Monday, September 24, 2007

The Magic Bag of Happiness

Don't be alarmed but if you look at the picture to the right you will actually be looking at
"The Magic Bag of Happiness." That's right's here...
and it's real. On the day of my 51st birthday my grandson James was concerned that there were no balloons, no plans for a party, no games, not near enough presents and we were just having a lousy old dinner to celebrate my aging event. So while I enjoyed myself outside on the hammock with a cross word puzzle - the better to allow all the cooks in the house to whip up a feast - James came out several times chatting with me, in his very articulate and grown-up syntax, explaing that he was gravely worried that my birthday was a bust. (He just didn't understand that for a woman that has cooked dinners for all of her life, a good dinner prepared by "qualified" hands other than her own, is a marvelous present.) But back to the magic bag...after a goodly while James comes out cradling, as if a treasured baby bird, "The Magic Bag of Happiness." Now, so you have some background...this bag is very familiar to me. It is a bag containing a child's game called "Rush Hour Jr," which includes plastic cards, a small grid, and playing cards - hence - my puzzlement in why he's gently cradling it.

"Grammy, this is "The Magic Bag of Happiness" and when you choose one of the pieces inside, it will give you whatever you need to make you happy." James senses my skepticism, "Now if you touch a's not really a car, and if you touch a's not really a card." Wow, this is getting really trippy ---"No, Grammy, it's just something to hold onto. It's grabbing it out of the bag, THIS bag that makes it magic." Looking into those sparkling and earnest blue eyes, who was I to doubt? Magic? Happiness? He's right. I have it everyday. All I have to do is stop, really look, believe, and reach - ahhhh, a hug from my James (or
Chase) - yup, it's all around me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Fairy Tale Ending

I kissed my prince and he turned into....a dolphin. That would be the happy ending to my fairy tale. All my life I have loved dolphins. As a pre-teen I would walk the mile and a half to our town library and spend Saturday afternoons studying about dolphins, then go home to dream about them. Luckily when I got my license I could drive to the Salt Lake library which had greater depth and variety to my favorite subject, but still spend my free time studying this fantasy of mine, instead of at least dream of dating-like any healthy 17 year old.

When I was pregnant with Angela, Roy and I traveled to San Diego's "Sea World." Tears ran down my cheeks the moment the dolphins swam into the large show pool. After the show, Roy held me as I continued to cry and tried to make sense of my feelings. Dramatic? Okay, no question, but it was the pinnacle of all I had dreamed. I was just a hick, small town, Utah girl who wasn't ever going to go to such exotic places as San Diego, California. But- exotic did enter my life when, as a young mother, we moved five miles from our own "mini" Sea World. At this marine world there was a dolphin petting pool, which I would spend every second my whining children would allow. *Note: they had a point - they were missing the whale show, the tiger show, and the fantastic playground, while mom wooed this fat dolphin called Gordo. But Gordo and I became best of friends. He allowed me, and me only, to pet him when I was there, ignoring all the other reaching hands. After letting my children drag me away to actually spend time with them, I returned to Gordo after an hour absence. He circled the pool increasing his speed till water slooshed out, finally rising high above me to spit in my face. I was devastated until the docent explained that he was acting out his anger; after all, I had abandoned him for a whole hour. Gordo died about a year later and that was then end of my dolphin days. Although my son Pat, who lives in Hawaii, frequently has awesome encounters with dolphins ( I'll let him blog about ), it still left me on the outs. But, this summer we went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - a cheesy, tacky excuse for "animal shows", in the guise of an amusement park. James and Chase got splashed by the orcas, but the show was bad. It would hurt too much to see the sacrilege they would make of the dolphin show. I just couldn't go. But just before we left I saw a small sign in a neglected corner of the park, "$45.oo to pet a dolphin" - sooo..., I used to pet Gordo free as often as I wanted, sooo... Pat gets to swim in their native environment; free of gimmicks and a pure encounter, so? I'm desperate. I paid. I petted and rubbed and cooed and kissed and even now, writing about it, tears are welling in my eyes. Dramatic? Yeah, but......he's my prince.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Bad Fairy

Santa Claus in the Robinson household was great!!! The Easter Bunny - probably a little better than average. The Tooth Fairy? An abject failure. Roy and I have never been able to pinpoint exactly why the tooth fairy just didn't have the drive and passion to fulfill her or his calling. Picture the scene: a toothless grin in an eager face, talking constantly of the coming night with the magical transformation, and the morning when he or she peeks under the pillow delighted with the coins left in place of the very familiar tooth they had wiggled endlessly. They are tucked in, assured that the tooth fairy is somwhere near just waiting to delight them. Morning comes - NO COINS - the tooth's still in the envelope - look some more - no coins. At this point a very sad and disillusioned child comes to breakfast with the envelope in their hand. It's now up to mom to explain this fiasco. "Oh, honey I'm sure the fairy just forgot." (good one mom- now the kid thinks they're not worth remembering) or - "I'm sure the fairy just had an extra busy night, soooo many teeth, you know." ( oh so, now the busy fairy gets to all the kids but yours, how do you think that feels?). Now replay this exact scene over for the next night, and the next, and the next. No kidding, now you know how deprived dear little Abigail felt. Her experiences were the worst. But each of the five children all lived with the failure of being remembered by The Tooth Fairy. Not just one time but with several of their teeth. There are no excuses, nothing can justify the wrenching pain and lifetime of scars that disgusting fairy inflicted on the Robinson children. Booooooo to that fairy!!!! Booooo!