do you want to go to Hungry, meet Hungarians and have goulash?

Molly: No, I want chocolate milk.

Me: Wise choice.




Just a Wittle Bit

conversations with hank


Pai: Molly and I were just talking in the car about Avó Dalia (grandmother).

Me: Oh, I love her.

Pai: Me, too.

Molly: Me, too too. You know, mama, Avó Dalia (grandmother) scared of snakes and skeletons, but I not scared. I love them.

Me: And fantasmas (ghosts). Avó Dalia (grandmother) is also afraid of fantasmas.

Molly: Avó Dalia (grandmother) is scared of snakes and ghosts and skeletons, butInotscaredofthembutsheis (deep inhale) AND I no.

Me: Buuuuut you’re a little scared of bugs.

Molly: (pinching her fingers together and looking at me through her tiny unit of measure) Just a wittle bit.