Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Chemistry of Family

In a chemical reaction, you have reactant and products. The equation of such can be written as:

A + B ---> C + D

Of course, the variations are crazy and myriad, so for the purpose of simplicity, we'll stick with that. Essentially, you have the reactants, which in this case, are A and B. When they are reacted with one another, C and D are formed.

I haven't stopped studying for 2 weeks, and I'll be going at this pace for another 4. I've ignored my children more in the last 2 weeks than I have in years. Mostly, they've been handling it well. As long as I keep providing snacks.

This morning, they were playing school, and I was designated as the 'cafeteria lady.' The cafeteria lady's role was to bring chilled watermelon and mango. Hopefully, in their play, they're not envisioning me with a hairnet and multiple moles sprouting terminal hairs.

(Sloppy joes, sloppy sloppy joes, yeah!)

I couldn't forget about them if I tried. I was thinking about them, about all of us, last night in lab.
A + B ---> C + D could be Dave + Kel ---> Hannah + Lillian. Though Dave and I didn't dissociate into ions or break any bonds, we combined to form some really cool kids. Reactants to products, our own family chemistry.

When I come back home, the house is quiet and mostly dark. The kids are asleep, and David fills me in. Lillian was scared of the thunder. She finished all of her tofu stir-fry, but complained of a stomachache. Hannah wasn't scared of the thunder, but didn't finish her dinner. She didn't like the soy sauce. Both girls missed me. Both girls made me pictures.

I can't save everything. They all pile up. But it's one thing I'll never forget. Being 80 and sitting on the porch, I'll be able to recall the mountains of white paper filled up by two girls in my absence, each having a reaction they try to color away:

Lillian + Hannah + student Mom ----> A Bit Sad

This is what greeted me last night. Lillian is getting better at writing. Her motor skills are picking up, and she no longer scribbles a picture. She draws with intent, every line has a purpose.

Hannah has big ideas. Her latest is a slight fixation on roof-top garden.

I'm hoping that perhaps she'll have one, where she'll be able to relax after a long day at her bakery Baking Queens. She knows that baking is chemistry, and tells me every chance she gets.

She also has a bit of a fixation on cursive writing. She wants to impress her second grade teacher, so she's been practicing non-stop.

I get the fruits. Somehow, they still think I'm the best. I'll take it while I can get it.

After the middle of August passes, I'm not sure if I'll ever see another chemical equation. It might be all over, and I'll tuck it away with statistics and abnormal psychology and the philosophy I've forgotten. It'll reside there, most likely never to be dredged up again. But we'll always have our own personal equation, where the bonds made are stronger than ionic or metallic bonds, stronger than anything.

No dissolution. No disassociation. Just, together, forever.


Pamela said...

there is a fantastic book called The Gardener. it's about a little girl who has to go live with her uncle who is a baker in NYC during the depression because her dad is out of work and her family is broke. she builds him a surprise rooftop garden. and in the end her dad gets a job and she goes home. fabulous art.

kind of like you guys, minus the moving away. i don't know how to write that chemical equation so i'll just stick with words.

Anonymous said...

I could go to the moon as long as my son had his Mario Kart.

Why is it that your children's obsessions are cute and mine are annoying?

Counting the days for you.

flutter said...

Hannah is a doll.

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