Humble Contributions to the Peoples' History

Posts tagged ‘children’

Poetic Reflection at Two

Alexandra, Sky

“The sky sees your face.”
–Alexandra Kerr S.


the sky sees your face
the wind whispers in your ear
the rain hears your splashes
the snow kisses your hand
the grass tickles your toes
the moon sparkles in your eyes
the sun warms your skin.
the sky sees your face.


Alexandra has continued with her memorable quotes, collected by Daddy and Mommy:


May 24, 2016 Alex: Mommy, I’m made out of elements
Oh really? What elements?
Alex: FIRE ELEMENTS! My skin is the elements. The fire elemental are right next to my heart!
What do you do with your fire elements?
Alex: I only play with the fire elements right next to my heart & they look like fire and if you were in my body than you could see it but only if you are mini-sized. But don’t touch them or you will be burned into a fire monster.


“I call the picture Turtle de Shelly”

“can you tell me my grandpa’s name? I can’t find it in my memory.”–Alex

“what does orbit mean daddy?”–Alex

“Making messes isn’t my thing right now.”–Alex

Alex: can you get me some more water daddy?
Me: why don’t you do it?
Alex: because it is soooo boring.

January 11 at 7:56am · Newport News, VA ·

 When my heart beats that means I’m OK annnd you love me.

“My aunty Kae is a nice aunty, I flew on a plane to see her and she took me to art class aaaannnddd gave me food to survive. I threw up in her car because my Nanna drove to much.”–Alex


Dear Alex, we are saving the date for you and Valeta to return to Pennsylvania in June. Can’t wait to see you both! There will be art classes again and dancing wearing our tutus. I promise we will drive slowly so no more worries about car sickness! How about another ride on the merry-go-round? Love, Auntie K

“our TV has blu-ray. I know about Blu-ray on TV’s you know.”–Alex

Me: Alex, would you like me to read some more John Keats?
Alex: yea.
“I knew that conflict was a bad idea, I knew it!”  –Alex
Alex: can I have some crackers?
Me: I’m folding laundry right now.
Alex (pouting): please
Me: not right now
Alex: why isn’t my pouting working.

Alex: What happens if this chip breaks?
Me: I don’t know, you will have a broken chip.
Alex: Will the whole world break?
Me: I don’t…
Alex breaks the chip
Me: think so.

She took out another and said “does this chip hold reality together?” before breaking it.
I look on the bright side when I give you hugs.

A letter for Auntie Kae and Nanna Jean.

It reads: “I love Auntie Kae. I love Nanna Jean”

“I miss Auntie Kae, because she is really nice.”

Comments:  I miss you and Valeta, too! Here’s a video of feeding the manta rays at the Camden Aquarium.

Portrait by Jean Kerr Strosahl, August 2017

“when I go to Kindergarten I’m going to miss being normal.”

Alex started school today, and that is a big change for her… but it is also a big change for me, a milestone in her life and a threshold over which once crossed there is no going returning. She went out that door, got on that bus, and entered into a whole new world of experiences. It will change her, and in that change she will grow into someone new, someone wonderful. Of no less, and no greater beauty than the amazing person she is today. Yet the person she is today will be lost to me. The girl who holds my hand tomorrow isn’t the same person who held my hand as she toddles across the floor, isn’t the same person as the one who looked up at me with those eyes so blue on her very first day. She is the sum of those people, just as the young lady she will become is going to be the sum of the person she is today (and every person she is between now and then). But then am I not a different man than I was when I first held her hand (an eternity ago to her, an instant to me). That man is still here, part of the sum of experiences that makes up my life… just as the little boy who once held a hand (an eternity ago for me, perhaps a moment ago for others).

Time changes us, it brings us new experiences that shape who we are like the waves on a beach shape the sand. Even if we go back to the same place, be it days or even years later, we can never return to that same beach we once walked on. Nor are we the same people as the ones who once walked on that beach.

