Shall I be Demeter or Athena or a Muse?

by cheri block

I had lunch with my daughter yesterday.

She had big news for me.

“Thanks to you,” she said, “Noah wants a Greek myths themed birthday part next month.  Look what you have started,” she said.

Noah is a second grader and will turn eight in May.

“I tried to talk him in to a Harry Potter party,” she shared.

“What did he say about that?” I queried.

“I’m over Harry Potter,” he said. (Noah has burned through all of the Harry Potter books.)

“Then, I suggested a Percy Jackson party, but he rejected that idea as well.”(Noah is now on book four of the Percy Jackson series.)

“I want the real Greek Gods from the real myths, ” Noah had insisted. (That’s my boy.)

I started reading Greek myths to Noah when he was about four years old. Each Monday, when I would care for him while his mother taught writing, I read him a different myth. From Persephone to Polyphemus, Noah and I read and reread the myths.

When he asked if he could watch a television show, I said, ” No, let’s keep reading and by the way, someday, sooner than you think, these myths will become relevant to you. Trust me, Noah. I am your grandmother and a teacher. Do you believe me?”

He always nodded perfunctorily though doubt lingered on his brow. I pressed on. We flew up to Mt. Olympus and descended into Hades. “No, you probably wouldn’t pet Cerberus, ” I answered.

“I’m not sure why Pandora had Hope fly out of the box last,” I shrugged.

“Maybe Zeus did know that Prometheus had stolen fire,” I conceded.

And the questions and answers rolled in, like the gentle waves of the Mediterranean.

I will be in Prague when Noah hosts his Greek myths birthday party, but such a distance will not stop Skype.

Let’s see now, who shall I be?

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Education and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Shall I be Demeter or Athena or a Muse?

  1. sledpress says:

    I think a Muse would be a good choice; you have a big selection there and it would be a chance to teach some more names.

    • Cheri says:

      Yes. I’ll have to do some research.
      Since we are studying Kafka in Prague, perhaps I can meld two characters…

      • sledpress says:

        I have a horrible image of a cockroach-headed Calliope. (Which sounds like some undiscovered avian genus…)

      • Cheri says:

        Your cockroach-Calliope combination has possibility for me.
        Judge Blah could combine poor Josef K. in The Trial with Poseidon. (Judge Blah is very comfortable in all forms of water–ocean, river, lake, pool, bath tub)

  2. You could Skype him at the party and read a Greek myth. Get Judge Blah in on this too. He likes driving around in his Demeter dedicated John Deere chariot.

    Does your family take Noah to visit the museums to look at Greek and Roman exhibits? I don’t know what there is in the Bay Area to view.

    Thanks to the Getty Villa, my wife really developed a strong, enthusiastic interest in the classical world. Something about the place made the ancients very real to her. It seems like your reading has made them come alive to Noah.

    • Cheri says:

      We have not taken Noah to the museums yet, but your comment reminds me that it is time to do so.
      I absolutely love your idea of including Judge Blah when we make our Skype appearance at the Greek myths party. Judge Blah should be Achilles, I think. A great warrior.
      The John Deere chariot is his favorite mode of transportation, Zeus. Just this week, he was clearing leaves and digging up the dirt, just in time for Demeter to arrive.

  3. Cyberquill says:

    Your sis should borrow Obama’s Greek columns from his acceptance speech. And you could call as Cleopatra.

    • Cheri says:

      That’s a very funny image. I remember thinking how silly it looked.

      My hairstyle with my bangs might be perfect for the Cleopatra look.

      (but I am missing the jewels…)

  4. Noah, Jungian analyst in the making.

    I’m not sure for the extraordinary grandmother Cheri for only she knows for certain. Now, if I were invited to this wonderful event I would bring a bow and a quiver packed full of arrows.

  5. Cheri you can not be but Clio I’m sure.

  6. Noah learned some good lessons during those last few years, and is certainly the better for it. He has had some education that some children ( and adults) never achieve, than ks to a wise grandmother. Bravo!

  7. Medea, with snakes as hair. Wouldn’t that make for a memorable Skype appearance?

  8. … Medusa Gorgon….

    • Cheri says:

      I am thinking about how I might carry this off. I’ll need to prepare my costume before I leave (and get it through security). A shower cap with those little rubber snakes…yeah…the idea is coming out (just like baby rattlesnakes do this time of year on our road).

      This Skype could be a You Tube winner with Judge Blah as Josef K. +Poseidon and his lovely wife as Medusa.

      P.S. I’ll give you full attribution for the Medusa idea on the clip. Might help your book sales. 🙂

  9. dafna says:

    Prague in May!

    very cool… what is the occasion? site seeing or student tour? have you already said?

    bon voyage and don’t forget your camera.

    be Daphne… judge blah can chase you around the room until you become a tree 🙂 (Laurus nobilis) the sweet bay tree which came to symbolize victory.

    • Cheri says:

      Hi dafna,
      Lots of ground to cover before that trip but thank you for your wishes. And right back at you. I understand that you are traveling to Israel and then Britain.
      We look forward to your reports.

      The image of Judge Blah chasing me is tempting, but since he hasn’t chased me since I was a girl, I doubt if I waste that type of time by turning into a tree.

  10. dafna says:

    oh and warn your bro to lay off the haroset this year. being a first born this time of year, always gives me the willies.

  11. wkkortas says:

    I absolutely horse-laughed at the line about how you probably wouldn’t pet Cerberus. Now that is the type of useful advice I wish my grandmother would have dispensed!

  12. Cheri says:

    Oh, shucks, I’m just full of useful advice like that ditty.
    Once a teacher, always a teacher. It’s in my blood.

    Just try to cut in line in front of me at the movies…

  13. Has that party taken place? And what, in the end, were you?

    • Cheri says:

      Hi Paul,
      No, the party is scheduled for the last part of May. We leave in about three weeks for Prague. Meanwhile, I am trying to write a paper about the Klamath River and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) by the Yurok Tribe.

  14. Nice, you had scrambling all over Google. I now know where the Klamath river and the Yuroks are.

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