Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sorting & Sisters

Isabel sorts

I am intrigued at how Isabel takes it all in,
the mindful stare she gives to things and people around her,
letting that which is outside come in
to her thoughts
through her eyes
and wander around for awhile
till some kind of critical mass happens
and she gets around
to sorting, to ordering,
to grading,
I notice that after 1-2 seconds of new stimulus
she deliberately turns to it to get it into her processor,
data accumulates
and she learns to organize,

after a few days together, with me careful
to fit my rhythms to hers, and then to vary,
to hold her so that she is comfortable
and what’s around her has interest,
she gives me a gift of taking me in,
her default reaction is openness,
though now she is learning the unfamiliar from the familiar,
and anyone who is stranger
can provoke her into crying,

I love it when she looks at me,
and then smiles,
she has sorted me, and, for now,
I’m in the pleasing pile,

she helps me understand the term “out of sorts,”
for I feel her unease
when someone doesn’t fit into the right sorted category.

by Henry H. Walker
December 30, ’08

Now her sister is as "right" as it gets. . .


first children can be as ice breakers
breaking through the frigid stasis of our parental ignorance--
not matter how much we know,
or think we know,
it’s all new for child and parent alike,

how common it is for the first-born
to have a touch of the driven,
a sense of starring in a one-ring circus,
with so much focus from parent, grandparent, aunt & uncle,
and each child wants to get it right,
to live up to the great expectations showered on them so freely,

I write this as I work to understand our granddaughter Rachel
and who she is for her younger sister Isabel,

Rachel’s heart has always been generous,
at near 4 years old she even freely gave away
her new Christmas candy two days ago,
and I delight in the delight each sister finds in the other,

how much brighter each of their lights can be
because they help each other shine their brightest,

our order in the family does determine part of the hand,
it’s how we choose the game and play the cards
that can deepen a bond or push the other away,

Rachel & Isabel are well on the way to getting it right,
the inclination is good, may it hold . . .

by Henry H. Walker
December 27, ’08

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