Skip to main content

A Name by Any Other Name Still Means One of Us

The neighbor down the street has three grandkids visiting her this week. We have a pool. And Game Cube. And five kids of our own. We are seeing a lot of the grandkids.

Grandkid One and Two have "Yes, ma'am" down to a tee, excellent manners and immediate obedience. Grandkid Three? Not real strong in the obedience department...or the manners...or the honesty department. I have learned something about dealing with kids who spend a good amount of time at my house. I make them toe the line from day one. This kid is learning that he can't pull the wool over my eyes and I won't cut him any slack. He does not know who he's messing with, buddy!

He also doesn't know my name or any of the kids' names or Stuart's. He came to the door at 8:30 yesterday morning. "I want to play Game Cube with that big kid. What have you got to drink?"

"The big kid's name is John and he's still asleep. If you are thirsty you can get a glass out of the cupboard and get some water."

"Don't you have tea or soda or anything?"

"I have water."

"What are you drinking?"

"This is coffee. You cannot have coffee. You can have water. Then it's probably time for you to go home. None of the kids are up yet. We'll come get you this afternoon when we go swimming."

He left. I wished for a stiffer drink than coffee.

The Grandkids Three joined us later that day for a few hours in the pool.

"Miss Squirrel!....Miss Squirrel!....Miss Squirrel!"

It dawned on me that Grandkid Three was speaking to me. There was, after all, a Miss prefacing Squirrel.

"My name is Miss Kate. What do you need, Grandkid Three?"

"Watch this!" Two sommersaults in a row without coming up for a breath.

Grandkid One and Claire were hanging out beneath the slide. Grandkid One asked Claire, "What's your name again?"

"Claire."

"That's a long name. I can't remember long names."

"My mama calls me Claire or Rosie. Can you remember Rosie?"

"I might be able to remember that."

Grandkid Three bellowed from the far end of the pool, "Mom! Mom! Your little kid needs you!"

"I'm Miss Kate, Grandkid Three and that's Charlie."

After a few hours of this, the Grandkids Three dried off and headed for home. We reminded Grandkid Three to get the orange golf ball that he left the first time he came over, the bottle of bubbles from his second visit, and his shirt. He did not remember. We added his towel to the collection.

In a few hours, after The Little Kid and The Kid With the Long Name and The Big Boy and the other two go to bed, maybe Mr. Squirrel and I will go out for a swim. Alone.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Spelling Wisdom

One day while skipping around the internet, I came across these:




And when I clicked on the sample, I knew we had to change spelling curriculums. Again. Goodbye Spelling Power and MacMillan and Sequential Spelling! We've found our true love.

The problem with the afore mentioned curricula is sheer boredom. Memorizing lists of words is mind numbing and as my children don't like their school work to lull them to sleep, they often push spelling to the side in favor of more exciting lessons.

When I found Spelling Wisdom, I realized what has been missing: an idea, something to engage the mind so that learning the difference between than and then occurs almost incidentally.

Sandra Shaffer uses the writings of famous men and women (Helen Keller, Beethoven, Winston Churchill...), Bible passages and quotes from quality literature...poems and novels (Robinson Crusoe, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, All the World's a Stage...) to teach more than six thousand frequently used word…

Rain

My sister-in-law lugs a heavy bucket of water around her herb garden, gives each plant a long sip. "It's been three weeks since we've had rain," she sighs looking out over the dusty vegetable garden and the shriveled brown grass in the pasture beyond. We help my brother pick beans and pull the weeds around them. The dry ground pulls back and some of the weeds snap off above the roots. We give up in the strawberry plants, sit on the porch, listen to the dogs pant.

We travel home in an air conditioned bubble. The whole length of the Shenandoah valley is crispy brown, the corn stunted. We pull into our Amish county driveway, greener here but the grass is short and the air hot. We breathe shallow breaths, unpack, crank the air conditioning. No rain in the forecast, three weeks and counting.

Saturday there will be a wedding, an outdoor wedding, and finally rain threatens. Stuart is on the phone with the bride. "Pray that the rain holds off," she says. Saturday w…

Until Death...

Kindred spirits, Anne would call them.  Two who complete each other, two who are better...best together,  soul mates one cannot imagine apart.  I can count the kindred marriages I know on a couple of fingers and after last week, that count is down by one.

"You look so happy," Dave says as Stuart and I stand awkward and wordless before him.  I bend down to wrap my arms around him and wonder, Where is the good in this?  Where? A week before we bumped into Dave and his wife, Deb, down at the Famous Brands.  Deb glowed with good health and good news and for the remainder of the day we basked in the unexpected good fortune of meeting these old friends.  And now there is Dave minus Deb.  How can this be?
"It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live."  Mark Twain's Own Autobiography
"You look so happy." We do not look happy but somehow this remark makes sense because Dave has loved with …