alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Friday, October 07, 2011

Lessons and inspiration for a grandma-in-waiting

-
-



"In January it will be so nice while slipping on the sliding ice to sip hot chicken soup with rice . . . " (when I hold my brand new grandson). "Sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice." (Maurice Sendak, Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months)


"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them." (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince)


"Granny, what was it like when Mummy was me?" (Tasha Tudor, A Time to Keep: A Book of Holidays; this illustration is not from that book, and I'm sorry I don't know which it is from.)


“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” (J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan, Arthur Rackham, illustrator)

"Well, please, North Wind, you are so beautiful, I am quite ready to go with you."

"You must not be ready to go with everything beautiful all at once, Diamond."

"But what's beautiful can't be bad. You're not bad, North Wind?"

"No; I'm not bad. But sometimes beautiful things grow bad by doing bad, and it takes some time for their badness to spoil their beauty. So little boys may be mistaken if they go after things because they are beautiful."

"Well, I will go with you because you are beautiful and good, too."

"Ah, but there's another thing, Diamond:—What if I should look ugly without being bad—look ugly myself because I am making ugly things beautiful?—What then?"

"I don't quite understand you, North Wind. You tell me what then."

"Well, I will tell you. If you see me with my face all black, don't be frightened. If you see me flapping wings like a bat's, as big as the whole sky, don't be frightened. If you hear me raging ten times worse than Mrs. Bill, the blacksmith's wife—even if you see me looking in at people's windows like Mrs. Eve Dropper, the gardener's wife—you must believe that I am doing my work. Nay, Diamond, if I change into a serpent or a tiger, you must not let go your hold of me, for my hand will never change in yours if you keep a good hold. If you keep a hold, you will know who I am all the time, even when you look at me and can't see me the least like the North Wind. I may look something very awful. Do you understand?"

"Quite well," said little Diamond.

(George McDonald, At the Back of the North Wind, Arthur Hughes, illustrator)



"But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden and squeezed under the gate!" (Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit)



“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." (Christopher Robin, to Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne, E. H. Shepard, illustrator)



Peter Spier, Rain.


-
-

56 comments:

Friko said...

You will have such fun when the time comes.

Brendan said...

A delightful breviary of childhood gleaned from all those fine, well-remembered children's books. What is it about grandmamahood that allows a woman to become both mother and child again, right between that inseparable wonder? 'Tis a ripeness and a richness. Who says age doesn't have its benefits ... Wonderful assay, Ruth. I'm jumping into every mud puddle I come across this rainy day. -- Brendan

Mimmu said...

Wise warm and beautiful post,Ruth knowing your thoughts are with this great thing again and again during one day :)
I really wish you and yours all the best!

( For many reason I am again "Mimmu" as I was at the beginning of my blogging and last time - I promise - my blog address has changed, now it can be blogspot until I will finish blogging :)

Dee Dee said...

Oh my dearest Ruthie, how much fun you and Don will have loving your first grand baby. You will get so good at it, this I know.

Stratoz said...

excellent ;')

elizabeth said...

How thrilling!
Yes, one of the delights of grannydom is sharing favorite books with Henry and being introduced to new ones.
What treasures we have to share.
This was such an evocative post.

Dutchbaby said...

A wondrous collection of wisdom and images. I knew it wouldn't be complete until I found the wisdom of Milne; I was happy to find it when I scrolled down. Along with Spier's little gem.

missing moments said...

Always love that Christopher Robin! Love the series.

Shari Sunday said...

What a charming post and what a lucky little grandchild you will have!

Maureen said...

Great post! I have framed in my dining room four pages from an old storybook about The Three Little Pigs.

These illustrations are marvelous.

My son and I read so many children's books together. After he outgrew them, he donated 500 to his elementary school. I had not realized how large our library was until then.

Shaista said...

Could this be my favourite post ever? Surely I think that every time I visit??
Here's a little synchronicity... today is Granny Grampa day at many schools around the country. Friends of ours are travelling from and to, to spend the day connecting. Grandparents are a secret treasure of picnics and songs and stories told, to be forever remembered. They also stay the same age forever, an ageless age.

