Small Fry Reveries, from Queen Bee

Television

Oma, you don’t have a television,” Satchel says to me in surprise.
“You’ve known me for four years, and you’ve just noticed?”
Satchel Sevenau“Why don’t you like TV?”
“I didn’t say I didn’t like TV, I just don’t have one.”
“Did you ever?”
“Of course. I had one when your dad and Jon were growing up, but when they both moved away to college, I let your dad take it to school.”
“Didn’t he get in trouble with his teacher?”
“No, he wasn’t going to a Waldorf college,” I say, trying not to laugh. “He didn’t take it to his classroom. He was twenty years old and brought it to the house he lived in. It was for him and his roommates.”
I can see his little wheels spinning. “So, Oma. IF you had a TV, where would you put it?”
He takes my hand and leads me to face the logical spot over the fireplace. “You could put it there!”
“That will never do. First of all, it will wreck my decor, and secondly, why do I want a television set?”
My grandson looks up at me with his soft brown eyes and says dreamily, “For me.”
“Darling, I’m not getting a TV, not even for you. Pick out a book and I’ll read you a story instead.”
2007

Hatfields and McCoys

My ten-year-old grandson calls and says, hi Oma, it’s me, Satchel, and I say, hi Satchel, it’s me, Oma. He asks if we are related to the Hatfields and McCoys. I say no, we’re related to the Chatfields and Hoys. He says WHAT?!? I say, I can tell by your voice you’re disappointed. Our family isn’t nearly as interesting and I’m sorry, but the only connection is that they rhyme. They’re from the South, we’re from the North. He says, quite sadly, oh, right, okay, bye Oma. I say okay, bye Satchel.

I’m curious as to why he’s watching that show on TV, on a school night, at that hour, not to mention that he attends a Waldorf school that frowns on television. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that his mother is not home.
May 2013

Stand By Me

Satchel & Temple June 2014Three weeks ago the boy child (age 11) stood by my side at my book-signing event at Readers’, and read aloud a portion from Passages from Behind These Doors. The girl child (age 6) asked me beforehand if she could read some of it there, too.
I said, “Sure, just one problem.”
She said, “What?”
“You don’t know how to read.”
She laughed and said, “Oh yeah, I forgot.”

That changed last night. Side by side in my bed, propped up on pillows, she read her first words to me. Some words that make no sense, like ‘when’ and ‘this,’ and big ones too, like ‘remember.’ I helped some when she was stumped.
After ten minutes she lays her head back and says, “Whew, I’m sweating.”
“I understand, it’s hard work reading a whole book out loud for the first time.”
When she finished the last page, she had a huge smile.
When she closed the cover and carefully laid both her hands on it, I cried.
December 2014

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  1. Glad to get this. Glad you sent it. Glad to know you.

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