One of the things strangers find most interesting about me (or at least the most worth questioning me about) is that I have a sister who is 17 years my junior. While some people my age are hanging with friends in dorm rooms or going to house parties, I’m doing things like brushing my sister’s hair until she falls asleep or singing songs about “there ain’t no bugs on me.” I know all about the wonders of Mylecon and DreamLites and about how impossible it is clean up baby powder once it’s been whooshed all over a room.
I also know what it’s like to deal with that last-minute crisis of not having anything for show-and-tell just before we walk out the door on Friday morning. Now that she’s in preschool, there’s a whole new level of “parenthood” that I’ve entered into, but quite a bit of it is fun. Like two weeks ago when she made a tornado-maker out of dyed water and two plastic bottles held together by electrical tape. I play with it often.
Or like this week when it was her turn for Friendly Bear, a teddy bear which each child takes home for one week and brings back pictures and a brief story in the class journal about their activities with FB during the week. So tonight I wrote the story portion in poem form (not realizing that I got much more involved than the other parents). Notice I said “other parents” as if I was one? Yeah, I’ve officially become that family member that is somehow related but you don’t really know how to refer to them because you’re not entirely sure which category they fall under.
Anyway, once I saw that everyone else had only written a couple of sentences from the child’s point of view, I knew I couldn’t put my poem in. Okay, while we’re being honest, our mom wouldn’t let me put it in because it would stand out too much. *sigh*
However, I couldn’t let the masterpiece go to waste. I know Faulkner says, “Kill all your darlings,” but this one is worth saving and I can’t bear the thought of it going unread. So here it is. Enjoy! Take note: this was originally meant to go with pictures, and in some cases written as narrative captions, so a couple parts might seem less than clear, but just go with it.
“Do you smell some smoke?” asked good Friendly Bear.
“No, I don’t smell any up in the air. But let’s go check it out. You know, just in case,” said Julia K. with a bright smiling face.
They dashed to the scene– there was no time to wait! These two always love to investigate! All parked were the engines of Station 14. Case solved! Moving on to what else may be seen.
“I like to learn,” Julia said to her friend. “Let’s go see the school just on that corner’s end.”
“That isn’t a school, though one used to stand there. Now it’s a memory*,” observed Friendly Bear. “Where else can we go to have fun and explore? We’ve not had enough! We have to do more!”
“Let’s go see our friends!” Julia said.
“Yes! Let’s do!” And off down the road ‘tween the trees they just flew. They came to the “Green Acres Compound” so named by the Herseys and Outleys who live on the claim.
Aunt Jamie and Nala and Nadia and Owen all waited for dear Uncle Josh, each one knowing a special treat was in store for the children that day. Riding the four-wheeler was what they would play!
All through the mud, down the drive, round the pond until finally, “It’s time for a nap,” Julia yawned.
On Friday ’twas time for a special surprise and Friendly Bear couldn’t believe his brown eyes! He, Julia, and Mama all three took a trip to–can you guess where?– I’ll give you a tip:
It’s over the river cross’t a bridge very high and back through the woods with a chimney to spy. There’s a pool and a swing and much candy and love…
That’s right! It was home to Grandma Julia! Friendly Bear was so safe and so warm and so snug– he was snug as a bug in a bundled-up rug! He slept and he dreamt and he got all his rest because Sunday would find him at the giant Greek Fest!
There was music and dancing and all kinds of sport! It felt like their time at that fair was too short. Friendly Bear, watching and cheering, stood by to see Julia go fishing and win a great prize. He awed as she flipped through the air on a wire and scaled a rock wall up higher and higher.
By the end of the week they had had so much fun that the two friends were sad that their course had been run. Friendly Bear would miss Julia, yes that much is sure. But excitement awaits on next week’s adventure!
*The school being referenced is Florida Memorial College, a defunct, segregated institution for African-Americans in Saint Augustine. There is now a monument on its old grounds.