I learnt a new book here... the North Wind is new to me...

ds said...

Can Poppy Seed have any idea how lucky he will be? Will be singing Chicken Soup with Rice all day now. Suspect you will also call him 'Wild Thing' when the time comes ; )
Wonderful collection, wonderful post. Now must read At the Back of the North Wind.
Thank you, Ruth.

Lesley Anne said...

memories of my amazing childhood. and sweet baby boy is going to have an even better one! can't wait to share these memories together.

Patricia said...

How wonderful to find a whole new way to love! We wish her well in the final trimester.

Pat said...

Oh, Ruth, I So enjoyed these! There's nothing like holding your grandchild and reading them a book. Especially as they get a little bit older and you watch their eyes light up as you act out all the characters in the book! Happy times ahead!

Barb said...

You'll be more than ready, Ruth, to begin your most special new adventure.

bARE-eYED sUN said...

wonderful, heartwarming.

thank you.

:-)

..
.ero
.

Oliag said...

I love children's literature so much I very often wish I had been a children's librarian...I am still surprised that kids thoroughly enjoy those books that don't talk down to them and use wonderful, beautiful language...like those you have chosen.

Grandmother said...

A great selection with great wisdom. Your grandson is in for such a treat as are you. It is thrilling to spark the love of words, books, stories in the next generation. Won't these words fill him? My Honey and I read to our grands at every opportunity, as did their parents, and they are both avid readers now. Since they have no TV, books fuel their imaginations.

Heather said...

You will be the best Gramma ever!

photowannabe said...

This is a most charming post Ruth. There is nothing like being a Grandma. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Pure sweetness in your Childhood quotes and the artwork with them. Love Christopher Robins thoughts and the drama of "Rain".

amy@ Souldipper said...

My childhood has been restored. Thank, Ruth. Such a delight to scroll down, wondering "what's next?, and being thrilled with every entry.

Vagabonde said...

Ruth these book extracts are so lovely. We came back from New York exhausted but the next day had to drive to the big mall which was having the Association of University Women 52nd Annual Bookfair. We have too many books but can’t resist going to these sales. I did find some nice ones for the grandsons – an illustrated big book of poetry for children, and an illustrated French English dictionary that uses pictures instead of words. Next week-end is the Cobb County Library Book Sale – more children books to find. The two grandsons love to listen to stories – the 3 month old grandson will like them too I am sure. I bought some French children books but I don’t think they’ll understand them since I am not there with them very often.

You will have a great time reading to your grandchildren too – it is so much fun.

Ruth said...

Friko, I can barely stand waiting. I have a feeling my car is going to just drive itself to their house after work every Friday ...

Ruth said...

Brendan, I had no idea of this, no one told me, and I didn't know my grandmothers, so I have no personal lore to draw from. But this feeling is just as you say—ripe, rich and full. I guess it's partly due to being more aware at 55 than I was at 25 when Lesley was born. It's still me, but there's a whole lot more of me to observe this ones' arrival. I hope your child-self Brendan enjoyed the puddles! Thanks.

Ruth said...

Mimmu! I barely remember you as that name. :-) Your new site is fresh and beautiful.

I have been inspired by you as grandmother for a long time, as you know. Such joy and beauty.

Ruth said...

Dear Dee Dee, I have been feeling your joy and love for your four, sweet sister, and now I need some of that. :-)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Stratoz. :-)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Elizabeth! The fullness of joy: motherhood times one hundred.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Dutchbaby. Spier, mmm. Rain, Christmas, who needs words?

Ruth said...

Thanks, Reena. I used to go hang out in children's books at the bookstore, even before I had kids.

Ruth said...

Dear Shari, I am learning from you!

Ruth said...

Maureen, I love the idea of storybook pages framed in your dining room. How appropriate the pigs are! And that you had 500 books to donate is phenomenal!! You've set the bar ...

