CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

August 21, 2008

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS


CAROLYNS COMPOSITIONS

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS 

While traveling along the road on a work/vacation trip to New England, we met many people in libraries, courthouses, beaches, stores, and restaurants. Interactions with children provided many wonderful moments. Below are stories of some of these meetings.  Carolyn

the JOY…of something other than McDonald’s food…Monte and I ate a buffet lunch at an Indian restaurant in Brunswick. We chose to sit outside and then discussed which customers were tourists and which were locals. As I began a survey, a couple with two young sons entered. They said they were from Canada. I said I hoped the boys liked the food, and the mother responded that they did, they were used to it, that she cooks it at home quite often. In fact, the boys preferred it to McDonalds. Furthermore, they’d never eaten at McDonalds, and were proud of it. As we met in line they added that their 13-year old loved the food, the hotter the better.

the FEAR… While I was gingerly testing St. George Lake’s water for its coldness a cute red-headed boy was overflowing with excitement about a “big spider web” he’d found underwater. I asked him to show me where it was, and he did (I never did see it). Then he moved over to another ladder entry into the lake. When he returned he politely but awkwardly ignored my questions about whether there was a web at the other location too. Catching on, I said, “You’re not supposed to speak to people you don’t know, are you?” He nodded, holding his head down, relaxed a bit now that I understood. I suggested he ask his mother if he could talk with me. She said OK (I told her later that Monte was a preacher and therefore safe, then retracted my statement by saying that wasn’t enough—and we agreed it’s sad how no one can be trusted.) Anyway, once the boy had permission to talk with me he cheered up and told me now we could be friends, and his age, his entire name and his address. I asked Logan if he’d ever seen a blue lobster, and his eyes betrayed his disbelief as he said “No.” Then I asked him if he’d ever seen a white pumpkin. “No,” he said again, not believing me. Then, remembering how a child had been spanked for lying when she told her mother Sandy and Nolan didn’t have to dye their Easter eggs because their chickens laid green and blue eggs, I thought he too was vulnerable to punishment for lying if he told his mother what I’d told him. So I turned to her and said she should believe everything he said later, it’s true there are blue lobsters and white pumpkins. Monte got my computer and I was able to share photographs of these items with Logan.

the IMAGINATION… When it came time for Monte and I to leave, Logan was anxious to know we would see each other again. He finally said perhaps when I went to a McDonald’s back home I could pretend I was in Waterville, where he eats at McDonald’s all the time, and perhaps we would meet that way. 
Perhaps Monte and I should eat at McDonalds when we return?

the RESPECT OF THE ENVIRONMENT…As I began walking along the short Thomas Beach near Lewiston I noticed several strange looking creatures floating dead at the water’s edge. At the end of my five-minute walk, I saw another, this time a large one. I flipped it onto its back and noticed some expansion of air in a bladder, so I flipped it back. Two boys, building a castle moat (no castle) told me they were horseshoe crabs, and they’d been collecting the dead shells along the beach. When I told them about the crab I’d seen, they ran to claim it, and said it wasn’t alive. Their father permitted me to take a picture of the boys with their moat and crabs, and as I did so they introduced themselves as 13-year-old Eric and 8-year-old Nick from Mass. After I shot the scene Eric realized the crab I’d found really was living when he too noticed expansion of its air bladder. He said they had to put it into the water, because the horseshoe crab is an endangered species. He carefully placed it at the edge of the water over Nick’s objections. Eric wondered why there were so many dead horseshoe crabs along this beach—of the forty the brothers had found that day only two were living. As they left I suggested they show Monte one of the dead crabs they were taking with them, so they did.

the PRIDE…while walking Old Orchard Beach I came across several beach sculptures. At the end of the walk there was one a woman told me was made by her, her husband and their two boys. She agreed I could take a picture of the boys with the sculpture. Their grins revealed the pride they had in completing the artwork.
We met another boy at a campground. He came up us when we arrived to show us a deep cut he had on his tongue. He’d fallen on some playground equipment nearby, he said, and admitted it hurt. His parents told me they had been at the campground for two months and expected to be another two months. Where else can you live on $200 rent a month? they asked me. And there was plenty of room for their preschool boys to play. They told me they stayed dry in spite of the rains. Only one part of the tent got damp. And there were three rooms, with space for a table inside. Although they said they had a home nearby, I wondered if they might be homeless.

the RELATIONSHIP…a 3-month old baby sent Monte and I big grins at the Bath United Methodist Church…a seven-year old girl chatted cautiously with me while we sat at the ocean edge enjoying the waves. While I waited for waves to crash over me she waited for the larger waves to ride into shore. I told her how my sister and I had done the same thing when we were her age and though I still thought it was fun, I couldn’t do it anymore because I am old and decrepit.

the WELCOMING…When we returned to the campground in Liberty, Maine, I was greeted with warm smiles by one 11-year old girl. “You’ve returned,” she greeted energetically.

ADDITIONAL READING:

I BELIEVE GOD INVENTED DANCING

GENERATIONS OF BLESSINGS #26

JOCHEBED & LUCY: STORIES OF ADOPTION AND MOTHER’S LOVE

ON THE EVE OF 27

SHOULD INFORMATION ON AN ALLEGED CHILD ABUSER BE PUBLICIZED?

KEEPING PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA Part 2

PROCOPE CAFÉ, PARIS: Part 1—Finding photographs: An International Adventure

JASMINE & JEWEL — A DOVE STORY Part 1

I HAVE A PERMIT TO CARRY…

MOTHER-NEWBORN DAUGHTER STRUGGLE

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