Marta Maria

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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Recently some of Epp's friends from Eestimaa showed up seeking shelter in our Big Apple and bearing gifts for one little toddler who knows how to say most anything in two languages.

One of those gifts was a DVD of Nukitsamees. This is an Estonian childrens' film from 1981 and it was filmed near where Epp is from, Karksi-Nuia in South Estonia.

It's a very northern European children's film - filled with witches, trolls, and one baby troll that two Estonian children adopt. The baby troll - Nukitsamees - literally 'horn/goat man' is just this little bad ass that wrecks the quiet order of country life. Marta LOVES Nukitsamees. Maybe she sees a little bit of herself in the little boy that causes constant chaos.

It is Marta's habit to fall in love with a movie and demand it over and over again until a new film comes along. For awhile she really liked the movie Polar Express starring Tom Hanks. More recently she's been watching Kõige Suuremad Sõbrad, another gift from the land over the sea.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

When your daughter looks like your mom...

"Oh my God, she looks just like your Mom!" If I had a quarter for everytime I heard somebody say this (including my mother) I might have about $10.00 US in my pocket by now. But the truth is that, yes, my daughter Marta does resemble my mother. The catch though is that she must also resemble me, because it was my genes that assembled 50 percent of Marta's genetic makeup. Mom's only account for 25 percent of that. So yeah, she looks like my Mom...and me.

That being said, it's weird to have a small woman who lives in your house that looks like your mom, especially when the little woman is as stubborn, persistant, and bossy as your mother is. When a small 2-year-old girl points at you at yells, "No, Justin! Stop!" with a familiar tone of arrogance - yeah, it's a bit strange.

But the other half of the matter is that my mom and my wife both have light complexions and blue eyes, as opposed to my swarthier tone, and so it's easy to link Marta to the blondest, blue-eyedest person she's related to - my mom, or my wife (who is less familiar with some individuals in the 'She Looks Just Like Your Mom' community).

And because I bear some resemblence to my maternal grandfather (above), I have to wonder if there is some sort of cyclical shadow theater going on. Was he chasing my mother like I chase my daughter around the backyard, around the house, on his toes at all times lest his baby daughter run into the street in a moment of head strongness?

He was the same age I was when I became a father for the first time. So I do feel a certain kinship with the man. I also wonder about number 2, if and when he or she pops out. Will number 2 look "just like my Mom" or will the Gods bless her with a different but familiar face? If my daughter looks like my Mom, could I have a son that looks just like my Dad?!?!?!?!?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My Child...

That's her...