I looked up the word "OK" in the dictionary, not actually expecting it to be a word but maybe a set of initial's that we all understand like P.O'd or LOL or B.O.
I was surprised to see it along with the written version "okay"
The thing is, we all use the term regularly and even foreign friends understand it but recently I was impacted by what exactly it mean't and how comforting a tiny phrase it could be.
Often times if I ask someone how they are doing and the response is "okay" it means, less than great but I'm getting along. Someday's, ok is all we have to respond with, at least it is honest and not the British lie of "fine" (see previous post on translation :-)If I care enough to dig a little deeper I might find that OK actually means "well somehow I am still breathing even though my son is in big trouble or my husband wants to leave me or it might just mean, I'm so busy, not sure how I'll get through the next few days but I am leaning in.
3 weeks ago I had a life changing experience.
I was in a car accident.
The kind where, if you drive by after the fact, you take a gasp and then can't help staring(why do we do that? you know you totally do :-) hoping to see a body or limb or something but not really wanting to but sort of...)
I was just a short distance from my home, heading to a Saturday baptism of a new young woman in our neighborhood. Whilst waiting in the canyon road to turn left, the equivalent of a quiet dead end country lane, into the church parking lot(crossing oncoming traffic for my Brit buds)I notice 3 little boys at the side of the road. Far too young to be alone and far too young to have common sense to look before running or crossing and so I watched them intently. I slowly crept into my left turn and then out of nowhere I hear this almighty crash, watch my airbags deploy and yes they really do drop puffy curtains from the roof, my car is spinning and moving and pops up the curb and down again finally coming to a halt as another car (the first time I have seen it) goes up the curb on the inside of me and comes to a halt about 30 more feet ahead of my final resting place.
WOW!! I take a breath, I move my head and shoulders slowly.
My first thought......"I'm OK!" and that's what THAT feels like.
A young man from the parking lot runs to me with tears in his eyes "Sister Wold, Sister Wold?...." because EVERYONE is arriving at the same time, (attention seeker)
"I'm OK!" There were 3 little boys? I can't see at this point because my airbags were blocking my view and I was aware of my suddenly swelling foot and the feeling that someone had taken a razor blade to my left shoulder (seat belt burn)so I didn't want to move too much.
Again came the beautiful word "OK"
The other driver? another OK.
What sweet, sweet words of comfort. I will never underestimate the power of the word or words.
After a worrying doctors appointment, everything's OK.
After a complicated pregnancy.
After a call from the school.
Ok is what we need to hear, even if it just implies that we are putting one foot in front of the other and still breathing, because it means we get to continue to do that another day.
Oh and in case you haven't seen it,
Here's what was left of my favorite little car plus my favorite sunglasses which have now vanished with it.
Thankfully this handsome young man came to greet me and not my Bishop who was stood completely in white behind my car (ready for the baptism) or I might've thought this was the next life and been somewhat disappointed at the lack of heading to the light tunnel with all my loved ones etc etc.
My kids love music.
Curtis, I think, has the largest ipod ever created. If he was a child of the eighties, he would've filled an entire warehouse, with all the vinyl records he'd own. His music ranges from intense, orchestral pieces to Disney soundtracks and one off's from bands he's heard at a local coffee shop. There is no discrimination, if he likes it, he plays it and he sings it loudly. He has an incredible voice and yet has saved it for car rides and the odd Karaoke night. It has been fun and frustrating to travel with him, as no sooner is the engine of your car on, his hand comes forward with a wire to plug in, so that he can DJ our journey. It started, with a snippet of this and that but evolved into asking what we were in the mood for and playing full songs.
Jordan on the other hand, knows what he likes and that's all he plays, sometimes the same songs over and over. He likes his country, usually the tunes that talk about a drunk cowboy or a dog and telling your girl what to do, which is the complete opposite of his real life, or else he's listening to gangsta rap. Yep, I confess he got that from me, although these days I leave it for when I am on my own in the car (very rarely)and not like him, for while he's working in the garage and playing it loudly for my neighbors to hear when they get home from church (I apologize regularly. My true love is for R&B and if I could get a better tan I would easily have made it in the African American community, what with my ghetto booty and wicked dance moves.
Ronan is my latest music junkie, he loves all things techno, if you can call that music, and his favorite tracks are, when they take a random song that I might like to sing along too and make a chunck of it sound like it just got caught in the tape deck, you know what I'm talking about and you quickly eject and get your bic pen out and hope to salvage your favorite mix tape but this is intentional and known as deadmouse.
Non of the boys have pursued an instrument although 2 have taken piano lessons, 2 guitar, 1 trumpet, 1 cello and 1 euphonium. All of which died a death after constant nagging to practice and eventual weakness by me and allowing the quit.
The two oldest at least have since told me, they wished I had made them continue but Ronan keeps his mouth shut, since he knows he's still in my grasp, if I wish to force the issue hah ha (eveil laugh...)
