Sunday, October 26, 2014

So are the Dates of Our Lives

Friday evening brought an end to Round One of the Papperly Chronicles.  Ol' Henry, as the oldest in his little clan, was the last to enjoy a personal date night. I wondered most about this one.  His dad's family has a farm, so lots of run and play space and animal care are a fixture in his life already.  He's been enamored with tractors since he popped out.  As for me, I have barely an ounce of vehicle expertise. I might, though I'm not promising, be able to tell you the difference in a truck and a tractor, but that's as far as it goes.  They work with a key and it's all magic.  He, on the other hand, can tell you every last thing you might need to know to go to work manufacturing them.  My arts and crafts expertise has never much impressed or interested him.
Actually, he was the most vocally and physically (much hopping about ) excited one of all.  We began with tinder collecting and an explanation of what worked well and how we would use it.
 With part of our tinder, we created our fuel for the bee smoker and suited up for a little bee exploration.  It is a perfect time of year to share with children.
 Since this frustrating hive flew the coop, I could easily show him examples of everything and he is an apt pupil.

 As always, a little chicken tending must be done and he was happy to be of help.
 After the work part, a little Cinderella snuggle was in order.

 With bees and chicks seen to, we moved on to his second wish, a science experiment.  Seems I lean to the solvent, mixture, state of matter sort of thing. Whoa, I look very scary here.  It was a long week at school.   Here, a mixture of peroxide and Dawn, with some yeast thrown in as a catalyst creates an exothermic reaction which he could feel and see.  Way cool I'm telling ya.

 Next, time to start a fire.  Like his sister he thought he ought to let me know that this was a no, no.  It's hard to explain how doing something one on one with an adult (making fire) is a different story than playing with fire around other kids.  He enjoyed his success, as we all did.  The night was growing cooler.
 He wanted ravioli, so we heated it in pie irons, but he also enjoyed a hot dog and baked beans.
 When we'd had enough fire play, we headed to the sacred woodshop. His first comment, "Wow, I don't think I've ever been in here before."  Again, he was very interested in all the working parts.
 I suppose you've figured out that child development fascinates me.  I found it interesting, that while every last one was perfectly behaved and stayed with it till the end, the boys attention would wander a bit, while the girls never did.
Here he is applying the bee's wax we pinched off the comb.
 Next, the magical steel wool.
 Though candle making is a craft, he was into it and very proud and happy with his final product.
He told me I was a great aunt, actually, maybe the best aunt anywhere. "In fact, " he said, " I think of you more as a grandmother figure."  Sweet boy! That made me smile, especially since I've long since referred to them as my grandchildren.  Of course, as life goes, it also made me sad. Kaye would not have done the type of things with them that I do, but she would have spoiled them and they would have known they were much adored by her.  I always tell them about her when it seems appropriate.  Always I miss her, but this time of year she is more gone than usual.
Ol' Henry has a friend who is passionate about bugs. He came over this afternoon and we suited up for another bee tour. 

Yesterday I entertained Rae's boys, so this evening is just a little resting time. 

After big classroom experiences, I always have my students reflect in a journal.  In reflection of our dates I can say I loved my time one on one with them. I wouldn't trade one laugh, one "ah, ha" moment, one captured picture. Well, that scary one of me I could without.  I can also say that I certainly understand grandparents who take their grands to a movie or the zoo for a date, especially when I have a daytime class that expects me to earn that paycheck.  It's a bit of a challenge to be "on" all day, and then all evening too. 
Sometimes I have a bit of regret that I've created a sort of Disney World at Gramerly's.  I mean, seldom is there any just visiting, it is always doing.  They don't just come and hang-out.  These dates,  I imagine, will only increase that expectation.  But, overdoing is my disease, so be it.
I'm so very thankful that not so much as a band-aid was required with all that fire starting, sawing and exothermic reactions abounding. Thank you sweet Lord!
And my side-kick, I've really never experienced him enjoying the wee ones as much as he seemed to throughout these dates.  Watching him with them was a little compounded joy.
So, contented is what I feel and that is a precious feeling indeed.


  1. Your Disney World is so much better than the real thing or anything like it. I think it is just wonderful that they will grow up having these wonderful memories of having your time. Time is so much more magical than quickly forgotten amusement park trips. Hope it is a great week.

  2. I saw that pic of you and thought, "That is a really great pic of Kimberly!" I know you don't like your picture taken, but you should allow it a little more often for the kiddos...they will need lots of pics of you for years to come!