Thursday, April 14, 2016

that's more like it!

A day that could only please. I find no fault with it at all! It begins with a spectacular morning, with plenty of sunshine. I needn't have bothered with the fleece when I came out to open the coop.

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I survey the gardens. Asparagus tips, coming up!
My flowers are tentative. One petal at a time. But I assure them, this is the real deal.

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Breakfast in the sun room.

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And then Ed and I carry the three big pots of wintered over annuals outside for the season. That's how sure I am of the warmth that finally broke through today!

My day with Snowdrop starts a little later in the morning, but I am with her until her bedtime and so the photos will come flying, especially since I wont see her again until Sunday (the young family has a busy schedule of activities in the next three days). So, lots of Snowdrop today. Lots of sunshine the whole weekend. Lots of joyous celebrating of the outdoors hereafter. (I calculate that the garden starts to look grand in my eyes toward the end of April and stays that way until toward the end of October. That's six months of rapture. We're just at the cusp -- the very best place to be!)

I come in and Snowdrop greets me right away -- grandma, will you please read to me a gazillion books, one right after the other? Please?
God, are your eyes blue today, Snowdrop.

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Let's just read one and then -- guess what? We can go out right away!

No complaints there.

In our walk, we do pause at the distant coffee shop, where yes, the raspberry crumb from a scone tastes good...

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But the people watching... ah, the people watching!

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The day is so sunny, so perfect (in the sixties F by noon), that we detour to the little playground by the lesser lake. By now, a swing is old hat to Snowdrop. A happy hat.

There are a handful of other kids there and this just pleases her no end!

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Since they do the slide, she's happy to try it too. With assistance.

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Sweet one, the goal is to slide down.
But I like looking at the others from up here!

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Let's slide down anyway.

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The people watching was better at the top.

We walk over to the beach (as do the other kids). Is it her first time walking across yellow sands? How many beaches will she know in her lifetime?

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We go to the water's edge and she is just seconds away from walking right in. But of course she can't and I see that this is going to be a tough one to navigate in the summer. My older daughter swam in Madison's lakes when she was little. By the time my younger one was a toddler, the warning signs went up: keep kids out of the lakes. Even today, a cautious parent warns his little boy -- don't touch the water!

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I'm ready to head home, but she is not. Okay, how about looking my way for one last photo by the lake?
Nope. You see, there are these little kids playing over there...

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It's past her lunch time/nap time/home time.
We need to go home, Snowdrop.
Funny how quickly they can round the mouth to produce that favorite toddler word.

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Oh, but it was a glorious morning!

In the afternoon, we leave the big city and make our way to the farmette.

It's a turning point for Snowdrop, I think. Whereas before, she would be wide eyed and tentative to all that the outside world presented to her, today, she seems so at one with the undulating land, the swoop of the birds, the sway of the willow branches.

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(Our tomatoes, outside for the first time today.)

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Where is Grandpa Ed? 
In the sheep shed, working. Let's call him out!

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He comes. She happily mounts his broad shoulders.
Grandpa Ed, look over there!

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But he does have work to do and so we continue on our own.

Grandma, is something different here?
Yes, Snowdrop. We moved some flower pots outside today.

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And finally I nudge her inside. There, I show her the New Acquisition -- the much debated table and two chairs. And here are two surprises: first of all, she is a tall girl, but the chair is nonetheless too high for her. She needs help (at least today she needed help) to get up in it and down from it.

But there is also another surprise: she loves it! Loves the confines of the chair. Loves the table play area. Loves that grandma picks up (for now!) whatever she drops to the floor.

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Late in the evening, I tell her we need to make pizza for supper.. At first, I place her high chair by the counter and hope for the best. (Here, she adds her punches to the crust dough.)

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Eventually, I bring her closer to the pizza, closer to the proccess of putting it together. As some of you have suggested, I place her on the counter, right where the action is. She watches as I distribute the sauce, the garlic, the mushrooms. I tell her it's time for the cheese. I hand her the bag.

Like every great chef, she tastes the cheese before spreading it on the pie. It's fine -- bring it on!

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When the pizza is ready (mushrooms and ample garlic), she is too excited, too anxious to get her own piece.

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She touches it. Too hot! Tears. But not for long. A few minutes later, she eats as if she hadn't eaten all week.

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The sun is sinking quickly now. We go out again. Of course we do! It's so easy!

We walk the farmette, she and I. Behind the barn, to the east, to the west. I show her the daffodils. Anyone else and I would have shuddered: careful careful careful! Flowers. Don't touch! But I say none of this to her. I feel this place is as much hers at it is anyone's. Perhaps it's a grandmother's thing -- the child should not be held back too much.

And of course, she responds withe the greatest gentility and care.

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She is my partner here. For sure.

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I show her how the sun sets behind the willow and we both look up at the fragment of the moon. Look at the colors, Snowdrop, just look how beautiful it all is!

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She looks. She understands.