Sunday, December 6, 2009

my friends

Naiya’s been telling lots of stories lately. Often they begin like this, “My friends said...”, or “Once, my friends, they went to...” Most often these are not actual living breathing friends to which she is referring. Nor are they specific imaginary type friends. They're abstractions. Maybe a way to back herself up. I’m not sure. If ever I ask about these friends she is vague and changes the subject or ignores my inquiries.
Today we were in the kitchen once again. I was chopping up nuts for the granola. Naiya was curiously watching . Mostly quiet. Then she pipes up, “My friends...they say you can carpen a knife.” I look at her and smile. When she makes these grammatical errors I usually gently correct them within the flow of conversation without bringing too much attention to them. “They say we can SHarpen knives?” I ask her (with a slight emphasis on the SH). “No.” She replies. “My boy friends...they speak Spanish and they say you can Carpen a knife.”
“Okay then,” I say. We both smile at each other.

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