Daddy loves animals, and a while ago he started buying sunflower seeds to feed our neighborhood bird and squirrel buddies. I help too and throw out seeds with Daddy in the mornings so that no one will go hungry.
We have lots of different birds of all colors that come around now, and we have a few squirrels that come every day too. One new squirrel buddy, though, seems to want to come inside to play (and eat my food). He puts his paws on the glass and looks back and forth. He is a curious little buddy, and I like to play with him because he does not run away when he sees me and puts his paws on my hands instead.
See him there? There he is while I am eating, looking in at me. I think he may have wanted his seeds and my pasta, too. I am learning all about sharing, little buddy, and I could let you in and give you pasta if Mama let me. Mama says that he would not really want to come in, though, because our doggie Django is a “rat terrier” and he is made to go after little creatures that move fast.
I guess his place is outside looking in, and that’s okay… after all, he is much different than me. I just watched The Fox and the Hound, so I understand that sometimes relationships have to be done a different way in order to make them work. You can still play with me, little fuzzy guy, at the window, and we can still be friends like Copper and Todd.
“And we’ll always be friends forever.” — Young Todd, The Fox and the Hound
I have been told that I am “beautiful” for a while. I knew what pretty was, but “beautiful”… well, I could not really understand that one. I responded every single time for a while, “I’m not beautiful, I Dorian.” My Mama and Daddy laughed at me, but I was serious. I know who I am… I AM DORIAN.
The other day, though, my sister Adalyn took me upstairs to her room, and she put me in some of her dress clothes that she is too big for now. I tried on dress after dress, and Adalyn called down to my Mama and told her that she couldn’t come up to see what we were doing. Mama usually won’t listen to that one because it can mean trouble, but this time she waited for the surprise.
Then we tried it… the most fancy white dress that looked like a princess dress. It was a teeny bit big on me, but it was just the right one. Adalyn smoothed out my hair and brushed it, and then she put on the finishing touch, blue clip-on earrings that made me just like the princesses that I watch. I felt so very pretty.
When I walked down those stairs, just like a princess would in my fancy shoes and earrings and dress, I felt different. I felt so very grown up and big, but I did not know the word for how I felt.
Then Adalyn said it. She said, “Look Mama, doesn’t Dorian look so beautiful?” My Mama said, “Oh Dorian, you are so very beautiful. You look like a princess.” For the first time, I did not argue back. I knew what it meant, and I was… I was beautiful, just like the flowers outside and the stars in the sky. Beautiful is how you feel. Beautiful is flowers and trees and sunshine and mountains and water. Beautiful is me. I am Dorian, and I am beautiful.
Spring has finally come, and with it are beautiful things in all kinds of colors everywhere. I love seeing all of the bright pinks and whites and yellows and purples that the Earth has this time of year. I stop to see (and smell) all of the flowers. After all, isn’t that what you are supposed to do? I know that it takes longer, but enjoying the world is what us little people do. We are really good at noticing what big people miss sometimes… after all, we are closer to the ground, and we have a better view.
My very favorite flower is the dandelion. My Mama says that is her very favorite too because my Daddy calls her his dandelion, so it is very special for her. Dandelions are “weeds” though so I hear, which is a type of flower that a lot of people want to get rid of. Why they would want to make any flower go away I don’t know, but my Daddy says that they can take over the yard and they can go everywhere with their little blooms, so a lot of people don’t like them because they just want green grass and nothing else in the yard. Doesn’t make sense to me, but big people often don’t make any sense at all, so I just have to go with these things when I don’t understand them.
What those big people don’t understand is that Dandelions are really special flowers because they start as one thing and become another. They start out as little yellow flowers, then that part goes away, and then there are little bitty white fluffy seeds that blow in the wind and make new yellow ones all over the place. This, my Daddy says, is why the are called a weed, because they end up all over the place when the little seeds blow around. There end up being too many, he says. Silly big people… don’t they know that there can never, ever be too many flowers?
I think that my little dandelion friends are beautiful, and I do my part to help them to grow instead of stomping them down. Us little people (and big people who never wanted to grow up like Mama and Daddy) get to grab the white puffballs and blow on them, making their seeds go up in the air into the wind to go to new places to grow. They do this on their own, but I like to think that I am helping nature along to be faster when I spread them around.
I am busy making brand new dandelions, and they are all so very beautiful, just as nature intended them to be. We are all like dandelions if we want to be, beautiful little flowers that are wild and free and can move in the wind.
Little people know, but big people sometimes forget, that it is okay to get a little dirty sometimes. Being in nature, rolling around in the leaves, is sometimes the very best thing that you can do. Our world is big and beautiful, and if you just look at it but don’t become a part of it all, you are missing out. Jump in the big leaf piles, roll down the hills, put your hands in the dirt… you can always get clean again, but you can never get those moments back where you get to stop and just become a part of everything around you.
I have been wishing and wishing and wishing for more snow every day for weeks now, and I finally put my wish in writing the other day. That must have worked, because last night while I was dreaming about snow, snow actually fell from the sky again. I woke up this morning to it, and I was edgy at the window and waiting for what seemed like forever to actually get out to play in it.
Daddy said something about needing breakfast and vitamins and to get dressed, but those things just didn’t seem to matter nearly as much as they usually do in the morning (although I admit that it was really cold, and getting bundled up was a good idea, Daddy).
Once all those boring things were done, though, I got all snug in my warm jacket and mittens and hat and snow boots and we all headed outside. We only had a little bit of snow, so I didn’t need my snowsuit on, I just got to go out to play. I ran and ran and ran around in the snow in circles and all around our yard, eating the snow everywhere that I went.
