Thursday, December 26, 2013

These Little Ones

This week Facebook dripped with wishes for merriness and joyfulness and happy good will. I love that. Social media gets a bad rap. And truthfully, there is a bunch of mildew and mold out there floating around in cyber space, masquerading as convictions and philosophy but still . . .

I did come across a great homemade clam chowder recipe and a boatload of merry wishes for laughter, love, and eating—clam chowder recipe, check, double check.

As the grandmother of ten children that I find grand, the laughter and love are pretty well covered as well. And rather than carry around a purse full of darling kid pictures that bulks up my wallet, I occasionally brag about the love and laughter in my life in words:

Zoe Baye (# 1 of 10) – “All I want for Christmas is duct tape and a sewing machine.” She wasn’t kidding. If you want to locate Zoe, just listen for the sound of ripping duct tape, because she’s whipping up pillows, purses, toys, clothes, blankets and circus tents—all constructed from . . . duct tape. She’s ten years old.

Emma Sarah (# 2 of 10) – Emma’s fondest wish is to wake up one day and find that she’s been magically transformed into a cat—possibly a fox. She has several sets of cat ears (also fox) that she wears the same way some women wear pearls. I have every expectation that Emma will be wearing cat ears with her wedding gown. Emma is eight.

Conner Phillip (# 3 of 10) – This kid is a future game show host. During a recent shopping trip, my daughter turned around to discover Conner dancing wildly, while playing a slinky like an accordion. He’d thrown a hat down on the ground and was hoping for loose change from the other shoppers. Conner is seven.

Kipling Sherwood (# 4 of 10) – This kid is planning to live with his cousin Sadie and running a zoo when he grows up, although he’s warned Sadie that if she doesn’t start catching more animals she might be OUT of the zoo business. Kip is a world champion frog catcher. Kip is five.

Sadie JoLee (# 5 of 10) – Has informed her mother that she would never kill Emma, her big sister, because she wouldn’t want to clean up all that blood in the house. Her mother has put Sadie under twenty-four-hour surveillance. Sadie is planning on running a zoo with Kip if she can UP her frog catching numbers. Sadie is five.

Zachary Jon (# 6 of 10) – Conner has described his brothers, Kip and Zac together. “When those two are together, they’re like an angry mob.” Conner’s right. They’re quick. They’re smart. They’re heat-seeking missiles of mass messes. Zac is big and tall and strong and devoted to his big brother. Zac is three.

Reagan Baye-Love ( # 7 of 10) – This is an unsinkable kid. Can’t be sunk. Deadly allergies and asthma can’t make a dent in this kid’s perception of her own abilities. She can. She will. She must. Do not get in her way. Her cuteness is second only to her will power. Reagan is three.

Griffin Henry (# 8 of 10) – They call him the grumpy muppet. He’s a sober boy not given to giggles, but when he does smile, it’s a soft, sweet gift that lights up all the air in his vicinity. He’s happy to push: his lawnmower, a baby stroller, the Flintstone car. He’s pushing, not pushy. Griffin is almost two.

Hero Everdeen (# 9 of 10) – She’s not much of a talker, but she can roll her stomach like a drunken sailor. For a little girl she lives life large. She likes to eat. She likes to drink. She likes to collect dirt on her hands, face, clothes, and neck wrinkles. She likes the angry mob types and feats of strength. Hero is one.

Scout Harper (# 10 of 10) – This one was born with ocular albinism, not enough pigment in her eyes to absorb the light. Doesn’t matter. She’s already talking. She’s so little that when she says, “Hi!” and waves at you it’s kind of freaky. Scout is one of those people who is going to make the most of every moment she’s been given on this earth. Scout isn’t one yet. 

Jesus the Christ once assured his followers: “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

I think of babies and children when I read that. 

Who in this world is more hungry, more naked, more a stranger, more in prison than a child without the love and care of a steady, selfless family?

When I hear people denigrate the gift and obligation of raising the future generation of this world, I wonder who they think is going to read their books, look at their art, maintain their governments, or pay for their old age if not these little ones?


For He also said, “If ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me . . .”

Linda (Grandmother to the Stars) Zern 

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