An animal theme runs through it.

First of all, I’d like to thank Miz S for awarding me a Perfect Post award for last week’s rambling post. The award meant a lot to me because I adore Miz S. I believe she must be somehow related to me we have so many things in common, like having two daughters and interfaith marriages. She’s naughty and nice all wrapped up in one sweetheart of a funny package. It touches me that my post touched her.

Being acknowledged for that particular post was also special because it was a ramble and many of you indicated last week that you like my rambles, which means you like me I think. I also expressed an opinion, somewhat awkwardly, in that post and if I hadn't gotton the perfect post button I probably would have obsessed about not having articulated what I was trying to say clearly enough. I get like that.

You are all so accepting of me, it’s amazing. What a loving environment you’ve created for me here. So thanks to Miz S and to all of you for liking me as I am without the bells and whistles or a cool sophistication factor. What a gift you give me.

(My editing voice says: "Geesh, that speech was long. How embarassing.")

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Take a look at my family tree and you’ll see good, stocky, no-nonsense German-Catholic roots (on one side intense, on the other side Prairie-Home-Companion-ish) and not much else except a bit of suppressed German Lutheranism. I had many aunts and uncles growing up. Some I knew very well. Others not so much. In the “not so much” category, were my Aunt LEFT and Uncle RIGHT, as in positioned to the left and right of me at a table. Having a conversation with them was an intense experience. They competed. Your attention was the prize. I was not aware of this tendency of theirs when I sat down to dinner with them at about 10 years old. I don’t remember how the conversation started, but at some point it became clear that LEFT and RIGHT were not having the same conversation with me. In fact, they were having two different conversations and speaking at the same time, willing me to focus on them. My eyes darted, unsure who I should settle on. Their voices grew louder and stronger. Neither one would back down. The stressful part of this was that they were competing for my eyes, trying to lock me in with intense eye contact. They were from my Dad’s side of the family. The intense side.

Anyway, I was reminded of Aunt LEFT and Uncle RIGHT the other day as I sat and ate with my two girls. Mr. Raehan was late from work so he didn’t have the pleasure of helping to manage this conversation.

Rachel: I am having a dream. I am at school and walking to the bathroom with two other girls.

(I ponder this and wonder how one responds to such a statement. Then Hannah chimes in.)

Hannah: I’m a girl. (Pause) I’m not a boy.

Me: Yes, you’re a girl.

Rachel: (Continues to talk about this dream she is having.)

Me: So, Rachel, did you have this dream last night or are you having it right now?

Rachel: I’m having it right now.

Me: (Again, wondering how to respond to such a statement.)

Hannah: I a big girl. I sleep in a big bed.

Me: So you must be imagining this is happening. It’s not really a dream.

Rachel: No, it’s a dream.

Hannah: I want a girl party. Not a boy party. (Hannah’s birthday is in October).

These two were no help.