That person right there, the one lifting me up high, high, higher, is my Granny Grace. My Granny is my Dada’s Mommy, and she loves to play with me more than almost anything that she does.
My Mama and Daddy say that I am really, really lucky because I have so many people in my life that love me. They say that if I have more people that love me than I have fingers on my hands that I am luckier than many people in the world. I don’t know how to count on my fingers yet, but there are so many people that I bet that I am one of those lucky ones. My Mama and Daddy tell me that they want me to grow up knowing that I am loved every single day by our family, and they say that as I get bigger that I will understand how very important all of our family is to me.
My Granny is one of those special people who is in our big love circle. She loves to get down and play games with me, to play cooking with me, and to play in my little pool in the water with me. She loves to take me to the park and to slide down slides and to push me in the “little kid” swing. We just play and play and play, and I keep on going until my energy battery is all worn down.
Granny also works hard to make things special for me, and she even made me my own play house to play in with windows and flowers that has a bunch of stuffed animal buddies in there waiting for me. It is just the right size for me, and it even says “Dorian’s House” on it, so everyone will know that it is all mine (although sharing is important she says, and being friendly is too, so I invite people in from time to time… when I don’t need “me” time, that is).
My Granny is a big play buddy, and she is also one of my many protectors in life. We need those, us small people, to keep us safe and warm. Thanks, Granny Grace, for laughing with me, playing with me, and watching me grow.
I have a big family with two sisters and one brother: my big sister, Addie, my big, big sister Lilli, and my giant brother Jonah. Right now though, everyone is “the” to me, so they are all “the Addie,” “the Illi,” and “the Nonah” (I have a bit of trouble with the L and the J sounds so far, but I am working on them).
All of them play with me and hang out with me, and they help me when I need help, too. They also help Mama and Daddy with me since I can be pretty time consuming sometimes—I have a lot of needs after all.
My giant brother Jonah is getting ready to turn 12, which means that he has something called a “decade” on me. That apparently is a long time in life, so he has a huge head start.
Because of that head start, Jonah can do lots of things that I can’t quite do yet. He climbs up to the tops of giant trees, he can get on a bike and shoot off really fast, he can do flips because of his gymnastics lessons, and he can run really fast, too (not as fast as Daddy, but he’s a ton quicker than I am). He can ride on his dirt bike and go even faster too—all of these things that I want to be able to do but my body isn’t ready for quite yet.
I look up to my giant brother so much because he can do all of these things, and I know that he will help me to learn all of the things that he does too when I am ready. After all, when I fall down and hurt myself from running fast, he scoops me right up, makes me feel better, then puts me back down to have me do it all over again. That’s how I learn, and he knows when to make me feel better and when to go off to do what I need to do in order to learn to move better and better. I get stronger every day, and Jonah is right there waiting to help me to grow just as strong as I can be.
What do I love most about my giant brother, though? When we get really, really still and we sit in front of a video about bubbles or puppies or Frozen songs (even though he doesn’t like it—he watches just for me). That’s when we are at our best, my brother and me, because that’s how it should be. He is one of my biggest protectors, and he keeps me safe and comfy and warm. Thank you for being there for me, “Nonah.”
Yesterday Mama, Dada, and me woke up to everything being white all around us. The grass was all gone and the cars and everything looked like big lumps of white, too. It looked like God had painted the whole world white. Dada told me that this was called snow, and he promised me that I would get the chance to play outside when it was a bit warmer. I kept looking out the windows at it all morning, but Mama said that the best time would be after my morning nap time because it was still a bit too cold for really little people.
I am too little to think about when I get tired… I just do. I wore out early from all of the snow watching, and when I woke up, Mama said that lunch would happen and then we would get bundled up to go outside. Mama wasn’t playing around with that one– she got me in my regular clothes, a pink slick suit called a “snowsuit,” a jacket, extra socks, mitten gloves for my hands, and a little hat. She laughed and said something about me looking like the little kid from A Christmas Story and “I can’t put my arms down!” I don’t know what any of that means, but I know that I sure was warm and ready to brave the cold.
