Posts Tagged ‘writing letters’

LadyBall

March 5, 2011

My grandson, Riley, is a great basketball player. He’s in fourth grade, and he flat-out tells me that no one in his class can play as well as he can. I’ve watched him, and I have to agree with him. You would think it might be hard to find some humble pie in a kid with that kind of statement, but not true. He will gladly compliment any good player.

So, here’s how I know: Yesterday, Baba (grandpa) and I are at Riley’s house (none of us can go in because the house is getting cleaned) and Baba and Riley start a pick-up game.

They finish a good round of Horse and One-on-One. I look over, and there they are, Baba and Riley, sprawled out on the grass — recouping.  So, I pick up the ball and start practicing my hook shot. Riley’s mama comes out and we go one-on-one. A couple of neighbor girls come up, and we now have four girls on the driveway shooting hoops.

Riley decides  he wants  to play. “Okay,” I say, “but we’re playing Ladyball.”

“What’s that?” His face tells me  he thinks I am joking.

“It’s when somebody on the other team shoots a basket, and you say, ‘Wow! Nice Shot!’ And when you foul them you say, ‘Oh, sorry. Your ball.’ It’s when we make up the rules as we go along, because we don’t need any rules. Everyone just knows they have to be nice.”

“Okay,” he says without hesitation, “I’m in.”

We play. He’s a ball hog of course. But he manages to pass occasionally to the little girl on his team. He is one of us — having a good time. And, as his grandmother, I am in hog heaven!

Baba soon comes up and decides to get in the game, but he hasn’t been paying attention to us; he’s been fixing Olivia’s bicycle pedal, and so he’s kinda been out of the loop. But, he jumps right in. “Hey,” he says, “I’ll play on Grandma’s team.” He quickly calls double dribbling on Riley and claims the ball.

“Uh-uh, Baba. We’re playing LadyBall,” Riley grins at Baba and takes back the ball. I could tell Riley loved that move. (After all, this is the kid that, at the ripe-old age of five, was teasing Baba and gave him the nickname of Fuzzy-whiskers).

Baba has a big question on his face and he looks at me.

“That’s right,” I proudly prop up Riley’s return, “LadyBall.”

“What’s LadyBall?” Baba looks at us as though we’re pulling his leg.

“It’s when we’re nice enough to make up the rules as we go along.”

“Oh-h-h, make up the rules as you go along,” Baba nods. “Only a lady would think of that,” and he politely hands the ball back to Riley. He smiles out of the corner of his eye.

We played LadyBall for at least an hour: my grandson, my daughter, and my love … and a few other kids. Not only was LadyBall possible, it was a blast!

And, I think Riley just might want to play again.  I know because I heard him compliment one of the players.

“Grandma can shoot!”

I heard it clear as a bell.

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 www.curlygrandma.com 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 Amazon.com).

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Nature’s Child

July 23, 2010

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 www.curlygrandma.com 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 Amazon.com).

Letter to my grandchild; just when I thought I had nothing to write about

February 6, 2010

Letter to my granddaughter:

Dearest Beloved, 9-1-06 (the longest day of my life)

It seems like a very long time since last I saw you. My goodness, how it seems so long ago that I saw you. How old were you then? Are you married yet?

I surely do wish I had something great to tell you. I so wish that I weren’t always work— work—working. I tell you it is a lonely hard job…this writing stuff.

