In the dry riverbed we collect stones, each a jewel
or a small world — my daughter and I — ambling like cattle.
The wide riverbed is bank-to-bank beauty
of red, white, green stones,
black and yellow, veined and ribbed
quartz and sandstone, basalt and granite,
all tumbled smooth by the long time of the world.
I find a few treasures and my daughter, who is five,
comes and stands under my stoop, pounces
on stones at my feet, her eyes scanning, scanning.
If I move sideways, she moves sideways. If I turn, she turns.
All this space and she stands right here, shadowing
my shadow, seeking treasure at her mother’s feet,
seeing through her mother’s eyes, stealing her mother’s vision.
Well, our children do. It’s what we give the world — their greed
for life — and it’s ok that they look through our eyes for a while.
But Daughter, in that far off story of snow and sadness,
the little match-girl died.
She was fiddling with flames, dreaming of mother
when she could have been collecting wood.
Daughter, I am only a dreamt mother. I can’t save you.
I can’t give you the world, though I’d give you
each stone in this riverbed, I’d give enough beauty
to sustain you in your ever-after life.
But in the end, I’m as impotent as the match-girl’s mother.
And you can steal from me, my eyes, my very breath,
but sooner or later, you will have to find
your own stones to whisper your secrets to.
* * * * * * * * *
You can hear me read this poem on my Video Wall. You can access it via the menu or here. Have a listen.
Here’s a great game to play with kids of all ages (including adults).
You need a dice, some paper, and something to draw with.
Each face of the dice denotes a body part of a bug that you draw.
The winner is the first person to get all the requisite body parts.
Here are the rules we used:
But incase you can’t read them:
- A body or a wing (you need 1 body. Wings are optional.)
- Legs or antennas (you need 6 legs and two antennas)
- Legs or antennas
- Head (you need 1 head, but Hana threw 4 seven times in the picture above so she just kept adding heads and Lenka added three three extra heads on this one below)
5. Eyes (you need two, but don’t let that limit you!)
6. A mouth or a butt (you need at least one mouth).
That's it. But here is a few more of our examples. This one by me. (I had to do at least one in my notebook.)
And one by Hana, who is as nuts as her mother (me).
She must have been throwing a lot of fours, fives, and sixes. She was probably in need of some antennas.
Much hilarity was had by all in this process! And, as you can see, inspiring drawings, too.
Do you have any games like this? Tell me about them in the comments. And what do you think of our bugs?