When we got outside, though, I didn’t know quite what to do. My feet sank into the white world, and my legs weren’t long enough yet to be able to get them out. I got stuck, but I wasn’t scared. Mama and Daddy, after all, were right there to help me with that walking part. I got to use my mitten hands to pick up snow and I put it right in my mouth. It was like a soft ice cube, and I wanted to keep eating and eating it. Daddy took off the sharp part of a long ice stick that he called an icicle and helped me to snack on that, too. It was like a snow snack party, and it was my very favorite part. I love cold things, and there is an entire world of cold things outside right now.
Then Daddy had to finish working on the driveway to make sure that it was safe to be able to venture out into the rest of the world. He took a giant stick with a wide thing at the end that he told me was a snow shovel and he took the snow from our little driveway and put it in our yard. The snow got higher and higher around our little driveway, and Daddy let me play in the loose piles that were easy to get to. Daddy works too hard, and I like to help out, so I got the big stick and helped him get the snow away. I think that I did a good job, and Mama and Daddy both laughed and told me that I had a good shovel “technique,” which they said is a fancy way to say how you do a certain thing. I think by the end that I was quite the professional.
When Daddy’s work was all done, although Daddy says it never really is, he got down in his big work snow suit and played with me. Daddy made balls out of the snow and handed them to me to throw, and he threw some really hard across the yard and on our little Winnebago house on wheels, too. We laughed and played and played until Mama said that I must be a frozen Dorian-cicle, and she took me inside to do my other favorite thing… take a warm bath and get all toasty inside.
I think that snow might just be my favorite thing right now. This changes a lot… after all, I am still seeing new things all of the time, but playing in the snow with my Daddy? That just might be one of the best things that I have ever done. Love you, little white world in my backyard. Can’t wait to have another playdate soon.
Dada’s home, I hear him. Hi, Dada! Look, me and Django are here to greet you at the door. He’s so excited that he is barking at you. Is that how you show excitement? I can bark too, Daddy. Woof. See? Woof, woof. I can scratch the door like him too, Dada. See? Just like Mr. Django and Mama, I am so excited that you are home. Woof must mean I love you. Woof, Daddy, woof, woof, woof.
This past weekend was a rainy and cold one and the sun hardly came out to play at all. When that happens, most of the time we all stay inside and we have to find lots of things to keep busy. I can most always find something to do and I just become a little baby hurricane, taking everything in my path and putting it somewhere else. My older brother and sisters, though, they can get what is called “stir crazy” and want to go somewhere else and just not know what to do with themselves. We can all run around the house chasing each other and our little doggie or jump up and down or all become little hurricanes, but Mama says that since there are four of us that then it gets to where we are “bouncing off the walls” and that you begin to not be able to walk anywhere without having something in your way. I can do this by myself, too, but with them helping me…. it is pretty amazing the beautiful mess that we can make.
My Daddy is always trying to come up with things for us to do, though, and he is really good at making fun when there wasn’t fun before. Mama says that he never completely grew up himself and that he remembers how to play more than some big people, and she says that this is the best way to be in life. She tells me that we all have a little bit of child in us forever, but she says that some people push it way, way down and that they don’t let it out much. She says her child is in her head and that it comes out in words and reading and in her dreams. Daddy, though, she said is really special because he doesn’t hide his child much and it is still right there, and so he can play with us in a different way than the people that have pushed their child deep down where they can’t get it anymore.
So Daddy put on music videos to have us listen in and sing and dance. Daddy and Mama both have me listen to music and watch music videos every day, and they pick a lot of different types of music– soothing slow music, fast and loud music, dance music, old music, new music– and they tell me that the more that I listen to and love, the more I will understand that music is beautiful in a lot of different ways and that it is art. I thought that art was painting like when I make pictures on paper, but they said that art is someone putting their heart into something so much that it is part of them, and they said that there are a lot of ways that can happen.