You can’t imagine how it is to be typing on my computer. It goes something like this:
I sit at the computer and stare into the screen.
I move around to make sure my posture is pretty good.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I take my fingers off of the keys because my neck hurts.
I rub my neck.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I take my fingers off of the keys so I can scoot my chair up a little, not too much, though.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I stare into the monitor.
I look around the room.
I look at the keys.
I take my fingers off of the keys so I can scoot my chair back a little, not too much though.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I stare into the monitor.
I look at my printer, my mouse (I love this mouse. I wish it were a real mouse, HEY! I wish my monitor were a real Moniter lizard!), but …probably…they’re not.
I look at my pencils.
I sharpen one pencil.
I test it.
I sharpen it again.
My pencil breaks. I wish my real mouse were here to chew on my pencils. That would keep them sharp, and then I wouldn’t have to spend so much time sharpening them.
I sharpen another pencil.
I test it.
It breaks.
I sharpen it again. I can’t believe how much I have sharpened today.
I wish my Moniter Lizard would chew my pencils nice and sharp for me so I wouldn’t have to spend so much time sharpening them. Gosh, it’s not like I have nothing to do!
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I stare into my monitor, not the Moniter Lizard. He’s goofing off, as always. I can’t get that guy to show up. Just sharpen my pencils. That’s all I ask. But NOOO. He has to go off and eat small mammals. He has to go out and bask in the sun. That lazy, good for nothing lizard! He may as well be a Geico, or gecko, or whatever that lazy thing on TV is.
I type… I.
I take my fingers off the keys because my neck hurts. Nobody knows how hard this job is. Nobody even cares. I just sit at this darned typewriter all day long, slaving over these letters, and NOBODY, NOBODY even notices.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I delete…I.
I look at my scanner.
I look at my pencils.
I look at my mouse. I realize that if this were a real mouse, he would probably eat not only my pencils, but also my papers. This worries me.
I take my fingers off the keys.
I open my desk drawer to make sure my papers are in the drawer nice and neat…and safe.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I now remember that a mouse will eat pencils, paper, plastic and everything on this planet. Nothing is safe from a mouse. He can chew himself out of any trap. ANY TRAP! ANY TRAP MADE OUT OF ANYTHING! What am I doing with a creature like that on my desk? I must be crazy! I can’t believe I have to have a threatening creature like that on my desk, driving me absolutely mad! How can I think? How can I get any work done with a dreadful creature lurking about in my office, just waiting to pounce on me when I least expect it? Doesn’t anybody care about what I have to go through? Doesn’t anybody even care that I have to sit here at this desk, day in and day out, slaving over this computer, trying my best to pump out a BOOK!
I hate this mouse!
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I stare at the monitor, but not the lizard, the monitor.
I type… I…
I realize that my neck is hurting so bad that I need to go take some Tylenol. I have to eat something with it: Can’t take Tylenol on an empty stomach.
I delete…I…
I get up and go into the kitchen. It’s a good thing I work at home so I can get something to eat when I have to take a Tylenol. I fix a toasted bagel with peanut butter and jelly. I fix a glass of milk. I eat it and look out the window. I see the bird feeder. I go out and restock the bird feed, the hummingbird feed, and the cat food. I remember those hungry creatures in my office and I look around for something to take to them. I just darned sure can’t get any work done with those hungry creatures staring at me and my stuff. These chocolate covered graham crackers will do just fine. I bring along a glass of milk…just in case…
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I stare at the monitor, not the lizard.
I stare at the mouse.
I stare at the scanner.
The scanner. The scanner is an awesome thing. It can probably scan radioactive waves into my brain…and alter my thoughts. It can probably change my personality and people wouldn’t even know why I’m acting differently. THE SCANNER! Why didn’t I notice that thing before…How it just sits there…looking so …simple. Why didn’t I notice how dangerous this scanner is? I have been hornswoggled! I have been duped! I have been a victim of this scanner for a long time and nobody even knew it…not even me! Oh why doesn’t anybody even care about what I have to go through to write this book?
I think about how I could scan a newly sharpened pencil in my scanner and how it would look really cool on a page in my book.
I look at the scanner.
I look at the pencil.
I look at the scanner.
I look at the mouse.
I look at the monitor, not the lizard.
I stretch my neck.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I realize that writing is an exhausting job.
I take my fingers off the keys.
I eat my chocolate covered graham crackers. because that darned monitor, not the computer, and that darned mouse just ain’t gonna eat this stuff.
I drink my milk.
I now understand why I can’t write.
I have been too selfish.
All I think about is me.
I realize I have to think about others.
I realize I have to think about other creatures and animals and just others in this world.
I go out and look at the birds.
I appreciate these little animals.
I know deep down inside my heart that being a little bird is a hard life.
I put some extra bird seed in the bird feeder.
I put some extra hummingbird feed in the hummingbird feeder.
I put some extra cat food in the cat dish.
I make another toasted bagel with peanut butter and jelly.
I pour another glass of milk.
I eat them because I wouldn’t want to go back into my office and get hungry, just when I start typing really good stuff.
I take some extra chocolate covered graham crackers…and milk…for…well…just in case…of something.
I feel good.
I sit down at my desk and I feel good. Really good. I know deep down in my heart that I am going to finish this book because I am capable of thinking of others in this world. And God rewards those who think of others.
I place my fingers over the correct keys.
I stare at the monitor, not the lizard.
I type…You…

It might be a long, long time before this book gets done.

Love, and thinking of you in between every peanut butter and jelly bagel,
Curly Grandma

Who is Curly Grandma? She is a real grandma with seven grandchildren.  Her name came from her first grandchild, Megan, who learned to distinguish her two grannies with “adjectives”. Visit Curly Grandma at her website www.curlygrandma.com and learn all about writing letters to grandchildren. You can even buy her book Curly Grandma’s Letters: Writing to Kids and Capturing Your Autobiography (Tate Publishing). This blog may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Anita Bryce.