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Letter A for Attend

April 1, 2008

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April 2008 NaBloPoMo

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I am going to participate in the NaBloPoMo challenge this month because the theme of “letters” inspires me. I want to post alphabetically, perhaps defining what certain words mean to me and giving them a quixotic context. There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but my challenge is to write something everyday for 30 days so I might write some “open letters” to people. Another occasional variation on the theme is to show my daughter’s progress in writing her letters as I am really pushing her this month with practicing dictation.

Today is the first day of April and I am choosing the word “attend” for my first post of the month. In Spanish, the multiple meanings of the word “atender” are the same as they are in English. I always think it’s neat when Spanish and English words are so closely related. It makes my life a little easier.

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Attend can mean being present, listening to someone, taking care of someone or something, and being ready to give service to someone.

My husband and I do not attend church. That’s because the act of getting ready for church causes us not to attend to our chores or our family’s needs. Sometimes my husband does side jobs on Sundays and sometimes he would rather have breakfast together and spend the day resting. We snap at each other more if we are under pressure to attend church. This Saturday I would like to attend the local Republican Unit Committee Meeting for electing delegates and passing platform resolutions. My son and I attend music class together on Wednesdays.

One of our family’s favorite movies to watch together is Chicken Little. My daughter is fascinated with the father/son dynamic. She is quick to point out the many times that the father does not attend to his son. She knows that it must be awful to not feel listened to by a family member, but she reassures everyone that in our family we listen to each other and value what each person contributes. My children love to feel like they are contributing to the family’s happiness. Many times this desire leads to the incessant repetition of knock knock jokes. Other times they insist on pointing out things around them and striking up conversations. When we are in the car my son is always shouting, “Mama? Lookaflag! Mama? Lookatruck! Mama? Lookacloud!” My responsibility is to listen and respond positively. When I get the urge to respond sarcastically, “Oh, big fuckin’ deal, a flag,” I think of Chicken Little’s father and how important it is to be careful not to break my children’s hearts by not listening to them.

When my children cry out, I attend to their needs. This can be suffocating, but can also be rewarding. They are constantly sick or hungry or in need of attention. I minister to them. Being a parent means you sometimes have to attend to your children instead of attending to yourself. For me, it is very difficult to remember to attend to my own needs. I don’t even have a routine in the shower anymore because I shower so rarely that I get in there and don’t remember what I need to do. People who shower everyday have an efficient and consistent way of getting clean, right? Not me. I have forgotten many of my previously efficient and consistent ways of taking care of myself. Since I have admitted that, I will work on changing my ways.

Now, I have some things I must attend to . . .

  1. April 1, 2008 9:48 am

    Very good!! I actaully start with the letters tomorrow. Did you rigister your blog at Ning yet?

  2. April 1, 2008 10:15 am

    Yes, thank you for the invitation. I am going to post here on my blog. I don’t know about cross-posting on their page. The main thing is that I am challenging myself to do this each day.

  3. pppj permalink
    April 1, 2008 12:39 pm

    They will get older. I do get to shower each day, and the kids are older so I have some time to myself in the shower without anyone banging on the door.

    It is funny though that they all still talk a ton in the van though – sometimes interrupting one-another.

  4. April 1, 2008 1:58 pm

    this is such a creative way to do this challenge! i love it!

  5. April 1, 2008 2:14 pm

    You are off to a great start with the letters theme here! Woohoo! I believe most of the sites I have viewed have done something like this-no “real” letters written yet since I have been hopping. I am registered on ning but I don’t post there. I just post on my blog. I also don’t follow the theme always-which isn’t a requirement either.

    I have tagged you for a short and simple six word memoir meme. Check it out here:

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