Izumi just told me three stories that were just too funny not to share:

The Afghans in the Locker Room

We’ve been going to this gym on the other end of the island and Zoomer’s told me a few times about these two rather Rubenesque women in the sauna that always seem to be drying their laundry or something. She could never figure it out and didn’t even recognize the language they were speaking – they always sounded angry and one of them would give her dirty stairs. Today she was at the gym and again, they were in the sauna, taking up most of the space with all their clothes again.

But today, one of them reached out to Izumi. She smiled and tried, in broken and rough sounding English, to communicate. She explained that she was from Afghanistan where, at 14 she married and proceeded to give birth to six children. "Boom, Boom, Boom" she said slapping her palms demonstratively. Pounding her chest she proclaimed, "Now, am 55 – it’s over! No more children! Zvittt!" she said while demonstrating that she got her tubes tied to shut down the factory.

Tyler and the Autistics

Tyler seems to gravitate towards autistic kids. He’s compelled by how much they can teach him. This year there is one child who is just mildly autistic and Tyler has been hanging out with him learning all sorts of things. Today, Tyler came up to Izumi and was kind of in awe of this kid. "J. knows so much! He knows about the weather and stuff, he’s going to be a scientist for sure!" Neither Izumi nor I knew that J. was autistic so Izumi shared this compliment with J.’s mother who was so happy to hear that a classmate of her child could see past his handicap and find what’s special in her child. Funny thing is, it seems like all the mothers know that J. was autistic and I guess the kids clued in on it too and kind of gave J. a wide bearth. Tyler was just fascinated and would hang out with him and J.’s mother really was touched. It’s nice to know that your kid doesn’t even have a negative bone in his body and can seek out the good and special in someone and hold it up and celebrate it.

Julia 4 a Day

Yesterday was Julia’s 4th birthday. It was really special for her as I think she actually soaked in the significance of it and basked in the little extra things that were showered on her all day. She came home from school proudly wearing a paper crown her pre-school teacher had made for her – she was on Cloud Nine and went to bed happy. When she woke up this morning, longing for happiness of the day before, she asked when she could be four again. When Izumi told her that she’s going to be four for the next 12 months and flipped though the calendar to show her how long that is, Julia’s eyes popped open, "Wow! I get to be four for the whole year!"