Small Fry

Children phototechnique.com

They may be small

They may be young

They may often get taken, transferred, pushed around.

They may get little voice

About things that affect their lives.

They may have few actual ways

To keep alive.

Their views may be ignored

Laughed at

Minimized.

Their needs may all too often be relegated

To agendas others have.

But small as they are, they are mighty

They are brave of soul

And heart.

They hold opinions

Dreams

Ideas

Insights.

Our care makes all the difference

To the future

That they hold

Inside.

For The Daily Post

 

Happy Girl

Happy Girl from pintrest
Photo: Pinterest

She giggles at the slightest silly

She grins at mirrors

Smiles through windows

Makes a dozen strangers’ day.

She beams at dogs, at books

A toy, a leaf, a pigeon

The world itself at play.

She chuckles at her own reflection

Adores someone’s freckles, wrinkles, shoes.

She rejoices in a pigtail, a polka-dot ribbon

Celebrates a doll, a braid, a tube of sparkling glue.

She chortles with abandon at a joke

“Again, again!”

She finds joy in the smallest moments

Her laughter paints bright happy into

Even the most mundane.

 

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Jiggly Biggly Boo

There’s a special place in heaven for well-loved toys. Missing ears, tatty limbs, dangly eyes, bald patches, poke-out stuffing, stained coats. Wet tummies with mold, too.

A little one described it to me, his gray-blue eyes bright with loss.

Their house had gotten damaged in a flood. Along with wet carpets and soggy couch pillows, a few unredeemable yet oh-so-precious loveables also had to be tossed out: a bunny, a teddy, and a well-hugged-sloth named Jiggly Biggly Boo.

“He got wet all the way inside him tummy,” the boy shook his curly head. “Maybe we don’t have no more towels … ” he paused, confused, then sighed. “Jiggly Biggly Boo had to go to toys heaven.”

He raised large sad eyes at me. “They have tummy towels? Him tummy got wet. He got mowed.”

 

stuffed-animal-sloth

Stuffed Sloth: The Discovery Channel Store

 

 

For The Daily Post

The Scent of Home

syrianrefugee-unicef-photo

Child Refugee – Photo by UNICEF

The scent of home that she no longer has.

The spices, baking, the aromas

Of togetherness

And family

And love.

The scent of grandma,

Gone,

Killed by bombs.

The scent of ugliness

And war.

The scent of mornings

Blurred by smoke.

The scent of sea, now tainted

With the stink of gasoline

And sick

And worry.

The scent of tent

And mud

Hunger

Cold.

The scent of hope

Faint but held

In Baba’s handkerchief —

He said he’ll find them

One day

In Wherever Land.

The scent of fear

In mother’s arms

Trying to filter comfort through her own terror

Devastation. Loss.

The scent of home that she no longer has

Wafting away

In search

Of someone

Who will help

Her

Make a new one.

Ten Day!

ten-from-etsy

Photo: Etsy

 

She’s turning ten TODAY!

No more single digits. A two-number age from now till the foreseeable horizon of life.

She’s excited.

She is giddy.

She is a tad hesitant about transferring into a group that possibly puts her in the same category with ‘old people’ like her Momma and Papa, or me, or even — gasp — her Nana, whom she loves but is oh-boy-so-very-old …

She is turning ten TODAY.

A birthday like none prior. No turning back now that she takes the one-way step into two-digit life.

She’s shiny-eyed.

Happy with a chance of maybe.

Her mother is a little teary. “She’s growing up. I’m glad and I am sad …”

She’s turning ten TODAY.

A cake with two handfuls of  candles. A dinner of her choice. A celebration. A row of little gifts. Perhaps one for every year.

She’s pleased.

She’s shy.

She is a little frightened.

“What if I don’t like being older?”

I smile at her sweet honesty.

Her mother sighs. “… Welcome to the club.”

All Packed

beyondtherack-com-cupcake-backpack

beyondtherack.com cupcake backpack

 

She packed a snack, Baby Bear, her rainbow blanket. She stashed a book and some crayons, last week’s (slightly stained and missing a corner but still meaningful) drawing of butterflies and “maybe aliens.”

She added a half-eaten cookie, a seashell, a necklace (you just never known when you might need one). She tried to squeeze in her pillow but it “won’t go.”

She put her shoes on (wrong feet, still fit).

She zipped the bag and pulled her hat on. Splayed the coat on the floor, pushed her arms into the sleeves, and flipped the whole thing over her head just as she’d learned. The coat slid on but tugged the hat off as it went, sending it to lodge someplace between her shoulder blades.

She paused in apprehension, then shrugged, jumped in place … ‘birthed’ the hat from under the hem and victoriously repositioned it on her head.

She nodded in satisfaction, reached for her bag and hoisted a strap over one shoulder. Squirmed and wriggled to get the other arm through the second strap.