Ruth said...

Dear Shaista, I thought of you many times while preparing this post! That ole Christopher Robin did it. I am so tickled that I posted it on Granny Grampa day in UK! And thank you for saying grammas stay ageless forever. I feel that. :-)

So happy to introduce you to At the Back of the North Wind, and now I want to re-read it, and all of George McDonald's novels . . . the princess and curdy stories, and the Donal Grant series, which Don and I read aloud our first year of marriage, Scottish brogue and all. :-)

Ruth said...

ds! Such joy. I'm the one who feels lucky! And that song of Carole King's is so happy-making. I hope it didn't drive you nuts. :-)

Please do read At the Back of the North Wind. I wonder if you have read any George McDonald? Ahhh. He revived my spirit while still in the Christian way of thinking (he didn't believe in hell), and I still follow his wise heart. Now I want to re-read the Gibby stories and Donal Grant. Oh man.

Ruth said...

Wesrey, our life with baby is a treasure already. Rutabaga-Jane-Austen-Beatrix-Potter-Mozart-loving baby!

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Patricia. Yes, wonderful!!

Ruth said...

Pat, your grandkids must have a blast with you! And you with them.

Ruth said...

One way or another, Barb! Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thanks a lot, bARE-eYEDsUN!

Ruth said...

Oliag, you could read books to kids at the library?

Ruth said...

Mary, wonderful for you, your Honey, and your grandkids (and their parents). Truly I would like to create children's books as much as read them. I would like more time.

Ruth said...

Heather, thanks for your vote of confidence! I want to be the best gramma I can be.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sue. It's lovely to share sister-grammahood with you.

Ruth said...

Amy, I'm glad you enjoyed these choices too. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Dear Vagabonde, I know that you have thousands of books. It's incredible. But that should not prevent you from adding to your collection when you love them so much. I don't know that there is a homier sight and feeling than a child sitting on a grandparent's lap reading and being read to.

Thank you.

CottageGirl said...

Lovely post!
So, so very happy for you, Ruth!
That will be some lucky baby to have you for a grandma!!
Congratulations!!

Ruth said...

Hello, CottageGirl! Thank you so much! I am beyond Joy into something like Ecstasy. :-)

Ruth said...

Oh, and CottageGirl, thank you SO much for sharing the YouTube of Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford. I am incredibly inspired. Also, my brother Nelson shared it from your blog with my family.

hedgewitch said...

Lovely excerpts from some of my very favorite childhood friends. All of them are just as good read again as an adult, The Little Prince, and Peter Pan and all the old fairytales especially. I also remember Wind in the Willows fondly. Thank you for another wonderful drink of cool water at this oasis.

Ginnie said...

Oh-Oh-Oh. And don't forget The Velveteen Rabbit on what's really real. You're already in heaven, Ruth. That grandbaby is so lucky!

Kanelstrand said...

I want to live in this world forever. Yes, in this exact world of warm fuzzy softness, of hot tea in a cold evening, of slow, mellow wisdom coming from simple words. So simple as to make everyone understand. Even grownups.

Isn't your future grandbaby the luckiest with a grandparent like you!

Arti said...

What a lovely post! And what a blessed expectation! Maybe the movie "Miss Porter" has stirred up some ideas? With your artistic talents, Ruth, I highly encourage you to create something original: characters, art work, and stories to read to your grandchild. Better start now! ;)

BTW, have you seen the movie adaptation (1974) of The Little Prince, with Gene Wilder? Now, that's another one you'll enjoy. Here's the link.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh my... Congratulations Ruth.. I am so happy for you, the baby , the parents, family members..... most loved baby ever!!! delightful days are coming!!!

Sara said...

Ruth, Brad reads to the children every morning and evening. For them, Daddy's words are life. They are 12 & 11 now! Appreciate the richness of your thoughts and words and may this new child have life through your words too ~ Sara & all

erin said...

two timeless words like brands upon a grand/mother's soul: little.bear. (maurice sendick)

xo
erin