September 9, 2009
For the last 5 years we have had our granddaughter Allana at the farm 2 full days of every week. Her mother, our daughter, worked Sunday and Monday nights (as well as others) as an RN . So on Monday and Tuesdays, Allana Marie or "Allie Mae" as I called her, or "Allana-na" as her 2 yr old brother calls her, was ours to indoctrinate as we saw fit. She rode her first horse at 8 months, witnessed the birth of kittens, calves and goats, and drank warm milk fresh from a cow before she was a year old. She gardened with us side by side and the summer she was three; that girl would eat only raw broccoli that SHE had to pick from the garden. She was often barefoot, barelegged and sun kissed. We napped together, baked together ("we are messy bakers aren't we Yaya ? " ) and read the book "Grumpy Bird" over and over, because everyone knows Allie Mae is not a morning person. She chased chickens , collected their eggs and scolded them for not producing. "You are a Laaaazy chicken !" I used to bathe her in the kitchen sink and the picture I took of one such bath won us a Best of Show ribbon at the Melvin County Fair. Did you hear me ? THE MELVIN FAIR !
Allana meets cow at age 2
Then, before I was ready , she was 5. This meant kinder garden full time 5 days a week. The first week was just an annoyance. The second week was a true ache. The third week I found myself showing up at the school two hours early , Wesley napping in my arms, just waiting for her to be released to me. The fourth week...I looked at Wes, who was in the middle of demonstrating how the new puppy looked even better with blue marker on his face, and realized we had yet ANOTHER grandchild to coerce, I mean encourage, into the farm life. I felt better. I sat down with him and showed him how blue AND red marker can make some bright purple spots on the dog.
Wesley, first grandson, now 2
Nicole age 7, Allana 5 and
Wesley age 2 painting a gourd
Flashback (I do often, come join me) to Warrenville, Illnois 1969. I was 10 and my mother did not like what she saw. "You're growing like a weed, I'm going to put a brick on your head!" The poor deranged woman had 5 other children younger than I , three still in diapers, yet she wanted to keep me little awhile longer. She must've snuck that brick on my head at night as I never got over 5'1", yet even though vertically challenged, I still grew up. If we are lucky, we all grow up.