Friday, June 5, 2015

Moo for me

Ever since I was a child I have had a love affair with books.  I know I am not alone in this.  Can you remember the first books you fell in love with?  I can't quite, but I've been told that they were Chicken Little
a farm animal book, and that I tortured the adults in my life with requests to read and reread them until I had them memorized.  Then I made everyone listen to me as I "read" to them.  I guess what goes around, comes around and now my life is filled with a granddaughter who follows close at my side, begging, "Book!" "BOOK!" and carrying a couple books with her.  The three choices all have farm animals in them, and she patiently turns the pages until the cows show up.  Brown cows or black and white, photograph or cartooned, she begins mooing and looks expectantly at me as I have to  perform, again and again, my only really good animal impersonation, a deep rumbling moo that leaves my glasses vibrating until my nose tickles and her hand rests on my chest where the vibration makes her giggle.
 Children can be exhausting, but also inspiring, and as I have less time and energy, I also find my imagination dredging up new story ideas and material for new details in old stories.  So finally I am at the end of a long, busy school year that saw some writing, but no finishing of novels, and I am often sitting with the child on my knee, but I am suddenly sure where the stories are going and I'm having a great time getting there.
 I look back to old pictures of myself as a child and a teen and I remember hearing even then that I was an old soul, an adult in a child's body, someone who did not fit in with her peers much.  But suddenly I am where I must have always been meant to be.  I do fit in this role, I am a grandma and have always been a caretaker and a storyteller.

Welcome to the summer where everything feels magic, because she has no memory of ever seeing a Cherry tree turn pink, it was that way when she was born - but the blooms quickly blew away.  This ear she sees it and every new sprout and bloom is a fragile but somewhat terrifying thing that must be greeted with delight and awe, and touched with a hesitant single finger, ready to pull back quickly if it hurts or pop into her mouth and savor it, if it is a new, yummy.

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