Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

on flu break

imageThis message is brought to you by the miracle of modern medicine, and the unfortunate strain of flu NOT covered in the flu shot. And yes, I’ll still get the flu shot. The doc swears it would be lots worse if I hadn’t taken the shot.

How, I’m not sure. Last night my fever was high enough I hallucinated. I vaguely recall polar bears… And they weren’t the cute ones in the Coke commerical.

So I’ll be off the grid for a few days. Wish me luck.



modern medicine and everyday miracles

imageSo remember the scratchy throat I was fighting? The beautiful grandson who was spewing germs as he laughed and climbed me like a mountain? Flu. Yup, flu.

Thank the universe (and modern medicine) for Tamiflu. Not only do I have grandson duty: I also have a pretty important date in D.C. next week. What I don’t have is time to be sick. Hence, I got my sick self to the clinic today, not even 24 hours after beginning to feel pretty punk.

I fully expect to be better before I have to fly to D.C. Although I may be a teeeeensy bit optimistic…I’m still hopeful.


How many miracles of everyday life do we take for granted? Having lived in many places w/out the benefits of modern plumbing, hot water, good streets, vegetables in the winter (really), or modern medicine, I rarely take my life for granted. Well, except for those times that I do…image

So here’s my grateful thanks for Tamiflu, Celebrex for arthritis, anti-depressants, hot water, dishwashers & washing machines, central heat, reliable transportation, urgent care clinics, and all the other benefits of 21st century American life. A job if you have one, even if it’s not the one you’d dreamed of. There’s even stuff like — the snow finally melted!

If you’re feeling a bit punk today, look around. I suspect that even on a blue day there’s vast occasion for gratitude.


viral moments and metaphors

imageThose oddly shaped, colourful objects are teethers. My grandson is teething. And (gross-out alert) he’s also blowing mucous in large quantities. Some is the result of teething — we had hoped it all was. But my aching bones, need for a nap, and incipient low-grade fever remind me that the daycare years might also be known as the viral years.

You can’t draw back from a loving 9-month-old. You can’t avert your face when they cough on you, avoid drool on your cashmere turtleneck (or your neck…), or otherwise avoid contagion.


Life’s like that — like an enthusiastic, sometimes snotty, 9-month-old. Incredibly cute/ alluring/ enticing, but sure to sneak up on you.

I can’t help it: I’m a poet, and I see metaphors/ similes/ and poetry  everywhere. It’s just how I am. And when I’m grandmothering, I’m worse, believe me.

Everything becomes a metaphor, a sign. A cold becomes life’s unexpected uphills, while the soft snuggle of a sleepy baby is the reward offered when you continue that uphill.

It’s worth it. The Tylenol, the noon nap, even the mucuous. Life is a 9-month-old grandson. And it’s sooo worth it.


sons, and daughters, and grandsons, and love

imageI’m one of those weird people who is happiest when giddy with loving folks. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, since I get considerable flak over it from family (are you high on happy pills??). But it’s true, if I’m honest — I’m far better at loving than being loved.

Probably a lot of us are like that — slightly uncomfortable w/ being loved. Waiting for the “it’s all a mistake” shoe to drop. Maybe it’s why almost everyone loves a wiggly puppy, a squirmy kitten, a babbling baby. When they love us, there’s no artifice or fear.


So imagine my heaven this week: I get to spend an ENTIRE WEEK just loving my elder son, my wonderful DIL, and my perfect grandson. I don’t even need lessons — one of the few times when my beginner’s heart feels absolutely competent.

I realise there are people whose families are sad disappointments. That would not be me. My sons, DIL, and nieces and nephews — the entire younger generation of our family, really — each have myriad wonderful gifts. Even when they sometimes make decisions that leave me thinking hunh… really? I’m crazy about them. It’s all I can do not to nuzzle on them like I do my grandson — they’re still that amazing.image


But  you can’t do that w/ elegantly dressed elder sons, or impeccably competent younger ones. Or with practically perfect DILs. At best, you can give them HUGE hugs, leaning into them and counting your blessings. (I recommend you do this inaudibly; they look at you weird if you count aloud.)

Now with Trin, my grandson, I don’t have to worry. Yet another reason to treasure this week I’m ostensibly ‘helping out.’ My son is recovering from flu, my DIL has a conference half-way across the country, and who you gonna call? GG! Whose beloved (the granddad) is fine with sharing me, knowing I’m in 7th heaven hugging, nuzzling Trin, cooking and cooing and visiting and just loving.

And that’s just fine — I don’t even care if Trin is in the throes of ‘stranger!’ It’s not about him loving me anyway ~

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