Archive for the ‘The Joy and Wisdom of Children’ Category

Rainbow Joy

Last evening I went to a fun but bittersweet farewell party for good buddy Ellie Covington (who is Texas-bound, Galveston).

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After a torrential downfall forced the party onto the carport, the late-stayers ventured out onto the dock by the marsh and saw this …

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(Do you see the second one to the right?)

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Of course, we all had to get a little silly.

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I quickly texted the pic to my fam and got this response from daughter Emily (mother of grandtwins Madison and Mathew) from the other side of Savannah:

“We can hold it too!”

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The joyful promise of a rainbow!

May the excitement and happiness of children be with us all, especially Ellie as she makes her move to the next successful stage of her life!

Don’t Tell ME You Can’t Tell I Teach at an Art School!

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(Van Gogh)

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(Michelangelo)

Last evening, I grandson-sat Daniel (8) and Gabriel (5) while daughter Amy and son-in-law Orte went fancy gallivanting around town.

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First, we played a quick game of basketball in the 110 real feel (Neal feel!) Savannah heat, quickly realized we were idiots and ran back inside.

Then we ate a hasitily prepared supper (I like the word “supper” in the summer south so much better than sometimes-pretentious “dinner”), consisting of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and scrambled eggs and microwaveable bacon.  (Okay, so maybe not the healthiest Savannah summer supper choice.)

Afterwards, I broke up a third fight over what level to play a video game (Skylanders?  Huh?) and threatened pain if they didn’t stop.  (Do grandchildren anywhere take grandparents’ threats seriously?)

Finally I suggested drawing pictures.  Daniel immediately bought into the peace ploy, quickly pulling out the tools.

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We went to work.

D and G:

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D:

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G:

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Me:

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To be honest, I think I felt more pressure since I teach as an adjunct at an art school (SCAD–Savannah College of Art and Design).  Allright, so maybe I teach ESL (English as a Second Language) there.  But still, it’s an art school.

Daniel’s first (of nine pieces!) finished work of the evening:

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“Spyro Super Fire Balls.”

Gabriel’s first (and only): “Morning Apple Orchard” (which looks a little like “Spyro Super Fire Balls”):

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(“This makes my hand hurt,” he exclaimed, upon completion–and immediately lay down under the dining room table to rest.)

My first work, “Spotted Dog with a Bad Attitude”:

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The muses inspired, and the art continued to roll out.

Daniel:  “Let me brainstorm on what to call my next one.”  (Two second pause.)  “Sharp Tooth Spyro!”  And so it was.

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“Mega Bolt Cynder”:

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“Destroyer Horn Spyro”:

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Daniel wasn’t the only one the muses attended to:

“Green Tree Circle of Life”:

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“Self Portrait”:

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When we finished, Daniel and I curated an art gallery in the sun room.  (We barely heard Gabriel as he kept yelling from the playroom:  “Stop drawing!  Stop drawing!”)

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At one point Daniel looked at me and said, “This is SO much fun!  Don’t you agree, Abu?”

My artistic heart melted.

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I have FOUR grandchildren.  (Yes, you’re right, I’m FAR too young.  We all know that.  It’s a given.  But sometimes Mother Nature has a way of bypassing her laws of when people should have grandchildren–and presents them in, well, early, early middle age.)

Anyway, the second-from-the-oldest-grandchild is Gabriel, 5, a rambunctious bundle of pure little boy-ness.  He’s often affectionately referred to simply as “G.”  In his most recent pre-K school report, the patient-as-a-saint and give-her-a-raise teacher wrote that Gabriel is “smart, funny, with many friends … and has a touch of naughtiness.”

Here’s G (on the far right) with a few school buddies,

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And here he is the other night with older brother Daniel (8).

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Today I received this text from my daughter/G mom Amy:

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The brutal honesty of children.

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Other Things

I love the quote on seven-year-old grandson Daniel’s invitation to me for his school’s recent Grandparents’ Day:

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Other things may change me, but I start and end with family.”

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That Bass

 

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So this afternoon I picked up grandsons Daniel (7) and Gabriel (4) at school, as I usually do on Mondays and Wednesdays.  They are loads of energetic, joyful fun (well, except when they are trying to reach across their booster seats and hit each other in the face, and I have to threaten to call the cops).  Today, after Daniel went on and on and on about how he could most definitely beat any fifty boys in his school in a footrace, Gabriel finally loudly interrupted him and asked me, “Abu, could you please put on some rock music?”

Since I just had Susan Boyle handy, I had to turn on the radio (did you KNOW that cars still have radios?!), and found “Eye of the Tiger,” the lyrics of which both boys immediately starting perfectly belting out: “I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!”

“Aww, so cute,” I thought.  “So positive, so uplifting.”

The next song that blasted in my little Scion I had heard only once before, back in October, at a quirky little place on Bourbon Street in New Orleans called Café Lafitte in Exile: “All About That Bass.”

As soon as the tune started, both boys started yelling, “It’s all about that bass, bout that bass, NO TROUBLE!  Yes, it’s all about that bass, bout that bass, NO TROUBLE.”  (I found out later that the actual word there is “treble.”)

In case, you haven’t heard it, here’s Meghan Trainor singing her hit.

(It’s sorta PG 13ish, so be forewarned.)

(Note to self: remind the boys’ parents how old the boys are.)

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What a difficult-to-get-out-of-your-head tune!

And before I realized that Meghan had used a couple of less-than-four-year-oldish-appropriate words, we were in the boys’ driveway, stopped, listening to the final minute of the song, while mom stood at the front door awaiting a kiss from her boys.

When I got back to my place, I COULD NOT get the song out of my head.  So I YouTubed it.  (Can you use YouTube as a verb?)

BIG MISTAKE.  There are upteen versions and parodies of “All About That Bass.”

Here’s my favorite:  “I Just Need Some Space” by a mom, singing about the travails of motherhood.

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And here’s a Guy Version:

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And, look, here’s a version with Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and Meghan:

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Okay, I have to stop this.  It’s getting ridiculous.  It ain’t ALL about the bass.

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Kid President’s Advice to New Babies

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I love Kid President’s advice to babies on their first day of life.

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Magic Dream Spray

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Do other folks out there do what my family does?  All get iPhones and set up a little Family Group Messaging System?  Well, my two daughters Amy and Emily, along with Donna (even though divorced now, we remain the best-est of friends) have done just that.  And it’s such an incredibly efficient strategy for staying in touch, bothering each other constantly and having SO MUCH FUN!

The other night, daughter Amy (wife of Orte and mother of grandsons Daniel, 7 and Gabriel, 4) sent us this text.

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I LOVE faith-stretching strategies such as that!  My response:

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A bit more of Amy’s explanation:

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Me:

 

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End of discussion until a couple of days later when we received this text from Amy as she, Orte and the boys were driving down to Florida for the weekend:

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Family … magical.

Maybe that’s what family is … Magic Dream Spray.

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