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Sports and Valentine’s Cookies.

A quick post today.

V turned 8 a couple weekends ago. His superhero obsession is gradually giving way to an interest in sports, which is what he requested his birthday theme be. Naturally, that amounted to the simple but versatile ball cookies to be baked for distribution at school.

ImageI briefly thought about icing team logos on there but freehanding them is a feat that I’m not ready for yet. I’ve tried these balls once before, but I’m infinitely happy with how they turned out this time!

Valentine’s Day isn’t a holiday that’s big in our family. The kids do, however, are expected to write up cards for every other kid in their class and exchange small gifts. Cookies to the rescue again.

ImageSimple scalloped-edge hearts in white and chocolate, covered with sprinkling sugar. Doesn’t get much easier than that. And they’re sparkly!

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Now the bummer: we’re snowed in for V Day! No school, no exchange, no party. The sparkle will have to wait until next week. Oh, well.

An Afghani Saga.

Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is a storyteller. His latest novel makes ordinary stories rise above their monotony and become something true; they own themselves when heard through various people, different perspectives.

The book tracks the lives of Pari and Abdullah through a heartbreaking childhood in 1950s Afghanistan, torn from each other to lead bifurcating existences on different continents. We finally see them reunited at the end of the book, after having been led into the lives of para-relatives and friends and their own individual stories. The strength of the book lies in its lyrical prose interspersed with Afghani folklore. We see Afghanistan as it once was, war-free and open and liberal. We also encounter the Taliban, albeit fleetingly.

A common thread of unshaken guilt, unexpressed remorse and unadorned truth of feelings weaves through the entire novel. The twin feelings of guilt and shame that I reckon all of us expats feel when visiting our origin countries struck home. This emotion is most often expressed as apathy — Hosseini is not afraid to confront it head-on. The perspectives of women aren’t tacky either.

The best part for me, however, was the Afghani folk story the novel begins with. Such poignancy is seldom encountered in a story retold. I read it aloud to V today, on a grey afternoon that begs for a good story to be told snuggled in a warm blanket. We both got a bit teary-eyed, him with the story, me with the idea of our days of such intimacy being short-lived.

The library lent it on a non-renewable, 14-day loan. I’m done in a sporadic-reading 3. It’s that good.

We are Flint Hill School.

Hi. My name is Puja, and my kid goes to a private school.

I’m not sure if this is an emotion shared by others, but whenever there is a discussion about schools with other parents, I’m extremely reluctant, almost ashamed, to admit that my kids attend private school. Living in a county whose public education system is nationally recognized as one of the best, I feel like people will judge or draw inaccurate conclusions about me or my lifestyle.

The truth is that when we moved here we didn’t know where we were going to end up living and, as the school year was already underway, we got V enrolled in a private school in an area we were interested in. I could’ve transferred him to our local school later but he’d already started to settle into Flint Hill and so we let him be. Gradually we’ve all come to adore the community feeling of the school, the personalized attention, and the friends we’ve made (him and I both) at FHS. It might not be the most academically enriching school in the area, but if your kid whines on the weekend about not being able to go to school you’ve got to believe something is right.

Last week our class representative hosted a parent dinner at her lovely house for all second-grade parents. We were requested to bring appies and dessert for sharing while she provided the mains. Guess what my contribution was? 🙂

FH Husky PawThe Husky Paw is an official symbol of the school. Our kids take pride in being called the “Flint Hill Huskies” and recitation of the Husky Promise at home usually helps in reminding V to look at a disappointing situation anew.

The Blue Flames are the official logo, while the Husky banner is waved at important school events.

 

 

 

 

Every so often, V likes to take out the school year book to look at the pictures of older kids and alumni, fantasizing about himself at age 12 or 16 or whatever, which sometimes leads into a discussion about adulthood and family and such. Last year’s book was signed by his first-grade classmates in their kiddie scrawl, some of whom aren’t in this school any more, but who he still remembers and talks about.

I had much fun decorating these cookies; the look on V’s face when he saw the plate was all the compliments I could ever ask for these.