Along her journey to learning English Rebeka has picked up some great phrases. “Oh my gosh” is one of them. “Goodness gracious” is another. And the other day in an Uno game, when I played two draw two cards in a row and then laid a draw four on top of that, she said, “thanks for nothing.” That’s a Clay-ism.
She is speaking more and more these days. “Meredith take me outside upstairs,” and “I don’t have yellow shirt” and “May I have water please?” After a little more than three months here, I think this is pretty darn amazing. One of the ways I know she’s feeling pain from a cast change is that she goes silent. Now that she has English words, this is a sure sign that it’s time for more Advil and some ice.
She handled last week’s cast change well, after the initial freak-out in recovery. Talk about oh my gosh. “Oh my gosh there is no nerve block on my left leg this time and it hurts, hurt, HURTS!!” Our sweet nurse administered pain-killers, including morphine. After drugs and some “Georgie” (Curious George) that played on the laptop in her lap, she calmed down, and we went home that same day. Note to self: always bring headphones. They did a great job of blocking out other kid’s “oh my gosh” moments as they woke up all around us. The recovery room had four or five other kids waking up from their surgeries. Their reactions ranged from sweet, loopy smiles to screaming and vomiting. Oh my gosh. Thank goodness for curtains and headphones.
We experience “oh my gosh” moments all the time with Rebeka. Like the day I left Rebeka and Kate to face paint while I ran a quick errand. Clay was right outside, and Kate could run out and get him if they needed him. They looked perfectly innocent.
Then I came home, and “oh my gosh.”
When Rebeka first came here, she did very little imaginative play. She liked to dress the dolls and bears we drug out of the attic, but no role-playing. She didn’t make them talk to each other or pretend to feed the baby. It was as if she didn’t know how, and that made the fiction writer in me so very sad. This past week, we plopped ourselves in the “middle room” where most of the dolls and stuffed animals live, and lo and behold, they all had a tea party. She gave sailor bear little sips and made sure purple-tail-horse had some bites of cake.
One morning we looked on our back deck to see hundreds and hundreds of feathers. A hawk likes to chase pigeons into our window. They slam hard, scare the “oh my gosh” out of us, then drop to the ground where they are a tasty hawk snack. This time we weren’t around for the slam, but we witnessed the aftermath of the snack. That hawk wasn’t very tidy.
Then there were the fireworks we saw on Saturday night, being shot off the bluff across from our lake house. Probably some sort of F1 fanfare. And then the “oh my gosh” at Christmas decorations going up all around the house. A personal favorite: the Santa who swings his hips to Jingle Bell Rock. Or the discovery of forgotten remote control cars from a Christmas past. The batteries still work, and with their light up tires and ability to flip themselves over and keep on rolling, they are definitely an “oh my gosh.”
But maybe my favorite oh my gosh happened this morning, and it came from my own lips. Rebeka is not one for public displays of affection. Kisses and hugs must be stolen. But this morning, when Alayna picked her up from the breakfast table to go upstairs and get ready for church, Rebeka flung her arms around Alayna’s neck. A real, honest to goodness, unsolicited hug.
Oh my gosh. That’s all I can say, blink, blink. Oh. My. Gosh.