Recently, I went to Boston to see my granchildren, ages 5, 3 and 19 months. I squirted them with the hose, played monster and Mother May I? and tag and school. I got to be the teacher when we played school, and I was so relieved. May my grandchildren always honor my need to control.
I read lots of books to them too, and even the youngest is so appreciative of them. When you finish one, he points to his stack of books on the dresser and says, "Xisutsleyx?" which is toddler for "How about another? If you would be so kind, I'd love to hear the one about when cake invites ice cream to her party."
When I got home, Bill, who had watched the pets for me, told me that my puppy had chewed up a very expensive pillow. At first, I was all upset. Then, two things happened. One is that I found out she only chewed the edge, so the crime was not so great--rather like someone biting just the very edge off your chocolate chip cookie--still plenty left for you. Then I decided that rather than getting the pillow repaired, I'd keep it as a reminder of when Gabby was a puppy.
There is a dog pictured on this website, a golden who was named Toby and was the best dog in the world. I know you think your dog is the best dog in the world and I'm sure he or she is a close second, but in fact Toby was the best dog in the world. And will be evermore. Even my friend Phyllis, who hates dogs (which begs the question how she can possibly be my friend but we'll get to that on another occasion) loved Toby.
Anyway, when Toby was a puppy, he chewed up one leg of my fancy French pedestal table. And I was furious. I thought, Now I have to get it repaired and that will cost a bundle and I won't have a table for as long as it takes and I'll have to eat off a tv tray which is no longer fun plus who knows if they can really fix it. I needed the table for the next night for a dinner party and then I just kind of never got around to fixing it. My sister saw the chew marks not long ago and said, "What happened here?"
Gabby chewing the pillow was a lesson in priorities. But Gabby, if you're reading this, I cannot emphasize strongly enough: once is enough. Chew one of your bazillion toys, not my pillows, okay?
Janis Joplin is on the stereo singing about "one good man," there is a ton of laundry waiting for me to do, I need to unpack and pack again, pay bills, return calls and emails, but the first thing I did today was to visit my garden, which is just waking up after a LOOOOOOONG winter's nap. The lilacs are very close to blooming and it breaks my heart to think I might miss them. I like to fill my house with lilacs when they come out. The scent practically assaults you when you walk in the door, but it's a good assault.
I loved being in Boston (where I just was) for lots of reasons, but the top one is that I got to spend time with my daughter, Julie, and her family. She and I took a walk one lovely afternoon with 2 -year- old Matthew, 7- month- old Katelyn, and 7 (?)- year old Wrigley, the chocolate lab, who can't believe how these dang kids have ruined his life, but he is very nice to them anyway. Matthew refers to the stroller he and his sister ride in as "Strolee" and was very concerned that it would be wet, as the last time he rode in it, it rained. He has not yet learned about condensation, or how things change. I remember the pleasant heartbreak and loveliness of seeing a child's perspective when my own children were young, their vulnerability and innocence. (One of my favorite memories is of Julie as a toddler about Matthew's age standing at the window watching the sun set and saying, with great wonder and appreciation, "The sky's coming down." ) I also appreciate little children's infinite wisdom. Matthew was so full of joy at the simple sight of the out -of- doors, at being able to walk ALL BY HIMSELF down the sidewalk. What a view, the sight of a toddler ambling along, that side-to-side, lurching movement, like a cute Frankenstein. Whenever his Mom or Dad pull up into their driveway, him in his carseat in the back, he says with out- and- out joy, "We HOME!!"
The tour is going fine, and what a pleasure to meet the readers I have. Two women in line became self-described "insti-friends" in Boston--I love when that happens. The reception for the book has been really great--I love when THAT happens, too. It keeps me in green olives, which I have to buy today because I'm making that green olive chicken dish for dinner AGAIN.
Han China Comparison Essay At A Glance
My son reads voraciously — always has! He has a lot of information locked up there in his brain. However, he does not enjoy writing at this point. I find this very frustrating because I always thought that his writing would follow his reading. Now that he is entering 9th grade, I am inclined to provide him a rich literature experience, but, although I know he will read and discuss what he reads just fine — the writing about this literature, I think, will be awful. It is difficult. He loses interest. Then he becomes a zombie. I’m sitting here thinking that I should divorce his reading (let him read great lit but not expect him to write about it yet?) from his writing — at least for this year, and just see if I can get him on a more comfortable footing with putting words on a page. He has done IEW Elegant Essay, and he can write a 5 paragraph paper, but it difficult if is not about something that he enjoys a lot! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!