for my daughter Leah and my granddaughter Ariana, in celebration of her fifth birthday
She gets through the days of COVID confinement
with planned activities for her children, and little time for herself.
Her toddler, though loveable, has the usual two-year-old tantrums;
the eldest, though patient, has her moments.
She misses preschool and her friends
and, though registered for kindergarten, she might not get to go.
In these unfamiliar days of total confusion,
her mother constantly worries about what her daughter might be missing,
but then she opens the door to the yard
which, though confining to her,
is an endless universe to my granddaughter
who, with curls bouncing and arms for wings,
prances across the grass.
She explores the tiny stream and woods behind her house,
collects rocks, slugs, worms, and other curiosities,
all while declaring her love for slimy things.
While my daughter concerns herself with schooling,
my granddaughter is learning to appreciate what she has, to entertain herself,
and to follow her own ideas to their natural conclusions and/or consequences.
Critical thinking is the star of the yard,
and as my daughter, whose very first sentence was “Bugs scare me!!!”,
stifles fear and disgust,
our bright-eyed, beaming Ariana, with a bevy of insects in her hands,
“MY SANDBOX IS A WONDERLAND OF BUGS!!!!”
© by Joan Kantor.
Used here with the author's permission.