Posted by: Betsy Devany | August 1, 2009

Be a Child

My inspirations for writing come from many sources: my dreams, the toy store where I work part-time, my observations of people and the world around me, my own childhood memories, memories of raising my two wonderful daughters and my experiences with my three-year-old granddaughter.

Yesterday, she came up with new ways to delay going to bed.

Betsy: “Ava, guess what! It’s bedtime.”

Ava: “I am NOT tired.”  SHe crosses her arms and juts her chin out, adding a “Hmph!”

Betsy: “Grandma is tired. VERY tired.”

Ava: “But, Grandma . . . we tagot (forgot) to read to Norman.”  Ava shakes her head up and down, beaming. Her eyes wide, as if she’s got me.

Betsy: “One story.”   We settle on the couch next to Norman and the dog.  Ava recites COPYCAT by Ruth Brown, which sets her into hysterics. Norman, too.  I, however, am not laughing.

Betsy: “Ava, I am putting on your quiet music so you can go to sleep.”

Ava: “Grandma,” she whispers. “I have a GREAT idea! You will just LOVE IT.”

The only thing I plan on loving right now is my pillow. Obviously, Ava has another idea aside from going to bed. She is pulling Norman down the hallway heading towards the front door. Merlin trots behind her, as well as our two indoor cats, who are obviously plotting an escape plan as soon as Ava tries to get Norman out the door.

Betsy: “Ava, Norman needs to sleep. Ava needs to sleep. Grandma really needs to sleep.”

Ava: “Grandma, you are too silly. You tagot something . . . We gots to go outside and catch fireflies . . . and slugs, decuz they are eating ALL your plants.”

Okay, she has me there. Ava and I leave Norman inside. We grab our flashlights and go on a slug hunt. Ava is very concerned that we make a nice home for them. She pulls leaves for the slugs to nibble on while I toss them into a plastic bag.  Hundreds of them. My plants all look like withered green swiss cheese.

Betsy: “Ava, we have enough slugs. Time for bed.”

Ava: “Grandma, why are you so silly? You tagot the fireflies.”

Okay, she has me there.

After we have captured and released four fireflies, Ava finally joins me in yawning.  We head to the house.

Ava: “Grandma, do you know how to be a firefly?”

Betsy: “No.”

Ava: “Silly Grandma, you have to make your butt light up! Like this!”

Ava runs across the lawn, holding her flashlight under the back of her shirt. She is laughing. I am laughing, too, as I hurry to catch up with her.

Ava: “Come on, come on, Grandma!”

Suddenly, I am no longer tired.

I am a child again.

I am a firefly.

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