Tag Archives: Child

In Remembrance of My Grandmother


She barely smiled

but when she did

it was like she smiled

for all of us, all at once

She sequestered herself

away from the world outside

her humble home

soon after my grandfather died

I never met him

but she made him come alive to me

with stories of his exquisite chivalry

His portrait sat on the table

beside where Grandma sat

to fold the laundry and fine linen

Each fold she made

was purposeful

and perfectly aligned

her wrinkled hands

caressed the fabric

with great tenderness

a pillow case could not

possibly appreciate

I felt her love

one day

when she gently brushed

my hair for the first time

(I could remember)

and wrapped it in a bun.

She told extraordinary stories

about her childhood, my grandfather

and the things that according to her

every girl should know

about life in general.

She smoked cigars

which I found unreal

but she did it with the grace

of a queen.

What I remember most

is her love for her pets

although not the traditional

dog or cat.

She raised chickens and hens, and roosters

gave them all names at that

Had short conversations with them every day

about the weather and what was on her mind

Then on any given day

at any given time

when she felt they were fat enough

she’d decide

to cook one of them

for us to dine.

As I remember the many conversations I had

with my beloved grandmother

we all called Mita

and do not ask me why

I think about

the things that my grand children

will remember about me after I have died.

I hope Mita knows how

much she influenced

me as a storyteller and poet.

I could almost see her smile.

and once again it warmed my heart

because when she smiled

it was like she smiled for all of us.

*My grandmother passed away 37 years ago.

Angels in a classroom


It saddens me and breaks my heart to learn that we have to deal with this type of horrific event once again. I was physically ill by the news. Like everyone else I could only think about my loved ones and family who have children in those grade levels. My children are grown but all I wanted to do was to see them and hug them tight.

I wrote this poem as I listened to news reports on CNN. Someone said that there were probably some angels in that school because no other explanation would suffice about how many of the children did manage to escape with only the emotional wounds. May God help them to heal. My sincere condolences to all the families and the larger community of Newtown.

 

Melba Christie

 

 

Angels in a classroom

 

There were not enough angels to go around

For the children left helpless in a school in Newtown

 

The sky was bright and forever blue

But no one knew

 

The calm would be shattered

By a soul so troubled and battered

 

The children were all babies by any definition

No parent would argue with this distinction

 

For no matter what the age of a child may be

The loss of a son or daughter, we all can agree

is something too difficult to believe

 

There were not enough angels that day to go around

The reasons for all the horror may never be found

 

What we know is that 20 more angels have been recruited

To watch from the heavens

And mingle with the stars

And their brightness will outshine all the others by far

 

Let us pray for all our children

and make sure that they know

how much we love them

and how we will do all we can

to make sure that no one ever does this again.

 

Let us not forget the teachers

who protected the children

and made the ultimate sacrifice

to put their lives first

We all need to recognize

Those teachers were real life angels in disguise.

 

 

Melba Christie

 

 

 

First Day of School


 

I just received a photo of my grandson on the first day of school via e-mail. He started kindergarten today and his face says it all. He looks confident and stands straight wearing a brand new uniform. The photo brings me back to the day his father’s first day in kindergarten. He had his shiny new superman lunch box in one hand and a small book bag in the other. This is when book bags were simple and light. Kindergarten was a time for play and to engage in socialization. It was a time to begin to learn all the things that you would need to know the rest of your life.
My grandson on the other hand is wearing a big backpack and he looks so grown up. He already has a school resume having attended nursery school and Pre-K for a few years now; so school is nothing new to him. But he is attending a new school this year and so I hope he is able to adjust to his new environment.
But so many other children start school without any prior experience. Today, children are expected to know most of the alphabet, recognize the primary colors, identify geometric shapes and count to 100 before they put a foot inside the Kindergarten class. They are expected to have developed pre-reading skills like recognition of basic sight words. Kindergarten is simply not the same as when my son and daughter went to school. The exigencies are different and the pace is strict. Of course I devoted a lot of time to teaching them many things as a precursor to entering kindergarten but I did want some things to be discovered at school.
Today we need to make sure that five year old children are aware of their surroundings, understand the difference between good versus bad touching, and to develop some street smarts. Times have definitely changed. I just hope that my grandson’s experience is memorable and that he learns to love learning.
Since we live in different states I am making sure that I am a part of the experience. I told him I would write him a letter every week for him to practice reading. I send him activities to reinforce the skills in all areas. I want him to know me as a person and as someone who loves reading and learning. I want to restore some of those twentieth century skills like letter writing and good penmanship. I want him to be articulate and be able to write notes or messages longer than 140 characters. I believe that these skills are still part of building friendships and family relationships. I won’t mind if you call me old fashion. After all, I am a grandmother and I am entitled to be a little old fashioned sometimes.