I awake and am already overwhelmed  and exhausted by early morning dreams.  Like a traffic jam, images and thoughts and feelings crowd my head. Oh, its another day and I am less than thrilled.  Quickly, I sit up so I won’t fall back asleep and  into the dream.  Shaking my head — trying to clear a path — doesn’t work.  I’m relieved to realize that  at least  I don’t work today because its going to take hours to function. Gingerly, holding the railing, I walk down the stairs into the kitchen and press the button on the old coffee maker.  No one else is at home, I realize with some relief.  Wouldn’t want anyone seeing me like this.  Grabbing the cup of coffee, I head to the computer to read blogs I regularly follow.  The fog starts to roll away as I see what’s new with these people who I am getting to know.  We visit each other’s worlds for a time.  I push the like tab on a few and even comment on one.  This fellow-blogger  responds back and we are having a conversation — a meaningful one. Suddenly, I become aware of the breeze through the screened window and the sparrows chirping outside.  It’s another day and I am okay with that.

A Conversation with my 14 Year Old Self


A Conversation with my 14 Year-Old Self

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

I’ve got good news and bad news for you kiddo.  Pimples aren’t forever is the good news.  Tough times will continue but the abuse will end.  You will cut the ties with your awful parents. The other good news is that you get to have a great kid.  Just the one, but he’s enough.  That’s right — a son.  He is funny and smart and loving and you have all kinds of joys raising him.  Your husband?  Oh… well…you’ve had two so far.  You’re not exactly lucky in love.  Sorry about that.  But you have good friends — some you even know right now!  No, I’m not telling who, I want it to be a surprise.  Your sister and you are still close and she has a daughter who grows up to be a published poet.  Yeah, really.  You? You become a reading tutor and also teach in preschools.  You adore children and love your work.  All that playing school years ago becomes your passion.  When do the pimples go away?  Ha!  – in a couple of years.  But you get to have some nice boyfriends with pimples so its okay.  No, you don’t marry any of your junior high or high-school sweethearts.  No, you never date Jimmy B. who you roped and kissed in kindergarten.  You are boy-crazy, aren’t you?

Children’s Literature and Spider Monkeys


“Caps for Sale” was probably my favorite children’s book growing up.  This book was also responsible for creating a love of monkeys in me.  This past Sunday, I had the pleasurable fun of seeing it come to life at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois.  After traipsing through the heat and humidity and seeing lions and tigers and bears (and some beautiful and graceful giraffes), I entered the air-conditioned primates exhibit. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but spider monkeys!  There seemed to be at least fifteen of them swinging from tree to tree and scampering about and chasing each other.

I stood entranced as I imagined them stealing the peddler’s caps and copying his motions.  The years fell off of me as I regained my child’s heart.

The pages of this beloved book had sprung to life.  I was under a spell of enchantment. I found it incredible that these monkeys were acting like the monkeys of my imagination.  I don’t know how long I stood there watching  under their spell.  My friends (that I had come to the zoo with) spoke to me, reminding me there was a lot more to see.  And there was.  But nothing was comparable with the magic that the spider monkeys had held for me. I always knew that books enrich life but now I saw how  life enriches books.