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Breathing the right air

Nothing brings more comfort than a bag of good things to cook, swinging under your arm as you make your way home. Somehow it blots out the rest of the world. In these moments, the entire universe consists of a late afternoon sun, a stray dog and a clump of flowers growing strange and wild in a yard. A hit of basil jumps from my elbows with each swing of the bag, a gift from one of the ladies I buy from the most. I visit markets without intention, just eyes open ready to discover fresh peas, or the first corn. Knowing that these products will disappear as quickly as they present themselves creates a certain form of excitement. Each season offers up this rhythm and without it I might become completely lost.

I think of when we were in Tuscany a month ago, feeling like such a tourist until I wandered out along the highway and found the local vegetable stand. I shoved squash blossoms and tiny tomatoes into a bag, rushing back to our room like I had robbed a bank. I made pasta with them th…

колготки (tights)

It's hard to believe my little girl has her first day of Detskie Sad (Kindergarden) tomorrow. I'm not sure who is less prepared - me or her. We've organized all of the tests to confirm she hears ok, sees, ok, breathes ok, has no TB, etc. The school is about 10 minutes walk from the apartment.


There is an overgrown courtyard with apple trees, their fruit littering the dirt. There are poppies, and little purple dahlias. There are clumps of little mushrooms that look like houses that we found this morning, on the final preparation visit. 


I understand how much she just wants to stay at home, surrounded by countless familiar dolls, puzzles and magic markers. I don't really have a great reason for why she needs to go. Every time I explain why she should go, it sounds quite silly. Effortlessly, she replies and my talking points fall apart in my hands. 


I decided to take another tact. I explained to her how we ended up living in Moscow and things took a different perspective. I explained why I went to school, and even how I was a professor for a while. I told her that I had always wished she would lead an interesting life, and that going to school would ensure a future of adventures. Tough to argue with that one. She lives for adventures. 


She suddenly looks so tall in her calgotki (tights), with her legs dangling on the side of couch as I look for her new sneakers. We agreed I would pick out her outfit, and she would pick out mine. 


Tomorrow is the big day - -well, for at least an hour. Then we come back each day for one hour more until she finds herself. 

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