Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gifts from the Heart

One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater



I've been thinking a lot lately about children. I've been reading about your children, your grandchildren, what life is like with them and how they changed your lives. It is amazing, isn't it, what the laughter of a child can do for your spirit. I look back at the pictures of my two sons when they were knee high to anybodies idea of a grasshopper, and I can't help but smile. Sure, there were times when I didn't think I was going to survive their childhood...the broken bones, the not knowing where they were...and believe me, that five minutes was the longest five minutes in my life, Michael. I remember the things they got up to that made me want to pound my head against the wall one minute and hug the bugs out of them the next. But you see, what brought me to this was something Arianna, my Granddaughter, said to me the other day. She saw "the Purple People Eater" in the China closet and asked who had made it, her daddy or her Uncle Wallace. I remembered that it was her Uncle Wallace,( her Daddy's brother ) because one day he had remarked that I had his ugly little sculpture piece in with the "good stuff". He didn't realize that what he called ugly I found wonderful, and it was as good as any "good" piece in the collection of "good stuff". At first glance it could look like a elephant, but but on second glance the horns coming out of the top of the piece and the swirls of color on the squat square little body identify it for what it is. It's a Flying Purple People Eater. With one big eye. I have hand prints in the shape of turkeys from both the boys and shelves they made in the third and fourth grades. I have the homemade Christmas cards they made in Sunday School, the Mother's Day cards and the papers they wrote. Because they are precious to me. These were the things they did for us as they grew into themselves.

My sister Toni was telling me about a poem her son Alex had written her and put into a card he had made. She said he kept saying it wasn't good enough but since he had no money, it was the best he could do. Here is the poem written by Alex Bush to his mother. It's beautiful.

A time to remember…by Alex Bush

The first steps,

The teething,

The years went by,

Calculated,

Like breathing,

The lessons went on,

Sown together, like weaving,

One day, I’ll

Get up and go,

But never really leaving….


When I first read it, it brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my heart. But then I laughed and told Toni that he gets this talent from his Aunt Sandi. I'm only half joking. It makes me so proud to see the young people in our family use their God given talent to make the ones who love them, and whom they love, happy. So, I urge you to keep that one chest available for the gifts from your children. They will mean even more to you when they're grown and on there own. You may have no idea what joy these little things can bring you years after the event. Just wait. The best is yet to come.

36 comments:

justabeachkat said...

Oh.My.Word Sandi! You are so right! Sometimes it just nice to sit down and hold something our child made or one of their OLD toys to bring back sweet memories.

Great post!

Hugs!
Kat

Jeni said...

On first glance as I began reading this piece -saw the "thing" in the picture, ya know -was to tell you that now I finally knew what a purple peole eater looks like -always did want to see that and now I have. But after reading this, especially the poem, it reminds me of a poem my son wrote for me (actually he wrote it for his English teacher, I think his junior year in H.S.) but anway, I loved his poem, still have it too -I think it is in my wallet right now -and I'll have to dig it out and post it on my blog too one of these days. Syrupy, yes it is, filled with sentiment, most certainly -and yes indeed, I do love it other wise, why would I still be carrying it around in my wallet after all these years?

Maggie May said...

Unfortunately I broke a penguin that my son had made when he was a young boy must have bee 30 something years ago. And the other day I dropped it while dusting.
I thought at first you were going to play an old tune from my younger days called the Purple People Eater. Can't think who sang it but I know the tune!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That poem sucked the breath right out of me...wow!

So when are you compiling your essays and having them printed? You need to, you know. Yes, you do!

San said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a collection of handmade, misshapen, priceless curiosities. A Raku utensil holder. An orange spoonrest. A yellow ceramic duck. A tiny pot painted with glitter. No one-eyed flying purple people eater though. But poems and notes and letters, and now, emails.

Lovely poem from Alex. Lovely post.

Hug.

Jeanne said...

What a sweet post. I have a mug Crystal made in elementary school I still use on my scrapping table for my markers and such. And I have a dish she did in ceramics class that I use for jewelry. Other treasures as well to remember those days.

Hairline Fracture said...

That is a GORGEOUS poem! And I think he does get some talent from you--I love this line: "These were the things they did for us as they grew into themselves."

So observant.

CrazyCath said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Spot on girl. I have a loft full of this stuff.

And the poem is beautiful. As is the people eater!

joan said...

Great post Sandi! And great poem. I have too many treasures to count!

Epijunky said...

What an absolutely wonderful post.

And I absolutely adored the poem. Brought tears to my eyes.

Beautifully done.

windycorner said...

So sweet! Moms do get to keep the most priceless treasures on their shelves and in their drawers. All the fine art in the world can't bring the smiles that a child-made piece of pottery can bring.
Holley

Lee said...

