Our grandson officially achieved adulthood recently, a happy event that prompts me to take a welcome pause from my usual political writing. This occasion brought back some special memories of his mother and him and I hope you won’t mind if I share them with you. Perhaps they will help you recall some memorable times with your loved ones too.
A little over 50 years ago – Oh my, has it been that long? – my wife and I were living in an apartment near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I was working full time as a computer systems analyst on the Apollo man-on-the-moon project and seeking a degree in mathematics by taking night classes at a nearby college. Most days during the week I would arrive home after our two-year-old daughter’s bedtime.
One spring evening I went into her room to whisper good night and she was fast asleep, as usual. The window of her room was facing west and the sun was just about to dip below the horizon. On the linoleum floor, in a row facing the window , were a half dozen of Fisher Price’s little people and some of her other toys.
Something about the lighting and this menagerie inspired me to begin writing a poem to preserve the memories of this period in our lives and the things that were special in her life at the time. One was a rocking horse attached to a metal frame with springs that, as I remember, looked something like Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology. She rocked that bronc so hard and fast that sometimes she would buck herself off onto the carpet. Another was a stuffed toy lion called Larry that was twice her size. She also had a doll named Drowsy. But her favorite bedtime companion was a Snoopy doll that was fashioned like the dog in the Peanuts cartoon.
I managed to memorialize most of her toys in the initial verses but I just couldn’t come up with an ending back then that seemed right. Perhaps life got too busy with career, college and just raising a family. Some thirty years later, however, I decided to add some lines and a few years after our now adult grandson was born, I found the inspiration I needed to finish it. It’s entitled:
Toys on the Floor
Larry Lion and Brownie Bear,
a sleepy-eyed doll with tousled hair.
A broken bracelet, a thousand blocks,
a tiny red and white striped box.
A magic horse that rocks on springs,
a golden stallion with dove white wings.
Small wooden people no longer at play,
she placed in a row at the end of the day.
Snoopy’s there too, right next to the clown,
assembled on the floor to watch the sundown.
But night has brought a silence there,
the lion’s not growling, neither is the bear.
Our little blonde angel is tucked in her bed,
her favorite blue blanket pulled over her head.
Again home too late for a goodnight kiss,
sadly a pleasure I too frequently miss.
But the next day is Saturday and I can sleep in,
except about six her day will begin.
With blanket in hand from the crib she’ll climb,
assembling her gang, they’ll be singing a rhyme.
Then into our bedroom and up on the bed,
she’ll bounce on the mattress and jump on my head.
How quick it all happened, how fleeting it passed.
It’s hard to believe that she grew up so fast.
Still I smile at the memory of her toys on the floor,
and the sound of her laughter at the bedroom door.
For now she is married, with a child of her own;
she hurries to greet him when she’s late getting home.
She knows he’s done things that she had to miss,
and there’ll be those times with no goodnight kiss.
Like me she’ll have memories to fill this lost space,
the warm hug in the morning, the smile on his face.
But too soon only memories of his lion’s roar,
of his little boy laughter and his toys on the floor.
All eight members of the family will be off on a special Mediterranean cruise for 12 days during the first half of June. Our younger daughter’s, daughter — a perky nine-year-old — can’t wait to board the ship. This year for me is — as my Chinese friends would say — a BIG birthday (50, 60, and I’m not telling) and we intend to enjoy our time together as a family to celebrate this year’s milestone events. I will be taking some pictures and may publish at least one blog with something about the trip while we are away. But that’s a plan, not a promise.
Going forward, I will try to be optimistic and hope that the American electorate will make the right decisions to preserve our democracy. They usually do. Yes, the political situation is a total mess and scary. But we can’t let that defeat us and leave all the work to others. So, I will be making contributions to, and working for, those politicians and organizations that endeavor to make sure that this nation of the people, by the people and for the people will continue to the benefit of our children and grandchildren for decades to come.
As usual, Ron, excellent writing. I love the poem. It certainly makes one think. Have s great trip.
Thanks for sharing this special story! Have a great trip.
Continue to enjoy your writing and remembering our days on the Village Council. Enjoy your cruise and have a scotch for me.
Ron, always knew you were my multi talented but never knew that you were a poet! Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful trip.
Thank you, Ron. I always appreciate your thoughtful, well-done writing, and this one is extra special. Have a wonderful celebration with your family. Amen to your last paragraph.
So beautiful. I have sent the poem to my son and his partner. Sometimes in the chaos of everyday life, it is important to remember how fleeting these special moments will be. Thank you, Ron.
Thank you for today’s blog. I read the paper first, depressing, then your Email, uplifting.
Enjoy the cruise. Take time away.
So sweet! Beautiful story and poem! Thanks for sharing another of your many talents with us! And Happy Birthday- sounds like a very special one:)
Sooo glad you memorialized those days, found an ending that is just as sweet! Thank you for sending this, Ron. ❤
Thank you for sharing your wonderful poem, and all the memories that it brings. We are in Germany now, and have experienced many terrific sights. Have a great time with your family. Take Care Cindi
Sent from my iPad
Great poem. Happy upcoming milestone.
Sent from my iPhone
Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the birthday together with family. Cherish the events you all share. Congratulations and thanks for the poem.
thanks for all your insights over the past few years. enjoy your time with family and try to avoid getting too far in the weeds with the mess we are dealing with. you deserve many kudos!!
This was very special, Ron. I know you will have a fabulous trip. Give my best to Hepsie. Hendersonville isn’t the same without you. Come back and see The Park at Flat Rock. You will be impressed. Bon Voyage!