Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Certain activities tie me to humans throughout history.  I can imagine mothers and grandmothers involved in the same, no matter whether it was last year or ten thousand years before.

I remember taking my babies berrying.  I remember, because yesterday morning I had my 16 month old grandson perched on my hip, clinging to my breast, obediently opening his mouth for black raspberry after black raspberry.  (I warned his mama to expect an especially seedy diaper!)  As I popped in a berry, I saw his papa, on my hip - being fed the same fruit in the same manner.  I felt each of my babies.  Then I remembered one of the sweetest moments of my life.

My oldest grandson was probably 13 or 14 months old.  We were circling the perimeter of his backyard, slowly, stopping to visit each black raspberry bramble.  We had been doing this for the past few days, and it had become his favorite thing to do.  It was warm and still and sunny.  The blond cherub on my hip had a purple beard, his chin stained with raspberry juice.  I held up one especially succulent berry and he willingly opened mouth.  I dropped it in.  He smiled and chewed and swallowed.  Then he pulled his head way back, leaning away from me.  He wasn't looking at me, and I wasn't sure what he was doing.

He plopped a big purple kiss on the shoulder of my white blouse.  There it was. the baby kiss print.  I was so charmed, so in love with this little being, that I prayed the kiss would stain and be part of the shirt forever.

But life doesn't work that way.  The kiss washed right out.  Of course the gray stains along the hem, the ones from garden work, remain.  But the kiss is stained into my memory.  And on hot summer days, and especially when I have little ones clinging to my hip, the kiss and all its sweetness flood me again.