Thursday, January 7, 2021

How do we go on?


Yesterday, 
when our nation seemed to fall apart at its seams,
when an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol,
so many horrifying images flashing across the screen,
my granddaughter Frog was here for her ritual Wednesday at NanaPoppa's, sound asleep for her afternoon nap.

I am reminded of the blessing of children, the extraordinary gift of their presence.

When she woke up,
in the midst of the insanity,
we turned off all the news and gave 100% attention to this sweet two year old child. We kept her world safe and tender, we renewed ourselves. 

Yes, it was time to turn on music, get out the playdough, and make muffins. We found a big piece of scrap paper and drew pictures, everything Frog loved ...she directed me to draw a Christmas tree, a jack-o-lantern, holiday lights, an angel, a dinosaur. We read books. Soon we noticed that the sun had set, so we went for our 'night walk' - a tradition that has evolved since the days have become shorter...coats and hats on, camping lantern in hand, we hold hands and walk our neighborhood block, to see what we can see. Yesterday was FREEZING, despite our warm jackets, and we didn't last long. We noticed that some holiday lights were no longer up - but we saw our neighbor's silly dragon with the Santa hat and that was fun. Back inside, it was time for dinner, a slow and meandering buffet of her favorites, including of all things, frozen blueberries. What is it that delights her about these? So funny! Then, it was time for a long bubble bath, reading books, and saying our good nights at bedtime. Frog fell asleep easily and joyfully. That's all that really matters to me.

Guess what, the news was waiting for us.
We didn't miss any of the horror.
It's always there.

Children are life-giving. To be in their midst, to truly hone in and escape through their magical presence, is to take the very best care of oneself.

I am reminded of a wall plaque my mother-in-law gave to me when our first child was born, which says:

Babies are God's way of saying the world must go on.