Saturday, April 24, 2010

What If God was One of Us...

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
He's trying to make his way home
Back up to heaven all alone
- Joan Osborne

Children watch everything we do. Good or bad, significant or not. How we treat others, how we use power in the world. When I taught high school, the kids would ask about anything that was the teeniest bit different about me or the classroom. I have twin toes on both of my feet. One day I wore sandals without socks. The kids noticed and started  a rumor started that I had 6 toes on each of my feet.

Aiden and I were driving home from school. I stopped at a red light. A homeless man was standing on the divider, looking forlorn, disshelved, and very thin. He was holding a sign that said, "Please Help. God Bless you.""   I rifled through my wallet, found a $5 bill, I looked the man in the eye, smiled, and stretched my left hand to reach him.

From the backseat, a little voice, "Why you do that, Gramma Jannie,?" Aiden asked.

I said Jesus wants us to share what we have with others who are hungry or need something. When we got home, Aiden ran into his room, went directly into his cash register, took out five dollar bill from his play money and gave it to me. And kissed me on my cheek. It makes me teary just thinking about it.

We were tired and thirsty so we each  had a lemonade popsicle, then watched the Bears, a new one called,
” By the Sea.”

We went downstairs to the fountain-we brought bubbles and a fruit roll.

A neighbor brought down her grandbaby, Giana, so Aiden could see her. The woman’s name was Lauri.

Aiden sang “Little Bunny Foo Foo” for the baby girl and she smiled.

Randy came home while we were outside and Aiden just screamed he was so happy to see him.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rebecca and the Fairies

I picked Rebecca up from preschool on Monday. She was dressed in her usual; knee-high pink cowgirl boots, striped orange and green flowing skirt, Little House on the Prairie bonnet tied around her neck, and purple t-shirt.  She also had on a big smile as I approached the door of her school to sign her out for the day. I usually try to bring my art supplies on the afternoons I spend with her, but this time I also brought a gift a friend of mine had sent for Rebecca.
We have a routine. I help her get strapped into her booster in the back seat. I ask her, "What did you do today?" She replies, "Nothing."  A few minutes later, with an eye on the rear view mirror, I asked, "What did you learn today?" With a big grin, she answers, "Nothing." I say, "You mean those teachers just let you all run wild all day?" and she says, "Yup."

Next comes playground news. Rebecca announced , "I made a ship to sail across the sea. We didn't let any boys get on. It was for girls only."  I tell her about always being kind and not excluding other kids.  Rebecca says they finally let the boys ride, but the girls still owned  the ship.

"Oh, no Grandma. I'm out of gum. Can we go buy some more?"  I say sure. I keep a pack of gum for both she and Aiden. They keep their gum in the small indentation in the armrest of each of their sides of the back seat. We drive to the convenience store, Rebecca skips through the store, stopping in front of the gum display. Today it's grape Bubbleicious.

As we are getting out of the car at her house, I tell her I have a present for her from my good friend, Jan Maria. She unsnaps the seat belt, climbs over the seat and lands on my lap. We laugh and disentangle, I pop the trunk, and go around to get my watercolor paper and her present. Once inside, I hand it to her. There is a small, soft-bodied fairy doll tied to the bow. Inside, the prettiest fairy paper dolls we've even seen. And wings and a mask. The paper dolls are glossy, double sided, beautifully painted, with clothes that fit over their heads so they stay put and little flower purses, dresses, daisy crowns, and great little stands so they don't flop over.

For the next two hours, on her knees on the chair, head bent over the table, Rebecca delicately popped the dolls, dresses, and accessories out of the book. She set me to work with an ultra fine black Sharpie drawing bedrooms with flowered bedspreads for the girl fairies. We worked feverishly until dinner and then I helped her attach the child sized wings to her back. I remembered how much I loved paper dolls when I was little. I even made my own by cutting out the hand drawn babies out of the Sear catalog. I felt happy and so content. So lucky to have this little girl in my life. It was a very good day

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Little Spot of Tea and an Itsy Bitsy Treat

Another sunny day, but almost freezing overnight. Aiden and I watched the Bears, then went outside to play. We played kick the “pine cone” for an hour or so, Aiden running around the fountain singing “Ring around the Rosie” and the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" song. He threw the pine cone in the fountain over and over because the centrifugal force kept returning it to him. He’d kick, I’d kick, he’d yell, "Yeah Gramma! Good for you."

When I told him we needed to pack a bag to bring to Rebecca’s tomorrow for a play date, he wanted to go inside. He looked up at me and said, “We had fun today, didn't we?”

We had another play dough time, then made pink milk for his teapot by mixing fruit punch and milk. I took two of his little plates, squirted a whipped cream star on each, and then put a blueberry and a teeny piece of strawberry on it. An itsy bitsy dessert.