I played out there for so long that I was cold from the bones out, but I didn’t care because this is probably our very last snow for the year. Mama says that she hopes that it warms up soon, and I guess I do too because it will be closer to swimming outside and playground time, but I am going to miss my white, fluffy friend when it does. Until next year, my snow friend, and thanks for coming out to play one more time.
I made something beautiful with our special light-up board. It is the entire sky, and up at the top are stars. My Mama drew a kitty face not knowing it was my sky, but that’s okay, he can be up there with all of the pretty lights and he can enjoy the view. She didn’t know I had made a real picture until I said the words “‘tars” and “sky,” then she knew that I had made a picture of when I get to go star watching. It is one of my very favorite things.
Mama said it was beautiful. It is Mama, just like the sky when it lights up at night. God always has a way of having a light ready for us when we need it, after all… even if sometimes they are a bit harder to find in the night sky.
Look at me, I am up in the air in my happy little hiking backpack. I get to sit on Mama or Daddy’s back and I even have a little place for my feet while they go do this thing called “hiking” things in pretty places.
I love my little pack, which is made just for little people like me, because I can see the world from up where my Mama and my Daddy are. Everything looks different from up here, and everything is a little less gigantic. I wish I could be up this high all the time so I could see more, but Mama says not to hurry to grow taller because she wants me just my size right now and wishes she could keep me that little. I know you don’t want me hurrying up, Mama, but the view sure is fantastic, so I can’t help it.
I love being outside in the sun, the water, and the trees… any part of the wonderful outside part of the Earth, so this is my new favorite spot to be. After all, a place where I can hug onto my Mama and Daddy’s back while getting warm in the sunshine? I just don’t think that you can get much better.
See me? I am in the little kid swing at one of the playgrounds near our house. It has a little bucket for me because I’m not quite that good at the “balance” thing yet, and this keeps me from falling. I can hold on and Mama and Daddy can push it so that I am swinging free.
When I am swinging high up, I can’t help but say “weeee” while looking at the sky. I like to think that I am like the birdies or the airplanes. Being free and letting go? They are some of the very best feelings that we can have… and we even when we are little, those moments don’t come around all the time. Embrace them and let everything else go, even for a minute. We can all be like the birds.
There are so many different types of creatures in the world, and I am busy learning them all. There are doggies, my very favorite, and kitties (who don’t seem to like me chasing them as much as doggies do), and turtles that swim around and crawl too.
I have been to an animal park too, so I have seen other animals too that come from all over, like giraffes, and little monkeys, and chimpanzees, and goats, and llamas, and reindeer (who I hear help Santa out during Christmas time).
Besides doggies, though, my very favorite is fishies. Mama says you just say “fish,” and she maybe knows because she teaches writing, but I prefer the word fishies because it is easier and more fun to say.
I love fishies because I adore water and always want to be in it as much as I can—puddles, baths, pools… any water at all. What fishies do is live in the water, and they can’t ever even get out because they breathe under there like we breathe out in the air. They just swim around and around in the water all day. I think that if I had to pick a creature that I got to be, I would pick them because I would get to swim around all day long every day.
I can’t really be a fishie, although I can pretend to be one when I am playing in the water. What I can do, though, is go places and watch the fishies, like at the big park called Maymont near our house or at lakes or even in big fishie tanks. There are lots of places with fishies around, and I can pretty much spot them from a mile away, making the big people come and look, too. I watch them and watch them until the big people tell me that it is time to go, and even then I never want to. I could sit and look at them all day.
Sometimes they look at me too, and I wonder if they want to be a Dorian like I want to be a fishie. It’s okay little buddies, you’ve got a pretty good deal there under the water, swimming and free.
It’s getting warmer out, and as much as I love the snow and the cold, I also love the feel of warmth on my face and I love being outside without being all bundled up. There is something about the sunshine that makes you happier than you ever remember being. It has been so cold for so long that I didn’t remember how good the warm sun felt on your face. After all, for me it was ages and ages ago since I don’t have that much life to go by quite yet.
Mama and Daddy like to stay active and to move around a lot, and they tell me that it is the healthiest way to be. They really like to get on the wheel things that they call bicycles. I have a little one of those too, but my legs are too short and I can’t figure out how to make the pedals go in circles yet, so I am not ready. Even when I get bigger and when I learn, I guess it will be like everything else– I will be slow at first and will get faster. Mama and Daddy, though, they have been on bikes for ages, since they were little bitty, and they are fast. There is no way I’ll be able to keep up with them for a long time.
They still want to bike, though, and so they got me a little carrier machine that goes on the back of the bike that I can sit in, get strapped up, and go. Mama says she doesn’t trust herself, so she has Daddy be the one to take me on the back of the bike he is on. We go gently and Daddy doesn’t go too fast so that I’ll stay safe, and it is so fun to feel so, so free. I laugh and sing in my little seat on the big bike, and Daddy and Mama talk to me and laugh with me, too.
There is just something about being outside. Feeling the sun on my face and the wind taking my hair all over the place as we go– it makes me so, so happy. Mama tells me that it is the little things, the simple things, that makes us happiest. I believe her because being outside is a simple thing to do, but I am at my happiest when I am around the birds and the trees and the fresh air. Nature, as Daddy tells me, is what we are part of and it is part of us. That is where we really belong, he says, but things that we have to do keep us inside even when it is beautiful outdoors. Maybe we all need to figure that one out, because I don’t want to stay all cooped up when it is so pretty out. I want to be outside and free, with the wind in my hair. I want to go. I want to go and go and go and stay with the birds and the squirrels and the trees. That, I know, is where peace and happy live.