Tuesday, November 24, 2009

...there grew a golden tree...

Hedgehog is a special girl, serene-looking, waist-length straight hair and fine posture, lovely and composed and well-behaved in school. She reads widely and seriously--an ongoing favorite is Tolkien, which she studies in bed at night like a bible. So when she was assigned to choose a poem or a song to present in class, I was not surprised that she picked Galadriel's Farewell to Lorien, from "The Fellowship of the Ring":

I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold,
and leaves of gold there grew.
Of wind I sang, a wind there came
and in the branches blew.
Beyond the sun, beyond the moon,
the foam was on the sea,
and by the strand of Ilmarin
there grew a golden tree...


and it goes on from there, and of course I had tears in my eyes when she sang it to me, in made-up tune and a little off-key, because she herself is so very Elven (in the Tolkien sense--graceful, brave, upright, and otherworldly) and because I am amazed by her all the time.

Hedgehog is a good girl, but as I've said before, she seems to have an affinity for a certain type of boy...

The afternoon of her presentation, when I asked her how it went, she was much much more interested in telling me about this year's naughty boy (there's always one, isn't there) who brought in lyrics with curse words, and how the teachers told him that he couldn't read them aloud in class.

What was the song? I inquired with great avidity.

She started to giggle, It was the Beastie Boys, Mama.

Ah, I replied. Most of their songs have bad words in them. So which song was it?

My Elven 3rd grader, who recites elegies to lost worlds and worships the beauty of Old English, began to stagger under the weight of her laughter, overcome with the wonderfulness of being bad.

So? Tell me! I demanded.

She was practically falling down with hilarity.

Finally she squeaked out, but with precision:

"B-Boys Makin' with the Freak Freak!"

Oh, indeed. B-boys makin with the freak freak. I could see it all so clearly: as Hedgehog stood to the side and watched in delight, clutching her own poem like a talisman, the bad little boy rode those words in a glory of naughtiness, at least equal in daring and boldness to the heroes of Middle Earth!

35 comments:

mago said...

:) Hello!

"Beastie Boys"? I'll have a look at youtube.

kylie said...

ah .....yes.....the allure of the bad boy

i love your description of her hilarity

Candie Bracci said...

Hi Leah!Been missing your post.Your daughter is a wonderful little girl indeed.I understand the attraction ;)

savannah said...

delightful! xoxox

Poetikat said...

What a charming post and you have caught the feeling exquisitely.
Perhaps we could have a podcast of the Galadriel piece from your Elven child?

Jen Chandler said...

Your Elven child sounds positivly delightful. What is it about the attraction of the bad boy? Hmmm...a conundrum to say the least. I hope your hiatus from blogging was a relaxing one.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Jen

MJ said...

Yay! You're back!

Brian Miller said...

welcome back leah!

what a beautiful selection she chose. and the boy, he dares much and in that i think has the allure.

no sleep til'...

smiles.

happy thanksgiving!

Hunter said...

The "mashed potatoes" sample in that track always kills me.

So glad to see you back from your hiatus!

Karen ^..^ said...

Yay!!! I'm so glad you're back! I missed you terribly. You didn't even facebook much!

Hedgie is adorable, and I'd love to give her a big squeeze sometime.

Most young girls go for the girly boys in their tender age, and then settle for a bad boy later on...

Maybe your girl will do the opposite...? That would be great.

Pat said...

And the greatest of these is a sense of humour.
Atta girl Hedgehog!

Leah said...

mago: the Beasties are pretty good, at times, but definitely not suitable for the wee ones!

Kylie: it's all very harmless when the bad boy is still just burping and cursing, but it's later on that I worry...

Candie: thanks for stopping by! I was going to stay on break, but I just had to write about this...

Savannah: Hedgie just makes me laugh SO much, all the time she isn't either making me weep or driving me bonkers...thought I'd immortalize this little scene...

Kat: A podcast is such a great idea--I want to do one too if I can figure out how. And I shall be over to your place today too--I fear I've missed a great deal! xo

Jen: Hedgie is a delight and also a challenge! Really, very much a challenge. And I must say, the hiatus was nice. I'm going to do it again soon--although the allure of blogging is rather strong, don't you think?

MJ: for the nonce, anyway. And by the way, I was struck speechless at the Croc monstrosity over at your place...

Brian: hi! Yes, that boy is certainly daring. Sarge and I were discussing where his parents were in all this--after all, he's only 9! And that song is really quite risque. Where did he even get ahold of it?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Hunter: I'd forgotten about that sample. When the Beasties are funny, they're spot on. I like them.

Karen: I really haven't been around, have I! I've missed you too.

It is very interesting what you say, about young girls going for the non-threatening girly boys. I do think that might be true in general, especially during latency before fully articulated sexuality has set in. It was certainly true for me. But maybe Hedgie will go the opposite way, we can only hope!!!

Pat: you are so very right--it does come down to having a sense of humor, and I'm so glad Hedgie has one. It's the sine qua non!

Liza said...

I loved this.
You are a MARVELOUS writer.
Thanks for sharing.

Baino said...

Haha . . bet it made the teacher blush as well! Nice to have you back!

Poetikat said...

Leah, if you have a recording device on your computer, just go to podomatic.com and take it from there. It's very easy!

Really glad you're back!

Ronda Laveen said...