I love this bit about your boys and family. Please write more like this. That's a great bit of ceramic art! It reminds me of why Mom kept on using my paper machet virgin Mary figure as a Christmas decoration year after year.

Hugs!
Lee

Pam said...

I think my mom has some stupid ugly bowl I made in 1st grade hidden away in some cabinet. She gave me some drawings and crafts I did when younger...it was fun to look back on all those.

jazzi said...

I have several of those decorations, myself. My twenty-something kids will ask when I'm going to get rid of that 'junk', but I can see the look on their faces when I say I will not ever get rid of this stuff, it's special!

SandyCarlson said...

Alex's poem is perfect.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I too keep all the treasures that my children and grands make for me. I spent the day crafting with kiley and we had so much fun...Love, Mary

Carol said...

Sandi..You brought back so many memories for me! The older I get, the more I realize that the 'things' in my life that are the most precious, are thing things like this! Great post!!!

Tara said...

SAndi

This is soooo true! You want to hang onto tthem when they are little but what you do not realize is how much you are going to LIKE them as young adults..I never expected that part--just thought I'd be sad childhood was over, but it just keeps growing and growing!

:0)
Tara

Tara said...

SAndi

This is soooo true! You want to hang onto tthem when they are little but what you do not realize is how much you are going to LIKE them as young adults..I never expected that part--just thought I'd be sad childhood was over, but it just keeps growing and growing!

:0)
Tara

CatHerder said...

I agree! My guys are turning 17 and 18 soon...i keep EVERYTHING...i also need to turn those old vcr tapes to dvds to preserve all those precious moments.

NeereAnDear said...

Beautiful story...

Children are the eyes of the innocent

I have what I call a memory box... A HUGE one... it has every drawing ... toy... little dresses and clothes... that belonged to my children... when I feel that nostalga gripping me I simply open the box and remember... nice feeling

I keep these so they may show their children...

HUGS

JO

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I have a little wooden box...with mosaic tiles on top, that one of my sons made while in elementary school. LONG before I ever became a mosaic artist. I use that box to store toothpicks in and see it every day...The circle of life...

Christine of Epiphany said...

Tell Alex that's an excellent poem~ and very reassuring to a mother!
Your post warmed my heart!

Veggie Mom said...

What a sweet, sweet sentiment! I'm going to pass this poem along. It's so true...from the mouths and hands of babes comes life.

Love Bears All Things said...

I have that song on a Halloween CD and was singing it last Thursday with my two 'grands'.

This is a great poem. I wonder how old the author is.

This post kind of reminds me of the song: You're Gonna Miss This.

Life goes by while we're not looking. We don't think we'll survive those teenage years but they are gone now too. As George Strait says in his latest: I feel 25 most of the time. We wonder how we can have children in their 30s and 40 (wow) when we still feel so young ourselves. Then look in the mirror and wonder who is that staring back at me.
Mama Bear

Susie Q said...

Just a beautiful post Sandi. I am just an awful sentimental fool and would hold onto every scrap pf anything from my kids.! : )
The gifts made from their hands and hearts are the ones I hold the most precious.
The poem was lovely...oh what joys there are in raising children.

Love,
Sue

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Truer words were never spoken Sandi.

Sweetie said...

This is my first visit to your blog. I love your story about the Purple People Eater - How well I remember that song. It's so heartwarming to remember our children as they once were. Alex Bush is truly a poet.
Sweetie

lisaschaos said...

I love your flying purple people eater. :) I always loved that song. :) I still have a dinosaur paperweight my son made, and an Egyptian something-or-other my other son made. :)

Denise said...

That poem is precious.......how could you as a mother not cry at those words...... I am moved !

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Just a beautiful poem. I was so touched reading that and how intuitive of the young man. Lovely.

Jodie Adams said...

Love this post. The poem was beautiful and precious. I only hope Kara will do the same for me one day. I have saved most of Maddy's art work and cards. They are the best gifts of all. Go over to my blog and look at the new pics. There is one I think you will enjoy seeing. I will have to send you some copies in your Christmas card. Love, Jodie :)

Sally said...

Every word you wrote, and your nephew's poem (beautiful) so very true. You always make me smile. (HUGS)

i beati said...

So so true . The homemade things and stories that accompany are too unique to ever buy sandy

Ladybird World Mum said...

Loved this!
I have 4 children ranging from University age to four years old. Feel I have been doing this for a hundred years. Its so easy to just chuck a picture away as there are so many of them... so now I have a scrap book for when they are little and I fill those with all the work and pics that they do at school and at home.
A friend has a memory book with her children's quotations in. keep meaning to do this but dont. Must. Today. Thanks again for your words. Wonderful.

Mima said...

Oh Sandi, I know that my Mum has kept lots of things like that, and I totally understand how precious they must be to you.