My friend, Bear

CW: mention (no detail) of dog death in children’s literature

When Child 2 was five he started a reading program at school. He was an early reader, like his brother, and the teacher was gently extending his skills. Every day, he had to pick a book from a specially marked box, bring it home, and get one of his parents to read with him. The idea was that he’d read, we’d listen, and if he stumbled, we’d help him sound out words and figure out meanings from context.

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On 17th birthdays and glimpses of the adult

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Image by Ed Schipul/Flickr

So, here I am very early on Godzilla’s 17th birthday, resting on the corner of Testosterone Lane and Horsepower Road. Having two teen boys in the house means a lot of muscle flexing, boundary pushing, and territory marking. They wake with teasing exchanges that rapidly morph into the rat-tat-tat of suddenly flared tempers. And before long, like two elephant seals, they’re bumping and jostling each other over the most trivial of things. Left to their own devices, I’m sure they’d find a way to argue over two flies climbing up the wall.

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El Sibonéy

 

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Yellowtail filet with yellow rice and fried plantains at El Sibonéy ©Asha Rajan

Our second day of vacation in Key West, we Yelped for restaurants not too far away (always a criterion when moody teenagers are in tow), and El Sibonéy came up. The rating was good, though not stellar, but the reviews piqued our interest. They were resoundingly good.

We headed out for a late-ish lunch, bellies rumbling, tempers just beginning to fray. Only a very few confused, hangry directions later, we found this unassuming treasure.

The building’s a brick 1970s home, gutted and converted into this bustling Cuban restaurant. From the outside, apart from the snaking line of waiting diners, there’s nothing to suggest that this is somewhere you might obtain an actual meal.

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The things I was never going to do…

When I was in my teens, I knew I never wanted to be a teacher.  My father was a teacher, many of my uncles were teachers, my cousins were teachers, there were teachers everywhere I looked.  I knew with the certainty of  teenagehood that the last profession on Earth I would ever enter would be teaching.

When I was 22, I finished a graduate diploma in teaching.

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