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Posts Tagged ‘grandchildren’

If there is not a hurricane threatening the coast of Louisiana, October is the best month of the year. I love October. The air goes from a balmy, humid, highs-in-the-90’s to crisp, windy, highs-in-the-70’s. This year, three days after Hurricane Zelda, Halloween Day was one of those perfect weather days.

At my daughter’s house, Leo lay sleeping, their dog was “at camp”, and all the doors were wide open. Grant, my son-in-law, had built a fire in the fire pit. He was drawing Halloween characters in chalk on the sidewalk while a gumbo simmered on the stove.

I’m not sure if it’s being a certain age or the whole weirdness of 2020, but I have been more in tune to finding Joy, and I just felt in my soul this was going to be a Joy-filled day.

I had the privilege of waking Leo from his nap. When I walked in, he was curled around a plush bunny with his heavy diaper sticking up, a pose we call child’s pose in yoga for a reason. I tickled his back, and he slowly woke with an expression of happy anticipation on his sleep-lined face. He knew this was a special day.

Leo’s excitement for this day was increasing by the minute. He was awed by everything, the chalk drawn characters, the costumes, the fake spider hangings, blow-up pumpkins and witches and ghosts. Neighbors dropped by, and he marveled at their children, two little boys one 3 years old and the other 19 months, just his size. (Leo is 22 months) He doesn’t quite play with others as much as they play around each other. But he quickly learned their names and was calling after them when they left.

To prepare for Halloween, I borrowed a butterfly costume from a friend and bought Leo a caterpillar costume from Target. It fit well, and he loved it! His favorite thing to do was run in and out of my flowing butterfly wings. He says “flutterfly” and “paterpillar.”

My greatest joy was walking hand in hand down the street while Leo talked nonstop, “Light! Pumpkin! People! Man! Excited!” Every word he knew in a stream of exclamation.

These are frightening times we are living in, but in the eyes of a toddler holding hands with his grandmother, life is full of Joy and Wonder.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

The greatest joy of my summer has been spending time with my grandsons. Leo is 19 months and is learning new words every day. One of his words is “bird” that sounds more like “bir,” and he has the cutest tweet sound.

In our courtyard, I’ve been working on attracting more birds. We’ve hung a few feeders. We have chickadees, titmice, and cardinals visit. Leo has noticed them. He will stop what he’s doing to look up at the sound of a chickadee.

It was time to change the suet feeder. I wanted to involve Leo, so I googled “DIY bird feeder for kids.” This video popped up.

I wondered if the recipe would work using the wire suet feeder rather than cookie cutters.

Easy peasy and great for toddler time. I boiled a quarter cup of water in the microwave and added it to a large metal bowl along with one packet of gelatin. Leo understands the concept of hot. He said, “Hah. Hah.” I gave him a wooden spoon to stir with. After stirring the gelatin, I held a measuring cup of bird seed (about a cup) while Leo scooped the seed using an ice cream scooper.

Leo focused on stirring and scooping.

With the metal frame on a baking sheet, I scooped the mixture in ready to wait and let it harden. When I took Leo off the chair he was standing on, he immediately screamed “more! more!” while making the more sign. It’s the only sign he knows, but it’s an important one. So, we did another batch. Why not! The metal frame was big enough to hold two batches.

I am amazed that, with heat indexes in the 100s, the mixture is holding up, not melting. I sent Leo (his mom) a picture I took looking out the kitchen window of a male cardinal perched on the feeder.

Cardinal at the feeder.

While the news is bleak, let’s remember the simple joy of watching birds. “Bir! Bir! Tweet! Tweet!”

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life
new baby blanket waiting

My middle daughter, Katherine, is waiting. We are all waiting for her baby to be born. His due date is Sept. 5th, so he will be here soon.

Last summer in August, Katherine had a miscarriage. It was tragic, yet her doctor told her then that she expected she would be holding a baby within a year. The day after the procedure, I took Katherine to a little yarn shop to pick out yarn for a blanket. I have been crocheting prayer shawls and blankets for the last few years. She said, “I’ll pick out the colors, but I don’t want you to make a baby blanket.” That was her sorrow talking. The blanket above is complete and waiting.

One method I often use for finding my way into a poem is to observe outside, then go inside, and back outside. Driving home a few weekends ago following the Mississippi Book Festival, I looked outside and inside and outside for this poem.

So We Must Daily Keep Things Wound
(title from a Madeleine L’Engle quote)

I love how the raindrops
glisten on glass
dotting the landscape
green and awake.

I keep the cell phone charged 
ready for her call
when cramps turn to contractions.
I wait, want, worry.

I read somewhere that the egg
for this child was planted
in her womb from my womb–
this curious circle of life.

I keep my eyes on the clouds
fluffed up and pregnant
with rain, more rain.
It keeps on coming. 

(draft) Margaret Simon

NCTE Note: I’ve registered for NCTE 2019 to be held in Baltimore Nov. 21st-24th. I am looking for a roommate. Let me know by email if you are interested.

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