spring stories

PRUNE THE GOOSE, DEMOLITION + OTHER SMALL JOYS

 
mother and child by samantha spigos
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daughter and father enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
daughter and father enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
daughter and mother enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
daughter and mother enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
dismantling a ramp outdoors by samantha spigos
dismantling a ramp outdoors by samantha spigos
dismantling a ramp outdoors by samantha spigos
babies at a water table by samantha spigos
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Today is Mariellen’s birthday. It would have been her 87th year this side of heaven. Instead, we have filled the rooms of her home with growth and vibrancy, and lately those same qualities have been finding their way to the flower beds, Ghost’s grave, the onion patch, et al. Yesterday was Mary Frances’s birthday. The queen of my heart and, by all scientific measures, an actual earth angel. We ate rhubarb pie together, the unofficial food patron of our family. Tomorrow is Janet’s birthday. A Chicagoan who blessedly moved to Ohio and raised the man I love most on Earth, plus flower beds that you’d swear sing with gladness. Grandmother, Mother, Mother-in-law: the marvelous trifecta of matriarchal birthdays.

I’m taking notice of this abiding peace. It is settling somewhere that I hope can’t be, or won’t be, easily penetrated. Decisions made in the name of Family and Hope and Possibility are bearing ripe and abundant fruit. Certainly nothing exotic. The boys dismantled a ramp with hammers and drills and saws, while I readied an “orange plate” consisting of every orange-colored provision I could find, and my sister set up a Slip ‘N’ Slide. When the work was finished the little ones made haste to throw on their swimsuits; as for mine, she waited exactly five minutes before pooing in her brand new swimsuit. Like I said, nothing exotic. But good, good, good.

A too-early morning with a too-full heart, if such a thing exists. Prune is settling in nicely; it is as though the spot between the rose bush and the bird feeder was waiting for a concrete goose. The sparrows don’t mind her and, oh! would you believe it, a grey catbird came to visit — a first. Subtle changes, big feelings.


“There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.”

— Gerard Manley Hopkins


—S

A HANDFUL OF: BOARD BOOKS FOR SPRING

 
board books for spring by samantha spigos
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Board books befitting of spring . . .

+ Fly! by Xavier Deneux — tactile, big, with a sweet tale of spring for the birds
+ A New Day by Ronald Heuninck — a wordless book with beautiful, serene depictions of daily life for a child
+ Spring by Gerda Muller — a true favorite; sweet spring scenes in a wordless book
+ The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter — to have a children’s library is to have Beatrix Potter included
+ My First Root Children by Sibylle Von Olfers — a folk tale with a tender, earth-loving message
+ Squirrel is Hungry by Satoshi Kitamura — a very basic, colorful story that my kid cannot get enough of
+ The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Brown / illustrated by Clement Hurd — mother / child embodiment
+ Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney / illustrated by Anita Jeram — a father / child love story

These days we do a lot of reading, or looking at, or tossing of books. Rather than worrying about practicing gentleness with books quite yet, I have put away all the paper books in the house and leave board books within easy reach. These are the ones Rosemary has been gravitating towards and handing to me most frequently.

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P.S. I have included sources for purchase that I personally use. I do not receive any form of commission from these companies, but genuinely hope you’ll consider supporting small(er) companies when you look to adding new books.


—S