by Van Smith
Early on in the pandemic, we made flash cards using a business-card app and our newly obtained printer. Our home having suddenly become a school/office, cafeteria included, an occasional practice after lunch for our daughters, then 8 and 10, was to zoom an astrology class with my Renaissance-mama sister, an artist up in Philly.
This home-schooling activity produced a set of self-descriptors that quickly proved useful as a vocabulary builder, when together we made a set of cards with definitions and sentence uses on the back. Collectively, it produced a wonderfully devastating portrait, a hybrid Hydra of all our celebrations and challenges as parents. “Aspiring,” “acquisitive,” “rapturous,” “enterprising,” “overzealous,” “foolhardy,” “egocentric,” and “pragmatic” combine quite artfully among them.
Zeroing in on the six words in the flashcard set that have as the sentence subject our dog, a 14-pound rat terrier on Prozac named Elphie (whose eternal existential battle is over territory dubbed “The Couch” by her owners), produces a mash-up of our daughters and dog, a montage to inspire both fear and adoration. Let’s take it in alphabetical order.
So there we have it: an assertive, conservative, demonstrative, fervent, impetuous, substantial lot, they are. We wouldn’t – indeed, we couldn’t – have it any other way.