Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From Where Do You Come?

Such a question might draw a bland answer from most of us ("from the Bronx and New York City"); but from one nine year old it drew a lovely, thoughtful and delightful response.
by Charlie Leck

There is nothing like grandchildren! Why? That’s too grand and complicated a question to go into here. I love my children and step-children so danged much and without reservation; but my grandchildren are somehow different. There’s not judgment involved. I don’t have to worry about them. I’m just free to love them to no absolute end. Grandpa can brag and boast and tell stories about them all he wants.

When readers grasp the fact that I blog for my grandkids, that these children may grow into adults and understand and know who I was, grandpas among these readers, love to send me stuff their granddaughters and/or grandsons have done or made. I don’t know why grandmothers don’t do this (there’s just something incredibly different about grandpas and their grandchildren).

Well, very recently, one of my quite faithful followers and readers (and a dear friend, as well) sent me a little piece his nine (9) year old granddaughter had written. I emphasize the nine year old element here because it is quite amazing that a nine year old could be this sensitive. Now, don’t misunderstand me: The following is not great literature, but it is, however, an evidence of sensitivity that is rare in a nine year old and it portends very interesting things for this child; and that is an ability to be sensitive to life and what surrounds her.

I won’t get any more psychological than that (mostly because I’m not professionally capable). Just enjoy these reflections from a nine year old girl who answered thusly when she was asked: “Where are you from?”

“Where I’m From”
I am from smooth-tasting caramel bars,
to holiday cheer when being with family and friends.
I am from hitting hard softballs,
to wrestling with my dad and having fun.
I am from screaming when Santa Claus came,
to enjoying Christmas spirit by the Christmas tree.
I am from slipping on water slides in the summer,
to bouncing on my trampoline and throwing fall leaves in the air.
I am from going to Church and saying prayers,
to watching winter frost on the ground.
I am from Hot Chocolate burning on my lips,
to singing Christmas Carols in Music class.
I am from reading bedtime stories with my grandma,
to getting ready to perform at the Holiday Sing.
I am from going camping with my Aunt Kriss and Uncle Rodney,
to telling jokes with my grandpa.
I am from gardening with my mom and planting sweet peas,
to playing hide-and-seek with my best friend Peyton.
I am from feeling the steam and heat of the washer,
to watching TV with a cup of chocolate milk.
I love all of these things so much and will cherish them forever.

Well, there you are. From where are you?

Right now, I’m reading an extraordinary book called Etty. The book contains copies of the personal writings of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jewish woman, who was awaiting an inevitable arrest that was coming. It did come in 1943 and this lovely, troubled woman was taken off to die in a Nazi concentration camp. Her diary entries, which were left behind and discovered many years later, are quite personal and I get the feeling from time to time that I ought not be invading Etty’s privacy; yet, they also contribute to the pool of remarkable literature of Nazi Europe.

I’ll tell you more about Etty Hillesum in the coming days.

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