#Childhood

THE DOLL

You may ask yourself this question…How important is a doll?

You may think in the scheme of life…not too important after all…

 

But I would beg to differ…because somehow my little girl found a way

of all the dolls upon the shelf…she picked me that day.

 

She chose me over all the others…it took her quite a while

I like to think there was something in my eyes…or the crookedness of my smile.

 

From that moment we were inseparable

Inside…outside…in any kind of weather

We played…we ran…we laughed…we drank tea

We went everywhere together.

 

I loved the times when she was happy…when her smile was innocent and bright

When she would toss me in the air then hug me with all her might.

 

I was glad to be there when she was sad…or to help her face her fears

Those times she used my only dress to wipe away her tears.

 

I remember the day she left me in a restaurant…

I was frightened and lonely without her arms around me

and I remember how relieved I was

when she came back and found me.

 

This went on for years and years…all I needed was an occasional sew-up

But although dolls remain the same…little girls all grow up.

 

She didn’t need me like she used to…she spent more time off by herself

and I went from sleeping next to her…to a spot upon her shelf.

 

Where I now sit and watch her…remembering our laughter…and our fun

and the moment I resign myself to thinking my usefulness is done…

 

The instant I start thinking I’m just another doll filled with stuff

she gives me a little hug or says I love you

and I think…that is enough

 

Enough of a reason…enough proof…enough of a diagram

 

to remind me how important I was…and how important I still am.



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CHASING BUTTERFLIES

She has long since left her childhood behind

but there are days 

she looks outside 

and sighs…

days she longs to run without a care 

finding faces in the clouds 

 

and chasing butterflies 


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WAITING FOR THE WIND

When he looked up at the sky, 

and saw the clouds 

he grinned….

then he climbed up to the top of his tree

 

and waited for the wind


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TO THE STARS AND BACK

 

We thought his rocking horse would only be ridden in the house….

but it was imagination that we lacked….

for he road to castles,

over rivers, 

through the trees…

 

then to the stars and back.


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QUESTIONS FOR THE FLOWERS

He asked his young son what he does in the garden…

how can he play out there for hours…

His son smiled and said, “it’s simple, Dad. 

I have questions for the flowers.

 

“I ask them where their colors come from, 

sometimes I get down on my knees

and I whisper into their petals…

do you dream about the bees.”

 

“I ask them how they breathe, 

and if they ever have the chance

to laugh or play with one another…

and if they sing…or dance.”

 

“I ask them if they have a heart,

if they have a soul…a brain.

I ask them which one they like more

the sunshine or the rain.”

 

“I ask them how they know to bloom in Springtime

and I ask them where they go

where do they vacation 

in the Winter cold and snow?” 

 

“That’s why I spend so much time with them…

why I can play out there for hours…

because there always seem to be more questions

I want to ask the flowers.

 

“And do the flowers answer?” Dad asked

“Do they talk back to you?”

The little boy’s eyes widened…then he smiled…

“Oh Dad…of course they do.”

 

And many times after they talked that day

the little boy didn’t go to the garden alone….

He walked hand in hand with his father…

 

who had some questions of his own.


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THE LITTLE DINOSAUR AND THE SLIDE

So we’re visiting this farm in the country as part of a farm tour

when we see this family with a little boy dressed as a dinosaur…

 

“What a lovely dinosaur you have!” we say to Mom and Dad.  

“He has grace and he has style.”

The Mom and Dad say thank you…and the dinosaur gives us a smile.

 

A little later we come upon the family again at a slide built into the ground,

where their little dinosaur is having a ball…running up and sliding down.

 

When he notices us watching he runs up and says, “This is really fun!”

“Are you going to do it. Wait! I know…Let me show you how it’s done.”

 

We watched the little dinosaur slide sitting down, laugh, get up and then

we watched him slide down on his tummy, jump back up and slide again.

 

When his demonstration was complete…when we learned all that we could learn

the little dinosaur smiled then turned to us…“OK, now it’s your turn.”

