Our Village


Hank: Mama, I am so hungry.

Me: Quiche is in the oven and it will be about 35 minutes.

Hank: But I am really very hungry.

Me: Did you not have um lanche (a snack) after school?

Hank: Not today.

Me: Oh!  Then you must be very hungry. I am sorry Hank. I didn’t know. We’ve been relaying on our village for help since Molly was born and are off our game a bit.

Hank: Our village?

Me: Yes, our village is you, me, papa, Molly, Ana Godinho, your Avó (grandmother), Fatima, Ana Santana… Our friends and family have been helping us so much and it is wonderful, but that also means that we have to communicate more. More people means more confusion. Can we make a deal?

Hank: Sure.

Me: Can you promise to tell me if you need something a bit sooner. If you don’t have um lanche (a snack) after school you tell me when you get home. If you need anything can you tell me? Do not assume I can read your mind. I am very tired and not on the top of my mommy game right now.

Hank: Sure I can. I understand it is just my stomach doesn’t and it is growling.

Me: Can your stomach settle for pão com manteiga (bread with butter)?

Hank: My stomach can have pão com manteiga (bread with butter) and three pieces of your yummy quiche.

Me: Then we have a solution for today and for the future.

Hank: Yup, yup, yup! And Can I hold Molly while you make my pão (bread)?

Me: Oh that would be lovely.

Hank: (handing over the baby) Hello, villager Molly. You are so cute, cute, cute! Our mommy will be right back. She is just getting me some pão com manteiga (bread with butter). You are going to love pão com manteiga (bread with butter) when you grow more.




Me: Ok. Last problem. 150 + _____ + 5 = 155. Lets talk it through.

Hank: 150 + 5 is… (counting fingers) 151, 152, 153, 154, 155. 155!!!

Me: So the missing number is?

Hank: We don’t need any more numbers so it is (pause) zero?

Me: Are you sure?

Hank: Yes.

Me: Correct. Well done! Man, thanks for doing your Math homework with me. That was fun.

Hank: And did you learn anything, mama?

Me: (smiling, thinking) I did learn something. I learned while we were working on the problem 148 + ____ + 0 = 150 that the way I was trying to help you was not the best way. When I stopped and thought of another way to work with you, you got it strait away. So I learned to stop, listen, think and try again.

Hank: Well that is good. And now that my homework is done I can help you learn a new thing about Minecraft?

Me: (giggling) Sure, buddy. Minecraft tutorial until dinner.




Hank: (big sigh, getting a fresh piece of paper)

Me: What’s up?

Hank: I am going to start a new drawing.

Me: Oh?

Hank: I don’t like how I made her head. It is too small for her body. I am going to start again.

Me: You are going to leave her alone on a blank page?


Me: I just cannot imagine living alone on a blank page. How terrible. She has nothing to keep her company: no tree, no house or flowers or clouds or blue sky.


Me: I just cannot bear to leave her alone. May I draw her a house? You may of course move on to another drawing, but I think she is so sweet and want to give her a world to live in.

Hank: Sure. I think she needs a fairy house.

Me: Oh?

Hank: Yes and since she is a fairy she needs wings and I will draw her a tiny magic cherry tree with tiny magic cherries.

Me: Wonderful. Tiny magic cherries are the best and can you make the sun? Your suns are far better drawn than mine.

Hank: I make a nice swirly sun. That is the kind that fairies like.

Me: I will make the grass.

Hank: You make the best grass. You put all the colors and grass has many colors.


Me: (sigh, satisfied)

Hank: You were right, my mama. Much better. She just needed a world and wings to become beautiful.

Me: Truth.