Monday, April 24, 2017

Rock, Rock

I guess rocking is one of those things that never ceases to be soothing, no matter how old you get.

Maybe it was for that reason that I spent a lot of time in a rocking chair after Rip died.

It was an old rocking chair of my great-grandmother’s that my parents had recovered while I was in the hospital, a bright apple green that went perfectly in the nursery that was not to be and yet still was. All those months after Rip and before the arrival of Gracie, I spent countless hours in that rocking chair- rocking my pain and wondering if there would ever be anything other than pain to rock. 

Praying and rocking and vivid apple green are things that flash to my mind when I think about this time in my life.

This weekend, I put Sam down and was on my way to do the same for Gracie, when I heard him calling out. Taking her with me, we all fell into the big rocker together and I felt the weight of their bodies as they drifted off to sleep.

Not everything in life wraps itself in a pretty little bow, and this story doesn’t either, but in that gentle back and forth motion with two chests rising and falling in time I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so thankful. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oh, The Places You Will Go

Dear Gracie,

Ironically, this is very hard to put into words, but I’m going to try.

You are learning to read, baby girl. Its funny, because up until now I haven’t seen that spark in you- its been your brother who will bring book after book to me and beg for more. 

But as you start to sound out your words, and I see it click- first cat, then bat, then mat…allllll the rhyming words... your eyes lights up and sparkle. We are so much alike in that way. You want to be good at it, really good, before you let yourself love something. 

Let me tell you though- please don’t wait to fall in love with books.

Just go for it. Let me help you, you don’t have to be perfect at this.

I remember sitting with your great-great grandmother on her screened porch, drowsy with summer breeze and and Hawaiian Punch, and falling deep into the world of Ellen Tebbits.

To this day your Pop still thinks the word “fresh” is a good substitute for cool because Claudia Kishi said so when we were making our way through The Babysitter’s Club.

I always stand a little taller because I am Anne “with an e”, as girl with red hair once taught me. Much later, the girl with the red hair and I both grew up and lost someones we loved very much but didn’t lost our “e”-ness.

There was a great man who wrote about the place you live like nobody else. His name was Pat, and I got to meet him once. He taught me that words can also heal.

Gracie, the books you read will become part of who you are, they will take you places you need to go and bring you back when you move a little too far from where you want to be.

So sweet girl, as you tell me so often, put your finkin’ cap on. 

Keep going, and to quote another word lover, “Will you succeed? Yes! Yes you will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)”


Your book-lovin’ Mama

Friday, January 20, 2017

Little Brown Coconut

I have not been as good at documenting Sam as I was Gracie, mainly because once there was a Sam there was also a Gracie and I didn't have time for much of anything.

That said, lately my baby boy is turning into a big boy and there are things I don't want to forget.

In between fighting like cats and dogs, my boy and my girl really do love each other and it makes my heart happy to see them play. Sam has called his sister "GC" since he could talk but just the other day he started calling her "Wacie" and hasn't turned back- despite my repeated urgings. The artist formerly know as GC finally told me I needed to let it go.

Other recent heartbreakers were when wawee turned into water and Bammy turned into Sammy. I get that a thirty-year-old asking to get in the wawee wouldn't be so cute, but why'd it have to go so fast?

This morning after breakfast as I cleared his plate,  I said, "Why thank you Sammy, it was a pleasure doing business with you. Please come back again some time!"
And he shook his little finger at me and moved his head and said," No, no Mama. You no say dat. You jus say tank you." And waltzed out of the room. Burned by a two-year-old.

Despite his cool exterior, Sammy-boy is still my cuddle bug. He is currently in a little Daddy stage (traitor) but will give full body hugs and big kisses on command.

Current loves are all things Thomas the Train, turtles, Moana, and trolls. He tries to mash his hair to look like a "Wholl" (aka stick straight up) and hollers "Mama you mess my wholl haiw upppp" if I have to touch it for any reason.

With his little silky bowl cut and big brown eyes, I could eat him with a spoon. However, he is not one for nicknames, and will be quick to correct you should you forget.

For instance, "Sammy, you are just a little brown coconut"

(Affonted) "ME not a yitta bloun totanut! ME Sammy Askell Awwis!!"

Sammy Haskell Harris, don't ever change, we could not love you more!