 

We didn’t think about our age…how we might injure ourselves or break our crowns.

We climbed to the top of that little hill and the both of us slid down.

 

We slid down fast landing hard in the dirt …but when all was said and done

We turned to that little dinosaur  and said, “You were right…that was really fun!”

 

When we looked back as we walked away that little dinosaur was still sliding

And I thought…How lucky we were that, for a moment, our worlds were coinciding.

 

And I wondered why that little dinosaur chose us to teach…

at that moment on this farm tour…

Perhaps he realized we were the same species…just two older dinosaurs…

 

Or was it when he saw us …he looked past our aging dinosaur skin…

past the scales and the wrinkles…and saw the children there within.

 

For whatever reason I’m glad he did…It was ‘really fun’ and what’s more

I’ve already decided for next year’s farm tour…

 

I’ll be going as a dinosaur.


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SOMETIMES...YOU JUST GOTTA DANCE!

The children’s choir was standing by…waiting for their cue to sing

When one little girl began to feel the music…and immediately started to swing.

 

The other children stood straight and tall…pictures of solemnity and grace

But when the music enveloped this one little girl…joy lit up her face.

 

And then came the transformation…it started in her feet…

they started moving on their own…tapping to the beat.

 

It quickly moved up to her hips for the more the music played

Her hands began to move and clap and those hips…began to sway.

 

The other children concentrated on their singing…

none of them gave this girl a glance 

She didn’t seem to notice her choir mates either 

as she sang and bobbed and danced.

 

There is beauty in the fluid way the music entered this girls soul

and transformed her simple two step into full-blown rock and roll.

 

In a time when bloodshed, hatred and evil seems excessively intense

It’s nice to remember the charm and the purity of a child’s wide-eyed innocence.

 

It’s nice to remember the America we love…it’s nice to take the chance

 

to ignore the suffering…for a little while…and watch a little girl dance.


I AM A CHILD...YOUR CHILD

I am a child…your child…and if you’re ever going to help me to grow

then listen to me for a moment…there are some things I’d like you to know.

 

The time I am a child is short…it only lasts a while.

I learn how to be happy from you…I learn how to smile from your smile.

 

As my parents you were my gift…as I was a gift to you

If I see you lie and cheat and steal and swear…chances are I will too.

 

If you abuse me in any way…chances are I will never heal…

I may not remember all the things you do or say

but I’ll never forget how they made me feel.

 

See me…listen to me…show me I matter…spend some quality time with me.

Love me for who I am…not for who you want me to be.

 

You see things a little differently than me…I have more time to play

You know there are 7 wonders in the world…but I see 7 million every day.

 

Your work is important but so am I…I’m not a distraction you can shirk…

In fact when, you stop to think about it,…I…am your most important work.

 

Most of all teach me to be accepting and kind

because, when I’m no longer a child…I want to comprehend

how to be a good person…a good husband, a good wife…and…a good friend.

 

Well, this is about the end of this list…the latest one I have complied…

I’m sorry if I’m skipping all over the place…but remember…I’m just a child

 

Since I only have one childhood…and it only lasts a short while

wouldn’t it be great if, when I’m an adult…I can look back on my childhood…

and smile?

 

Oh, one more thing…I almost forgot…just something in your memory to keep…

Always…always…always  kiss me goodnight…

 

even if I’m already asleep.


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It's Just A Tree

Grandpa pointed to it on my 7th birthday and said,
“There is your gift from me.”
Not seeing any presents I said, 
“Grandpa, it’s just a tree.”

“Some may say it’s just a tree.” he said,
“that only offers shade,
but when I was young it was a mighty fortress
and it’s leaves were made of jade.”

“When I began to climb this tree
insects would bow and birds would sing
and every branch would lift me higher
for they knew
I was their king.”

“And when I climbed to the very top.
I was no longer in a tree.
I was in the crows nest of a pirate ship
sailing the seven seas....”

And he was right...
I spent years climbing it...
and it was anything I imagined it to be...
It was everything I ever wanted
and it was never...just a tree.

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