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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Forgetting, Forgetting, Forgetting

forgetfulnessIf it’s not one thing, it’s another.  I wrote last week about our oldest daughter having problems with doors, keys, transitions, and directions.  Maybe one day she’ll work for the traffic police, or be a realtor-!

Our other daughter, Sashenka (13), as well as our younger son, Pasha (16), experience challenges with their memories.  Ask them the most inane comment or storyline from a movie several years ago, and they’ll remember.  Ask them if they did today’s homework, and they’ll suddenly forget.  Everything.  As if on cue.

It’s not selective memory in the self-serving sense (although that could be argued many a time…).  Instead, it’s them not understanding the high stakes of this ongoing shell game that they wish to play with me as the shill.

“My dress?” Sashenka blinks innocently.  “Must be at the dacha.  It’s not reminder_HEROhere.”

“But have you really looked?  I mean, go through the closet, check in any boxes, look under your bed–,” I tell her.

“I think I must have left it at the other house,” she reiterates.

sports-jacket-with-jeansHaving been in this same, exact film numerous times, I inform her in no uncertain terms, “And what if it’s not there?  Then you’ll say that it’s here, and you already, supposedly, looked here….”

“I DID look here….”

And on and on it goes, carrying the young girl back and forth several times, each time insisting that it HAS to be in next location.

Taking on another form, her brother behaves in a similar way, usually 1317977377-01871400not actually losing things as he did with a pair of cargo pants this week, but usually switching the wrong item for another item.

“Your sports jacket.  A black sports jacket—which, remember, has nothing to do with sports, but is more casual than a suit jacket,” I intone.

“But I always wear my suit jacket.  It’s a black jacket,” Pasha protests.

th“It’s not the right black jacket.  You don’t wear a suit jacket with casual pants,” I try to explain, knowing that it will not be heeded nor appreciated. 

All that I care about right now is that we find the missing items.  Call it whatever you want – forgetfulness, memory lapses, ADHD, FAS, XYZ, and ABC, and it still boils down to the fact that something has been forgotten that needs to be remembered.

“Listen,” I counsel Sashenka.  “Everyone forgets things from time to time.  Don’t you see how Mama makes lists?  Then I check it off.  137Where is your homework notebook where we wrote the different items you needed to pack?”

“I left it behind at the other house….”

I give up.

Her latest big deal was a pair of shoes.  Trying to be a kinder, gentler model of my usual drill sergeant self, I had not commented when, for a couple of weeks, she had “forgotten” her everyday shoes.  Rather than get away with murder and wear her tennis shoes every minute to situations where they would be deemed inappropriate, she wore her dress shoes.  She had her father absolutely convinced that I was not giving her sufficient time to find the other shoes, when, nobody had depressed-childbrought them to my attention until they were totally needed.

And by then, they were gone.

“Where could they have gone?” I asked.  “Shoes don’t fly south with the geese for the winter.”

“Maybe she threw them out,” Benedetto conjectured.

“THREW THEM OUT?!”came my cool, calm, and collected response.  “They were new shoes, and she liked them.”

This was the one time that he actually made her go out with us and use some of her birthday money to buy the same thshoes.  That might get her attention.  I’ll just say, she was none too pleased with us that day.

The feeling was kinda mutual.

I’ve talked with the kids about always putting their shoes, or sunglasses, or books in the same place.  You know, the importance of having a “system” in place.  She eventually did find the dress, wadded up in the corner of shelving with winter sweaters, all because she can’t be bothered with hanging up her clothes.  It’s “faster” to just toss the clothes here or there… and then spend weeks trying to locate them.

thBoth Sashenka and Pasha are easily distractable souls, and could have a type of attention deficit.  Yet, as she headed into her 13th year recently, a time that should conceivably be one of great joy and excitement signalled deep depression for her.

“Hey, tell your face you’re happy about your birthday!” all of us urged as she remained a sullen sourpuss for day after day, when the entire family was trying to make it special for her.

She wouldn’t come out of it for over a week.

Immature to start with, I now believe that she was mourning the loss of her childhood (“I’m getting so old, so fast!”).  She was not only losing specific items, instead, she was losing herself, and feeling herself to be a loser, with one reality simply mirroring the other reality.

The good news is, we who were once lost can be found.  May it be so with Sashenka.


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