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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…!

Pasha Finds His Voice

Pasha’s not playing with a full deck, some would say.  He reads slowly, understands concepts slowly, and finds it difficult to answer when put under pressure.  Thank you, birthmother.

It’s not always easy for him to understand that he’s now in a family.  The old behaviors from the internat (orphanage boarding school) are not allowed here.  It’s not survival of the fittest, and every child for himself.  We seek a more collaborative, team-approach to family life.

That’s why this breakthrough is even more meaningful.

The kids were out on the tennis court the other day.  Surrounded by preteen and teen youth, our guys and gals are harrassed from time to time.

“Why do you shake hands with the coach each week?” one girl asked Mashenka.

“Because it’s polite,” she replied matter-of-factly.

“Well, then I guess I’m not polite,” she sneered.


I like these little interactions which prove to the kids that they live in a little bubble of heaven-on-earth.  Plus, it’s good to be toughened up for real life.  If they had to take it 8 hours a day, that would be a different matter….

So this day, notorious bad-guy Ezra tells Mashenka to shut up.  Never mind that this is a common response to Mashenka who literally talks way too much.  But this Ezra tells everyone to shut up, apparently.  And Pasha had had enough.  He knew that in our family, we don’t even use such words.

This day, my tall and slim, six-foot, 120-pound, 15-year-old son who often acts 5, decided to take action.  This is how it went down:

Mashenka:  (yakkety, yakkety, yak)

Ezra:    Shut up!

Pasha:  You got a problem with my little sister?  Cause if you have a problem with her, then you have a problem with me.

Ezra:    No, man.  You’re cool.  I have a problem with her.

Pasha:  Then you have a problem with me.  Don’t talk to her like that.

Ezra:    (wide eyes, and HE shuts up)

Upon recounting the events to us afterward, Mashenka gives her brother a fake punch in the arm saying, “Thanks, bud.”  Both of them have wide smiles.  We give Pasha a high-five and tell him that this is what a big brother is all about, protecting his siblings.

But Benedetto has a question.

“What if the guy challenged you, if he said YEAH, he had a problem with you?”

“Then I’d knock his lights out,” Pasha conjectured, which is only too funny if you know the 90-pound weakling.

We all burst out laughing, while he thinks of a better reply.

“Then I’d say, ‘You have a problem with her, and with me, and with my other sister, and with my big brother, Petya.’”

“And then I would knock his lights out,” Petya laughed.

Yep, those are my kids.



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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar hoonew says:

    Love it! A great family moment! I love Pasha.

    (PS What’s with all the punks in the tennis club? Don’t they screen out the riff raff?)

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, hoonew. I think some families use it as after-school care and the kids might not really want to be there(?). There’s apparently a lot of aggression that builds up over the course of a school day, lol. I always ask where are the coaches and they say these things happen during transition times– arriving, leaving, moving to another court….

  2. avatar Sybil says:

    I loved this. This is what it is all about, family.

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