So this leads me to Asha. She is taking electric guitar lessons from a cool, rocker dude slash Dad. I like his method of teaching as it is less about scales and note reading and more about power chords and jamming to your favorite tune. I know the true musicians would cringe and say this teaches bad habits that are hard to break but with my past experiences, I have decided that if a child enjoys and has fun as they learn, maybe they will continue and then learn the repetitive boring (essential)stuff later.
So here's our dilemma. The teacher asks her for songs she likes and her exposure has been limited to Disney movies which are mostly orchestral or our latest love, inspirational and uplifting songs on K-love. They aren't as easy to find and download on I-tunes. So I have sat at my computer, trying to think of songs she might like and managed to come up with a list, thanks to camp rock and high school musical.
So here's my question, what's the most played tune on your ipod? what's your go to songs of choice? Do your kids have favorites? Do please share.
Sometimes I look at my kids and wonder just when it all happened, the being independent, the growing taller than me, the leaving home. I recall so vividly, my days spent wondering what a luxury going to the grocery store alone might be. I tried it once at 6am, yeah once was enough, over rated. But to be able to hop in and out of a car without checking for buckled seat belts or missing shoes, to carry a nice handbag instead of a wipe-able duffle chock full of everything, those were things I only dreamed about and now they are my reality. While I'm pretty stoked about having a nice bag, all the other stuff seems like my distant past and I miss those days already.
As I dropped my babies off at school for a new year, I insisted on the first day photos.
They roll their eyes but already appreciate the memories they have in their scrapbooks that quickly become such a long time ago.
Asha seems like she'll be my buddy forever but I am pretty sure every Mum of a tween will tell me, my days are numbered. I love that she clutches her school supply list all day, everyday until we have every last thing on it. A new pencil case and freshly sharpened pencils was one of my favorite things to get when I was her age. School uniform doesn't get you excited for clothes but shoes, well this girls got a little bit of a thing....I'm leaving at that, lest ye judge.
Ronan on the other hand, couldn't care less about school supplies because every pen or pencil he has, would need to be carried and we all know that any kind of physical exertion is unnecessary when you are 13. He did however, go back to school with a smile on his face and a good attitude. Even when I took shots like this driving along in the car.
I told him I needed a picture when he got out of the car on his way in and he said "no Mum!" but I persuaded him with "if you don't look back at me, I'm jumping out of this car with my bedhead and sweats and yelling your name whilst waving I love you's...." he agreed.
I love that my last 2 kids have unique names, If I had yelled Jordan out of my car , at least 15 boys and 3 girls would've looked at me.True Story.
So there I was, all alone in the silence, full of free time but as I slowly pulled away, I snapped another shot and wondered for a second what it might feel like when my last baby drives away from my house to be with their new forever family.......
Then I turned the radio on, started singing loudly and got busy with my day.
After 16 years across the pond, I have finally learned all the lingo of the land. The word "cute" is used to describe, well just about anything you like the look of, for example "That boy is cute" or your hair is "cute" (English readers- I am deadly serious! the word cute is not reserved for puppies and babies so do not take offence at someone describing your outfit as cute, they mean pretty, glam, sexy or something similar)Also when someone asks for the age of a child, I would expect a number in response but was often given a grade in school which left me puzzled as we didn't have grades in England, only Marks?
I realized on my last trip back to the mother land, that I have lost a lot of my language skills and I find myself fumbling for words like a tourist with a sort of weird accent that is often mistaken for Australian (Really people, that is like saying Colin Farrell sounds French in stead of.....a sexy, bad boy Irish man)
Anywhoo, while I try not to stare, as young lads on a train, bicker back and forth, in the most adorable little accents ever, I am reminded that I actually sound that funny to some people. It's not always the accent but the words or phrases I use that I don't realize are different until someone giggles at me.
Last week, I took Asha with a couple of chums to the Pioneer Day Parade and as I was considering a blog about it, it dawned on me that in England a Parade was called a Carnival and a carnival was called a fair and a fair was called a show and a show was only at a theater but here a theater could play a movie but going to a movie was called The pictures and...and..... It had flown past me, just how different the two languages are. Boyd spent the first several months of marriage, sweeping up after me when I made statements like "I can't be bothered" which in England would be a polite way of saying "I'm too tired" but here would be more like, "your not worth my time"! Likewise, when someone described my kids as little "buggers" or referred to a "fanny"whilst speaking in church, I looked all shocked and well, you can look those ones up.
It's just funny to me that we consider our nations to be so similar, just one is bigger than the other and yet the differences are vast. Seeing the actual Queen, communicate with James Bond (a fictional character)was shocking and awesome to me. This is not your President, who does interviews and has a Facebook account. I'm not sure she ever speaks directly to anyone besides her family and the Prime Minister and that my friends, is the British, stiff upper lip.
If asked "how are you?" you must simply reply, without any thought of your recent accident, ailments or financial stresses that "I'm fine thank you" You may also vary this with "mustn't grumble, yourself?" and then you go merrily on your way, minding your own business.
This whole ramble, sparked by a question of what to call my next blog.
We all love parade/carnival?