Saturday, May 30, 2009

36, but whose counting?

You know what they say, 'older and wiser'... this year I really feel wiser, and thankful for everything I have in life. So my trusted sidekick made me some cupcakes (with some assistance of course). And I tried out my new pastry bag for the first time and I am certainly still a domestic apprentice when it comes to the frosting, but I have till July to perfect.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Talk with your kids

I wanted to share this site because it sends a very simple and powerful message: talk with your kids before everyone else does!
I had one of those conversations this morning as I was helping Anjali into the car. She said " I wish I was the same color as all my friends." I totally knew what she meant but pretended not to and asked her what color she meant and she pointed me to the Cheerios and said "that color". I got the message clear! I asked her what was wrong with her color and she said 'nothing'. And I talked to her about how beautiful she was just as she is. Quite honestly, I was not prepared for her to ask 'that' question. But Portland is such a fair skinned city that I can understand why she feels left out, especially when the whole class slaps on sunscreen. Even the smattering of non white kids we know are mixed-race. I might have to launch a more aggressive everyone can be/look different yet beautiful campaign.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Have I told you about the Wiz?

You know how it is when you have a kid one thing leads into another and before you know it your life gets consumed by it? Well... that's what happened to us with the Wiz. It all started with the post-Nutcracker doldrums. While flipping channels during football season Anjali caught about 5 minutes of the Wizard of Oz, and was riveted, asking lots of questions. A few weeks later a local high school was doing a production of the Wiz (a musical based on the Baum story), and I got us tickets. We sat in the front row and the rest is history as they say! I have to admit the story and the music swept me away as well. I got her the Wiz sound track and she now knows all the songs and listens to the ENTIRE CD EVERYDAY. Not having been an Oz fan I had to quickly get hip to the Oz phenomenon. The Wiz was a 70's braodway hit with an all-black cast with Diana Ross as Dorothy and Micheal Jackson as the scarecrow. Everyone my age who grew up here know all the songs. And so now that circle of the awe-inspiring land of Oz prevails in our house. Everything is about Dorothy, as it must have been in many American households since 1900 when the books were first published. I've got my mind on Oz themed birthday cupcakes...mmm.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

End of an Era

For those of us my age who grew up in Sri Lanka, the conflict with the LTTE defined our lives. By all accounts as of May 17, 2009 the quarter century old struggle has the signs of having ended. I personally feel conflicted as I always have with this struggle. Being a Sinhalese I never bought into the Sinhala Buddhist majority having their overruling authority over the country. But now we are at a point where there really can be an opportunity for peace, prosperity, economic growth, and better quality of life for all segments of Sri Lankan society, or...not.

The WSJ had this opinion that reflects upon how we got here and where we need to go as a nation. Reading this made me reflect on my own experience of the conflict and dug out this poem I wrote 13 years ago that got published in a student newspaper in Cambridge, MA on April 23, 1997. Reading it makes me smile because my style seems naive and juvenile (and I rarely write poetry anymore). But then again all those words still hold true; except the number of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers killed are about 70,000. I hope we as a community of Sri Lankans have learned our lesson.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mothers Day! all you fabulous moms out there! We enjoyed the day with our favorite weekend activity...a hike. We hiked up Catherine Creek in the Columbia river gorge and the views were breathtaking. And Anjali was really impressive scrambling over rocks and avoiding poison oak (despite being tired from a preschool party the day before). She even made a song to get by the poison oak "over the hills we go, over the hills we go, don't touch the poison oak, over the hills we go".
Being her Ammi is the best thing that ever happened to me :-)