Because we were all going to dance this time, though, and to get all of our attention (which is really tough to do), he put on fun and fast things that he knew we would get into like Daft Punk and Taylor Swift. I really love the Taylor Swift “Shake it Off” song because it is so bouncy that I can’t help but dance. It was a good choice, too, because it brought all of us in together in the same room.
At first it was just me standing alone in the room looking at the video and bouncing.
Then everyone saw me there and heard the music, and magic happened. Everyone stopped what they were doing and gathered around me in a little circle and danced along with me, and I got to look around and see that they were doing what I was doing and that they were laughing with me and having fun. Stopping to have fun together doesn’t always happen, but when it does… that is real magic that you can feel in your belly. My big sister Addie threw all of herself into it, because that is what she does for everything, and my big, big sister Lilli danced a lot like the people in the video, because Mama and Daddy said that she takes dance and is “graceful,” which means that she can move like water. My giant brother Jonah even danced along, too, but he might not have if I hadn’t been there I don’t think because he is getting bigger. He had his little phone machine video taping me and trying to get me to laugh and dance while he danced along with me.
It was so much fun that when it was over I was still bouncing up and down to the music that was still in my head (music can get stuck in there sometimes like glue).
Mama tells me that music brings others together and that her and Daddy will show me more and more how powerful it really is as I get bigger. I believe her, and I think that it just might be one of the most powerful things on Earth. After all, my brother and sisters and me are all so, so different in what we love, what we do, and who we are… but we can all feel the joy that music and dancing on a rainy day can be.
This is my little doggie, Django. We play chase together, we play tug of war, and we snuggle. I love to hug onto him and have him kiss my face. Sometimes I follow him around until he looks pretty tired, but I still know that he loves me even if I am making him ready to take a long nap after we stop chasing one another.
My Mama said that little doggies like Mr. Django really are our best friends. She told me that a wise, wise man named Charles Schultz wrote that, “happiness is a warm puppy.” I know from experience, they sure are. Love you, little buddy of mine.
I have seen my Mama and Daddy do yoga sometimes. From what I can tell, it is like being a cat, a dog, and a bird all at once. You stretch, you balance, and you work on becoming peaceful and stronger.
I know that calm is not my strong suit, but I am peaceful all the same, and I am strong for my little size. So when my big sister Addie wanted for me to practice yoga moves with her, becoming a dog in a dog stretch called “downward dog,” and she told me what it was, I had to try it. I think that I did pretty well in our little kitchen doing yoga. We had obstacles, yes, like the little bowl on my foot, but that just made it more of a challenge.
Watch out, Mama and Daddy, I am fast becoming a yoga master, and before you know it, I will surpass you. After all, I have youth on my side.
Daddy decided years back, before I was born or was even in Mama’s belly (so ages and ages ago) after Christmas was over that it was sad to just make the Christmas tree go away after Christmastime is over and done. It has to come down, as Mama explained, things end and new things begin when they do. Because Daddy got sad those years ago, though, he cut a little piece of the tree that year, made the wood dry out in the oven and over time, and then had everyone sign and date the tree to make into an ornament. Since it has been done every year since, it has become a tradition. We have lots of those, and I like them. I like when the same things happen the same way sometimes. It feels good on the inside.
So last year, when I was really, really, little, Daddy got a piece of our little tree, and this time he let it dry out all year so that I would be big enough to draw on it for the ornament , too. Although I can’t write like the big people around me can, I can take a pen and Mama and Daddy have practiced with me making beautiful art. I got to make art on our little piece of tree all the way back from 2013. Here I am drawing on it.
Now our little tree from this year got a cut piece too and now it is busy getting dry and ready for us to create to go on our tree next year. I am working steadily on my handwriting skills, so I bet I can do even better than I did this time around, although I think that my little marks are beautiful and so do Mama and Daddy.
What traditions do you all out there have with your family? Mama and Daddy tell me that all families are different and have different things that they do different things but that all traditions are beautiful when shared with the ones that you love most.