Nature’s Child

Dear Grandparents,

It never ceases to amaze me—how kids can accomplish the most remarkable things.

I believe it is their innocence and their innate honesty that propels them into the virtuous pursuit of life and joy and, along the way, leads them into the discovery of work and play, and heartbreak, and justice and compromise. I believe holy guidance from above allows them to bungle their way through life while doing such things as setting a glass of water—balancing half-on and half-off—on the table’s edge and then walking away with no concern of whether it will stay or crash to the floor. I also believe, on the other hand, it is their very innocence and lack of experience that creates havoc and chaos in their everyday activities. And, in keeping with heavenly benevolence, I believe that mommies and daddies are miraculously injected with a huge dose of patience and understanding on the day the child is born. I believe these things because I am awed and inspired by what a child can do if left alone with nature.

My granddaughter, Hannah, decided she would find wonder and amusement in a wren who chose to become a squatter in her daddy’s barn. The wren diligently built her nest, laid her eggs, and hatched them while Hannah constantly visited and (with good manners) closely observed the feathery commotions.

Many times I inquired about the progress of mother and baby birds. And, the usual and expected responses reached my ears, “Oh, the babies hatched, today, Curly Grandma,” and “Oh, the babies are out of the nest today, Curly Grandma.” But, I never really knew how much of a naturalist Hannah was or what delicate bonding she had accomplished with these birds until I saw her video.

As Hannah’s video played before me on her little camera, I witnessed the time, the gentleness, and the sincere curiosity of a child unfold across the screen. I heard her coo softly as she spoke to the baby birds. I felt her slowly and gently moving toward the birds. I saw her reaching out to a tiny species of animal generated only by a need for connection—no need to dominate or own. Remarkably, these wild baby birds flew right up and sat on Hannah’s shoulders when she walked into the barn. The video clearly showed a baby bird sitting on the windowsill of the barn while Hannah’s hand went up behind the bird to pet it and stroke it the same way she would have pet her newborn kitten. And these were wild birds!

I am amazed that she accomplished such a feat. But, Hannah is not the least bit stirred by this fact.

I believe these birds must have sensed Hannah’s innocence. Oh, I am aware of imprinting, and wonder if perhaps it applies here. But, the bond had to have begun with the mother bird. She must have felt no peril while building her nest with Hannah nearby. Did she feel guarded or protected with Hannah around?

Yes, I am truly astounded that my own grandchild possesses the mysterious gift of communicating with and befriending wild animals. I am puzzled by her gift, just as I am puzzled by many simple things in nature. I am not sure what makes the world go ‘round. I am not sure how sand can filter water. And, I am not sure why some people are chemically attracted to others. But, I am so very sure that all children are blessed with holy innocence and gifted with natural decency upon entering this world, and that they are innately good if given the chance to flourish in a world of love and appreciation and if given the opportunity to participate, unleashed, with nature. And, I believe that every once in a while, we adults are blessed with the chance to see God’s beauty and majesty play out between a child and a wild creature.

Well, Grandparents, I hope you are given the chance to see your grands in a new light, a new avenue, or in a new perspective. I hope you can observe them in their natural goodness and can see them as a radiant beam of nature.

From the blessed side of grandparenting, I wish you much joy,

Curly Grandma

Who is Curly Grandma? She is a real grandma with seven grandchildren.  Her name comes from her first grandchild, Megan, who learned to distinguish her two grannies with adjectives (hence the Curly). Visit Curly Grandma at her website and learn all about writing letters to grandchildren. On her site, get lots of information and free stationery. And you can even buy her book Curly Grandma’s Letters: Writing to Kids and Capturing Your Autobiography (Tate Publishing; available on


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