recess radio program

07/24/07
Another Planet
    by Lola Haskins

When my children were little, I was convinced that each stage was the most adorable yet and at each birthday I wanted to put bricks on their heads to stop them right there. Of course, they grew up anyway, and now one of them has children of her own, so here I am again. But this time wiser, because I learned from last time that bricks don't work, and that, for me, the only thing that does, is writing.

Some people use photographs to rewind time, but taking pictures stole the minutes I spent taking them, and since I didn't want to miss even one second, that wasn't okay with me. In any case, I've been writing down my daughter's daughter Ava since she was born, and some day I'll be able to show her what she was like when she was little by sitting her on my metaphorical lap and turning pages.

But when Ava's little sister, was born, I was so focused on Ava - who was three at the time--that my pen missed Lydia's first two years almost completely. But now Lydia has come into her own, diapering stuffed dogs, insisting on us coming in to view her yellow productions, and using sign language both peculiar to her and completely clear. And now, when I come by, more often than not I find the sisters together, digging for treasure (sticks) with their sandbox shovels, sitting down in mud puddles with twin glee, doing joint if multilevel tricks on their swing set. And I can't resist either of them a minute longer so I've written them a poem. Lydia will get her own soon, but this one's for both of them--in which they'll cavort, I hope, forever, without having to drop off a single brick. And here it is:

For Ava and Lydia on Another Planet
May you always be parading through your house in your new dollar store underpants
carrying your new dollar store umbrellas.
May you be perpetually scooping dirt from your sandbox shovels into the gaps around burlapped roses.
May you be teacher and student forever, you Ava, doing downward dog with
the full intensity of five, you Lydia,
losing your balance because your chubby legs have had only two years to practice.
And may you, Ava, spell "looked" l-o-o-c-t for the rest of your life and never lose
the ear that finished "Cinderella" with a "u" in your story where she finds a p-o-n-e
and, living happily ever after, rides it.
May neither of you forget how to follow the wavy blue crayon lines you've invented,
at the end of which flocks of birds startle from the wild plums.
May you never be higher to the ground than you are now, for without you,
who will admire the tiny yellow flowers on the heads of grass?
May you love me infinity plus infinity, and if that fails, then more than all of outer space.
And when my Saturday car breaches the curve of your hill, may you be watching at
the window, then be my two little suns forever, running out your door.
And oh, may it be true. This is Lola

Copyright 2007 Lola Haskins

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Friday, 29-Jun-2007 20:15:56 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."