“There.” She breathed. She looked around.

Frowned.

Being ready was nice but actually leaving was less enticing. All those hours at preschool before she got to see Mommy again.

Her shoulders slumped. So did the bag. Her lip quivered.

A moment passed. She brightened.

“Mommy!” she called. “Can you pack me a hug?”

 

For The Daily Post

“I tried and I tried”

Everything is harder for this little one.

Her body doesn’t quite know how to calm itself. Her hands don’t always know the extent of their reach. She trips. She falls. She bumps into. She upsets the cup, the plate, the markers on the desk. It takes her longer to climb up a flight of stairs. She needs help tackling them going down. Her mouth doesn’t quite make sounds as easily as others’ can: words come out jumbled, not always the right sounds or meaning, often in a mismatched grammar and word order. Food gets messy. Swallowing’s tricky. She gags. She coughs.

But she tries.

Oh, boy, she tries.

And tries.

And tries.

She’s a perfectionist, too.

Indomitable.

Determination personified.

Everything requires repetition. Still she tries again. Again. Again. She shakes her head at any suggestion she accept the unperfected.

“I do more time,” she insists, sometimes in tears but with no less conviction.

And she does. ‘More time’ and time again and then again and then some.

And slowly, sometimes out of the mist of helpless frustration and gritted teeth and hugs and endless patience — she succeeds.

A circle that closes. A list of items in a category. An idea expressed. A multisyllabic word with no sounds missing. A full sentence with all words in attendance. A coat pulled on without assistance. A triangle traced. A tower of blocks. A pattern of beads. A banana that peels without the insides getting mashed. A sip of apple juice from an unaided cup, no spill, no cough.

“I tried and I tried,” she beams. Each time anew. Sometimes with tears still glistening from the last attempt that didn’t quite get up to her own standards. Each time there’s fire in her eyes.

“I told you I can!”

Indeed you had.

Indeed you can.

Hats off, little one.

Every. Single. Time.

drseuss-determination

 

For The Daily Post

 

Overworked, Underplayed

overscheduled

The mom consulted her phone’s calendar.

“She has soccer on Mondays right after school, then she has a pre-reading tutor. Tuesday she has piano after school but I can rush her to you if you have time for a session at 5:30 or so? She’ll be a little tired and maybe hungry but I can give her dinner in the car on the way here or something. Oh, actually, next month she’ll start rehearsals for her recital. Thursdays are really difficult because she has gymnastics and then they have rehearsal training, so she won’t be able to do anything before 6pm. Maybe that’s a bit too late? Fridays she has another pre-reading class. I really don’t want her falling behind. Maybe I can bring her to you after … though she has some playdates scheduled next month. Saturday she does ice-skating. …” Looked up. Sighed, “Do you work Sundays?”

The little girl is not yet five.

 

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For The Daily Post

 

 

It’s Pretty To ME!

She wanted three pig tails. One in a braid. On that side.

She chose a pink and burgundy polka dot ankle sock for one foot; a striped brown and green crew sock for the other.

She pulled on sparkly silver leggings and an oversized, over-loved tan shirt from her brother’s cast offs. Cracked number 4 on the back. Dinosaur eating a basketball on the front.

Added several rows of plastic New Orleans beads, a pasta necklace, an Elsa pendant, and an ivory fuzzy crop shrug “to not be cold.”

Blue loafers.

A bracelet.

Unfolded that crew sock.

Twirled in front of the mirror.

Caught her mother’s horrified look in the reflection. Mom in solid pastels and tidy gold necklace, pressed slacks blending into same-colored oxfords.

“What!?” She placed one hand in protestation on an expertly side-jutted hip. “It’s pretty to ME!”

 

beautiful1

Image from: Lovethispic.com

 

For The Daily Post

 

Exquisitely You

She wants to be just like her favorite celebrity.

She prances in front of the mirror, mimics facial expressions, pouts lips, struts, copies mannerism, makeup, tone, clothing style, way of speaking.

He wants to be just like his football idol.

He waddles his still small frame to mimic a quarterback. He frowns and he grunts. He copies mannerism, tone, clothing, way of speaking.

They want to be just like those who hold power.

They swagger. They pose. They pretend to be tough, put on apathetic faces. They copy mannerism, tone, clothing, way of speaking.

She forgets. He doesn’t know. Maybe they weren’t told.

Of the exquisite being they each are. Already.

Each unique.

Poised to be who they were meant to be.

One of a kind. On this earth. In this time.

Let us tell them, tell ourselves:

“Watch others for what is true, for what is right, what is kind,

Learn what you can,

But remember

You are.

You can be.

No one else can

Be

Exquisitely you.”

outside the box

You do you!

 

For The Daily Post