Tonight, after the excitement had calmed down she laid her head down on my shoulder and said “I can hear you breathing daddy” then drifted off to sleep. Tonight I laid there for a bit longer than I otherwise would… there being laundry to do and a dishwasher to run, lines on the endless list of things that need to be done. I laid there with the window open and lightning flickering in the distance.

Just for a moment, just one moment more.

* * * * * * *
Alex: Sometimes I run so fast on the ground it catches on fire 
It’s OK, I’m an ice dragon and ice dragons breath ice like a refrigerator for ice.
I look on the bright side when I give you hugs.

Alex: hi Daddy
Me: hi Snuggles, what’s going on in your world today?
Alex: Sunshine and RAINBOWS!

September 2018
“we are never alone, because there are always spiders nearby. They live behind the toilet.”



December 15, 2018

“What happens if your brain is  trying to make sense, but it ends up not making any sense?”

January 2019


“Every day is the newest day ever.”  -Alex

Alex: When I go to Art Camp its a long way away… you leave from here in North America and you land in Philadelphia.
Me: Philadelphia is in North America sweetie
Alex: 😲

Never go over the rainbow, if you do there is a monster there waiting to nibble you up!

My Songs, 6.24.2019


“Got your Goat,” Street Performance, Plaza Mayor, Madrid

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While in Spain, I enjoyed watching the many street performers and their interactions with visitors.

One of my favorites, took place at the Plaza Mayor, in Madrid, as two little girls interact with a “goat.”

From Autonomous Kingdom of Northern Spain, June 2013.

Do Movies Influence Children’s Psyhe?

When I was six years old, my mother took the family to see the movie, Lili, released in 1953. My mother purchased the sheet music from the theme and would play the song on the piano, singing along. I remembered liking the song, too, and we’d talk about the movie.

The central plot of the story centers around Lili, a young woman left alone, and finding her place at a carnival. She falls for a magician, who rebuffs her. Thinking that all is lost, Lili contemplates suicide. Paul, the lame puppeteer watching her from afar, draws her into conversation with his puppets. Paul hires Lili as part of his act, and her innocent and sincere interaction with the puppets becomes an instant success. Although Paul falls in love with Lily, he is unable to express that love except through the puppets. After an argument, Lily leaves. As she wanders down a long road, the puppet images come alive in her imagination. Through dance, Lily realizes that Paul is the puppets, and she rushes back to the carnival.

Leslie Caron plays the part of Lily, who I remember as most convincing as the naïve girl finding her way in a harsh world. Her brimmed hat and sweater with the lace collar convey a sweet innocence. The photograph below of my mother taken in 1945 reflects style similarities of the time.

My Mother 1945

The expression of love through the puppets stayed with me long after my mother stopped playing the song. I came to believe that showing kindness, but from behind the scenes, made that moment magical. Elements of reality and fantasy co-mingle and mimic the puppet master and the puppets. Everett Ferguson wrote on the modern perspective of magic, which is a result of a universal sympathy.

The laws governing these connections may be unknown to most of us, may be hidden even from the magician; but it is in virtue or organic, natural, that magic works.

Where this all becomes interesting is understanding the effect of movies on children especially as an intersection to their parent’s reactions to the same film, which supports or negates the child’s experience. The borderlands between reality and fantasy are part of all movie-going experiences. While the movie Lily captured my imagination, I’m somewhat convinced that my mother’s influence played into my remembrances and taking in elements of the film personally.

I’d be interested to know if others connect to films through some aspect of their parent’s reactions. Let me know.

Children’s Non-Competitive Birthday Game: Musical Chairs

I was combing through our home videos from the mid-1980s and came across this game that the children played at one of our birthday parties. Musical chairs started as the game concept but with a twist–while still taking away a chair, all children stay in the game as they “share” the remaining chairs when the music stops. Rather than being excluded one by one, all the children can enjoy the entire game and no losers! Did the kids like this new version? Video tells the story.

More cooperative games here.

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