Friday, November 30, 2007

El Día de Mi Suerte

This morning when I woke Mina I said, "Mina, time to get up. Look, it rained last night." Mina bolted up and looked out the window. "Mami!" She said. "Today is our lucky day. Our ancestors came!"

She's been reading a story this week with her class about the Tewa Native Americans. The story's about a man, the head dancer of his town, who teaches his grandkids and other kids how to dance a prayer; or more that: Dancing is prayer. The story explains that rain is lucky, and it's a sign that our ancestors are visiting us. Mina's morning proclamation and full absorption of the story touched me a lot.

I can't say that she's coasting through third grade though. Modern-day third grade seems to assign a tremendous workload and requires an ambitious, must-learn schedule. But what do I know? I come from an era of smoking/drinking pregnant women and when kindergarten was state-funded babysitting. Mina and I welcome the work still; we're plugging away, but her teacher said she struggles. My heart sank when I heard because, of course, I think she's doing great. Man, am I labeled as Mina's Crazy and Blinded Mom? I do love her teacher though. We talk a lot and he certainly has a good grasp of Mina's personality. He told me that though she sometimes has a hard time or sometimes she spaces out in class, that sometimes she says things that aren't just a couple steps ahead of the class, but twelve steps ahead. He said, "She kind of perplexes me because there's nothing specifically I can put my finger on." He told me to keep working with her ("the best thing for her") and we'd see how the year pans out. Mina seems to think she's doing great too. At least she and I are on the same page. Sigh.

And she understands when the ancestors come.

When Mina was four years old, I had a tshirt made up for her that read "deep". I should just keep getting it in larger sizes. Man, I love that kid.

I feel better, in general. I still have lingering blahziness, but when a little bright face surrounded by matted sleep-hair yells through the early grey-light of a gorgeously rainy morning that IT IS OUR LUCKY DAY, it's hard not to believe her. Cleansing is lucky, right?

Coincidentally, I have been overlistening to a particular Hector Lavoe song this week. His songs are encased in a cemented sadness. They are ironic and doomed and I can't stop replaying them right now. "Pronto llegará, El día de mi suerte, Sé que antes de mi muerte, Seguro que mi suerte cambiará . . .Y ¿cuándo será?" (Soon my lucky day will come. I know before I die certainly my luck will change. When will that be?)

Mina said today's the day. I'm going with that. Today's the day.


SUEB0B said...

Mina will be fine. She is an artist, a dreamer, a wise soul. She will find her way. She may not get good grades, but trust her. She is a good kid, wise and strong like her Mami.

acumamakiki said...

I don't think school is the learning environment for everyone, it certainly wasn't for me and I was of the same era, same kindegarten. I think I struggled my entire school career, it wasn't until college (art school) that something clicked and I was 20 years old!

I think Mina sounds like a smart, perceptive, sensitive and creative little soul and with your help, she'll be able to get through school. You are indeed lucky, friend. xo