Tag Archives: childhood

Hand Hand Hand

Dear Hunter,

Your vocabulary and pronunciation continue to expand so rapidly that I have a hard time keeping up with all the new words you know and use, especially since the pronunciation for many of them isn’t quite what it will be in a few months.

One word I know is “Hand.” It comes out as “hanh.” But when your little fingers reach out for mine, I know exactly what you want. You want to take me some place, show me something you find fascinating or you want me to take the good china out of the cabinet so you can play with it. I know these days, when you want me with you, won’t last forever so I do my best to let go of the laundry folding, dish washing and electronic distractions, take your hand and follow your lead.

You have shown me rocks I never would have seen without your keen eye. You pull me out of grown-up-ness and back to little-hood with peek a boo and toy tractors. I play in the dirt more with you than I ever did when I was a child. We walk down the gravel road to see the neighbor’s horses. We blow bubbles. We chalk the side walk – and the fence and the doors and the house (dad didn’t like that much, but he got over it when the rain came and washed it all off).

Thank you for showing me the world through your eyes. Thank you for taking my hand. And just so you know, it will always be there for you.



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Brave Twirl

Dear Hunter,

Every day you inspire me to be brave. With each new discovery you make, I first take a deep breath and then, depending on what you are doing, I take a step forward or backward. I come toward you to share in your discovery or be closer if I need to pick you up when you fall.  I move away to give you a sense of autonomy and mastery over your world and body.

You recently learned how much fun it is to twirl in circles, get dizzy and fall down. And my first instinct is to tell you to be careful, that you are going to fall.  But my brave self tells me that you have to learn how to fall, how to crash in to things and learn how to get up even when it hurts. So, I laugh with you as you twirl, giggling all the way to the floor. Sometimes the twirl ends with tears and a bruise or two. I say, “Yep, that hurt, buddy. Do you want my help?” Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. You get more sure-footed with every twirl, though. And I get braver.

I hope you never forget how much fun it is to twirl, my dear boy. You’ve reminded me what a joy it is to play and get dizzy and silly and giggle, falling down.

I love you,



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An organizer of a class reunion posted on the group’s facebook page asking for each of us to post three memories we have of our time together.  My family moved away from my childhood home at the end of seventh grade so I don’t have high school memories to share.  But that request got me reminiscing about my childhood and my 13 years in that small, wide-spot-in-the-road kind of town.

The good and not-so-good memories churn around, swirling in my mind.  Its funny how the not-so-good ones seem to jump front and center. And I think of people and experiences I haven’t thought of for years. Being teased and called names.  That sucked.  And yet, without those experiences, maybe I wouldn’t be who I am today. ????

My mom was awesome on one particular incident.  Before the 80s big hair was ‘in’, she braided my long hair and I slept on the braids.  Then I had super kinky, big hair the next morning when we took out the braids. I loved it. These two brothers in 5th grade called me Amazon at school. I was too proud to cry in front of them but I bawled when I got home and mom asked about the compliments I got on my hair. I was never doing my hair that way again!

She sat me down and asked me if I knew what an Amazon was? I had to admit that I didn’t know. She told me that an Amazon woman was a tall, strong, beautiful warrior-woman. She said the next time those boys called me that to consider it a compliment and say, “Thank you.”  I was skeptical. But I was also still at an age when I thought my parents knew everything (vs them knowing nothing once I turned 14).

Not too long after the first time, we braided my hair again. The most braids we ever got in were 17. Talk about big hair. I took a deep breath and got on the bus. Then I got to school. Then I heard it. “Hey Amazon!” And lots of giggles and snorting. Summoning up my best imitation of my mother (who was the tallest mom around at 5’10”), I stood up nice and tall, threw my shoulders back, and I looked those stupid boys in the eyes and said, “Hmmph… thank you, I take that as a compliment.” And I walked right by them, head held high, flouncing my hair.

My mom helped me; but she didn’t call the school and complain or tell the principal to do something about those boys. Mom helped me feel good about myself, helped me fight my own battles.  She helped me turn something difficult into something positive for myself. And she’s done that my whole life.

Even though its the crappy memories that bubble up more prominently, I still say I had a magical and wonderful childhood because my mother helped make it so.  Thanks, mom.

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


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