Friday, February 10, 2012
A handful of memories
You can tell that there is a love affair going on. You probably can't tell by this lovely picture that it's like a circus at our house. Note the performer in her tutu and the big happy face clown. See the barking dog and hissing cat? You say you can't see the animals?
They are resting on the arms of the recliner. The dog is to your left. The cat is on your right and wears a wedding band. The human performers control the animals. The clown owns the animals and the ballerina bosses (trains) them. Grandpa Bill and Nicole can sit there for fifteen minutes playing dog and cat with his huge "paws". The dog barks and tries to bite her. She smacks it and tells it to lie down. The cat acts up. They all aggravate each other, the dog, the big guy, the cat, the little girl. They giggle and laugh out loud. It is the most annoying game I have ever witnessed, literally, all they do is annoy one another.
But it such an empowering, playful and simple game for this little girl. It is one of those memory makers that I hope she holds onto for life. I cling to a similar memory I have of my grandfather and me. I called him Pappy and he died the day after I turned six. I smile everytime I think of how I sat on the porch with him and looked in awe as he drummed his fingers and made the sound of clopping horses on the wooden rail. I tried in vain to replicate what he did. When he said, "Hear the horses? Here they come," my eyes widened, my brain sparked (hear/here...I got it!). I looked all around for the real horse, because I am old enough to remember milk being delivered by a horse and wagon in our North city neighborhood. We lived blocks away from a dairy.
When an adult gives a kid a hand early in life, it should come in the form of a love pat, a playful gesture, a positive stroke. Reach out your hand to a child today, anyone's child.
This is for writer friends, think of someone in your early life who gave you a hand up, who hands down was the best influence, whose hand patted your back, rubbed your brow....you get it. Now write a paragraph about it, and if you allow your words to flow, you may end up with an essay to submit. And then if it gets published, everyone will give you a hand for you accomplishment.
OKAY, I'll stop. Now you get going.