Ahhh, I absolutely loved this post! I am a lot like Hedgie in that department. I tend to ride on the high side but respect, revel and enjoy the low. HA, irreverence...there's something to be said for it. GO Hedgie! (Just not too far for too long, okay?)

Tom said...

awesomely funny. i'll bet you were falling out of your chair, as well. Welcome back.

Leah said...

Liza: thank you for saying that, it means a great deal to me!

Baino!: I just couldn't stay away any longer...I do wonder whether the teacher blushed. The school is very progressive, and the teachers rather young and decidedly urban, so maybe not! When I was at school, at the same school, in the 1970s, they might not have stopped me from reading those lyrics out loud! But it was much more permissive back then.

Kat: I believe I found my recording device, and I am going to try to do a podcast. Thanks for the info!

Ronda: I really like how you put that--ride on the high side, but respect, revel and enjoy the low. I'm definitely like that too. Probably where Hedgie gets the idea!

Tom: it really did make me laugh!

otin said...

That pretty much sounds like something that I would do! It would have probably been Black Sabbath with me, though! Nice to have you back!!!

Mr. Shife said...

Great post Leah. Truly awesome. Your daughter sounds like a sweetheart and I hope she finds herself a good and not too bad of a boy when she is older. Thanks for sharing and glad your hiatus was a short one.

mago said...

dear, too tired for much ado. don't like these b.boys, but i'm a 46 european volkskundler with a mixed history and not an 11 girl or 9 boy - they like to play these children, to test the boundaries und sie freuen sich daran das tabu zu erforschen - nicht zu brechen, denn dann werden sie ja erwachsen, dann beginnt etwas Neues. Noch ist es Spiel.
The text is as much about her as about you. What do you see, what do you imagine? Trust her and speak open. The boy is 9, if hes no wunder of development he has no idea what he's talking about or he has and then i wonder what school your daughter attends and where you live? AY the Bronx. Not 1972 - gesittete bürgerliche Haushalte today ... it may be unverschämt von mir or even impossible, but try to see your daughter in total, from different points of view. HEy - don't get upset I do not say "don't love" I appeal to your rational and philosophical side. She is your daughter, she's you too - And something NEW.

somewhere there's sense in this but now excuse me while i collapse on that sofa.

Skeeter said...

Hi Leah,

She is growing and developing. When my son arrived at that tender age and developed feelings that tended toward a certain type of girl, it was difficult, but entirely necessary for him to expereince. It's an interesting time to be sure.

Best wishes to you both.

Skeeter

Jimmy Bastard said...

Bad boys indeed, huh! The apple rarely falls far from the tree.

Good to see you back hen.

Leah said...

Otin: something you would've done? Hah, yea, I can totally see that! And I think that Black Sabbath has more moxie than the Beastie Boys, but maybe that's just me (and you!).

Mr. Shife: she is an awesome kid, thanks! I think she will be okay in the long run. Those bad boys can only hold so much allure before they either grow up or begin to seem silly...maybe?

And my hiatus was pretty short, but I had to write about that. I'm trying to go back on hiatus...

Leah said...

mago: okay, it took me a few minutes, armed with my rudimentary Yiddish and a German dictionary, but now I think I understand what you're saying. And I didn't think you were being impertinent, and it made sense. I always enjoy your musings.

Yes--it's the age, exploring taboos, testing boundaries--but not going too far, because that might be dangerous and scary--I guess some do it more than others, and some just stand by and watch and giggle. I agree, that boy had no idea what the words in the song really meant, and of course neither did Hedgie--but the sound of it, and the "badness" I guess, was appealing.

Anyway, I think I do see Hedgie for the whole child she is. And yes, it's always about me as well, how could I help it? Especially because she's a girl, she gets reflected back at me, as me, but not as me. I try to limit that perspective though and let her be her own person...

Okay, I went off on a tangent and now I'm not making much sense. Hopefully not too much was lost in translation.

Leah said...

Skeeter: that is very interesting, to contemplate the preferences of one's child--unnerving too. Hedgie is still such a little girl that I'm not sure any of this is really germane--although, she's turning 9 and that's a pivotal year...

Leah said...

Jimmy: time will tell about that Hedgehog...but there is no doubt about my preferences!

Anyway...I can't decide yet whether or not I'm "back." A break is a good thing...I won't use the word "salubrious" again because I've already overused that one!

Jimmy Bastard said...

Aye.. I know the feeling doll.

nick said...

What is it with bad boys that so many girls have a sneaking (or not so sneaking) attraction to them? I suppose however well-behaved you are, there's always something a bit thrilling about out-and-out naughtiness....

Leah said...

Jimmy: I am oddly burnt out. I wish I was not.

Leah said...

Nick: and you should know, you and that Voluptua! ; )

subtorp77 said...

Hedgie as a serious reader...this is a good thing, is it not? Dunno bout the "bad boy" stage tho'( but it may come to pass ) HUGS to you both :)

mapstew said...

Good to see you.

(Don't all the girls like a bad boy?)

xxx

nick said...

Join the club, I'm feeling oddly burnt out as well. And not just because of Voluptua. Maybe it's the dreary autumnal weather. Or something.

Leah said...

Subby!!!!!: so nice to see you. Yes, Hedgie's voracious reading is a really awesome thing. She's been reading since she was three (my mom taught her) and she's never looked back. It's been fascinating to watch her development.

map: maybe some girls like a nice boy? At least a nice bad boy.

nick: I woke up this morning with renewed vigor! Let's see how long it lasts...