The Children, 2020

November 26, 2020

I had a real good conversation with Liana today. Our first since she called on my birthday. So wonderful to talk to her! I worry about her and the rift between us. We were always so good, so close. It’s been hard to be estranged!

We have messaged some the last few months, and she said we could talk. We did get into some real talk, and I feel better about how she is doing in general. She is talking about leaving Georgia, which is hard for me to think about… ugh. I think there are lots of painful times coming. To be expected, I guess.

She also told me some disturbing things about Lucy, so I need to talk to her soon. Life is complicated. I feel bad that I get so focused on my own issues that I don’t reach out to them.

In the home front—June is continuing to spout new words, sentences even, and her grasp of emotional nuance is truly amazing. “It’s just me!” she shouted to Marvin tonight. And she’s been saying, “That’s mean!” We spend a lot of time together, and she can be so sweet and sensitive to my emotional state! I put on the nice Guatemalan shirt that I seldom wear. She looked at it intently for a moment, then said, “I like that shirt!” She sounded just like her mom.

December 4, 2020

June loves “fly-flies.” Her name for butterflies. She’s been catching the slow o es for a while now as they feed in the flower garden. We try to get her to let them go quickly, and I don’t think she’s hurt any. Now it seems she’s into bees! She had one light on her finger briefly, and Taylor told me today that she coaxed one onto her finger and fed it icing from her cake! Pretty astounding! Never saw a kid play with a bee!

Her sentences are too many and varied to keep up with now, and they are getting longer and more complex. “Wait here, I’ll be right back!” is one of my favorites. She is really excited about the Christmas tree!

December 15, 2020

Tonight in the bath, June said, “I can swim! Check it out!” She also asked for a washcloth and soap to wash her face, which I usually have to persuade her to do. Another perfect sentence, with perfect diction and construction: “Mommie needs to use your knife.”

We had a great and happy Christmas season!

Fairy sisters

November 10, 2022

Anna June has for some time now — I think more than year — been telling us about her ‘first family.’ We have humored her, and the stories have grown wilder. Usually, she talks about her sisters who lived or live on Cake Street, and occasionally mentions her first Daddy or first Mommie, with some reference to what they did or said or taught her.

Often, when asked where she learned something, she says it was from her sisters. Usually, she says that her sisters died, and it’s often from something that we’ve recently talked about as dangerous.

The latest version of the sisters, I think last week, is that they were fairies. This helps to explain some of the amazing things they’ve done. Although Taylor and I take her seriously and never tell her it’s not true, Marvin always laughs at her and says they’re just imaginary. It doesn’t seem to bother her that he says this, or deter her seriousness in talking about them.

In fact, we have considered that she may be remembering a past life. The level of consistency and seriousness she has about them does make us wonder if it’s just imaginary friends or if there may be at least some elements of remembering in it. It is mostly I suppose just part of her very imaginative story-telling — which is pretty astounding. She has always loved my “little Johnny” stories about things that happened to me, and for a while now, she’s been making up her own versions of these and getting me to repeat them to her. Especially if I say I don’t want to tell one, or I can’t remember any new ones.

She also engages in story-based play with her dolls, stuffies and small characters. I wish I had recorded some of her storylines, but usually I don’t remember. But they are often quite involved. She does have an astounding imagination.

In fact, it’s proving challenging to teach her the virtue of truth, because she’s so good at just making things up that it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not! We’re working at it!

Anna June 2022

(A few more current entries from my notes on life with Anna June.)

July 23, 2022

Oh lord! June’s pretending to talk on a phone (one of her dominoes), and she tells me that her pretend brother called and wants to go on a date. I tell her she can’t, because she’s too young, plus no dates with her brother!

She calls him back and says, quite emphatically, “I’m not going!” Then she tells me that he’s not happy and is threatening to have her arrested! Oh lord. She’s four.

Aug. 2022

The kids are in school now. Things are going well so far, though the run up was hard! Getting ready and being emotionally prepared has been stressful for us both. June was doing “pretend school” tonight, and came out of her room in a skirt and wearing her backpack. She struck a pose and asked, “Don’t I look cute!!?”

June has been sick and missed a few days this month … we’ve all been sick off and on. I guess stuff they’re picking up at school. I got a negative on a COVID test, so I guess it’s not that.

June is loving school and Marvin’s hating it. Everyone else seems to be doing okay, though I don’t hear much from the other kids. Lucy went on a tour out west with a circus group, had a great time.

Sept. 2022

June continues to amaze us with her learning — and drive us crazy with her stubborn willfulness. She loves playing with scrabble letters and dominoes and is learning letters and numbers. She also has the concept of adding! She loves trying to write her name, and other letters and numbers. She uses very advanced words and phrases such as “a gust of wind” and “illness.” And she’s forever asking “Why?” or “What does that mean?”

October 2022

June and Marvin loved our Eden family gathering at Gene’s. Baby Hugo was the cutest thing, and June and Sophia loved playing with him together. Eight kids in their generation there.

November 2022

We were playing with the TicTacTony toy, which has red and blue discs. June arranged them as a flower and said, “It’s called the red and blue flower, written by James Carolina!”

She’s learned the concept “equal.” And, amazingly, she read correctly all the numbers in the table of contents in one of our books! I had to help her a bit with 109, but she got the other hundreds correct.