If you are unfamiliar with Patti Digh’s blog, 37 Days, you should really take a few minutes to explore it. There is also a book called Life is a Verb if you have the time and trust me, it is worth the reading, writing, and creating involved. I started the book a year about a year ago and one of my favorite entries is about Carrying a Small Grape. The gist of the story is how Patti’s young daughter finds extreme wonder and joy in carrying around a small grape and in the book Patti challenges her readers to find or create something small that will do the same for them. Some small token that will bring them happiness or even just help them crack a smile when they need it most. Here are pictures of the two sides of my own “small grape” that I made last fall. It is about the size of a business card, meant to fit easily in my wallet.
As you can see, I included a few of my favorite things: words, autumn leaves, pancakes, funky socks and my little HD. I am looking back at my own small grape right now because it seems that Harrison himself has some small grapes and I wonder if I’ll always be able to remember them, even though right now they seem impossible to forget.
Small Grape #1 isn’t small. In fact, it is huge and yellow. Harrison loves seeing school buses and will spot them from a mile away when we’re driving in the van. Just this morning, on our way to run some errands, he called out, “Oh my goodness! A school bus coming!” I love that can get so excited about something as simple as a bus and I also love that I have taught him to say “Oh my goodness” instead of some of the more, ahem – colorful – expressions that I have used in my lifetime.
Small Grape #2 isn’t small either. And in fact, it too comes in the form of a large vehicle (hmmm, I see a pattern forming here!). On Mondays and Thursdays, trash (yard, then waste, respectively) is collected in our neighborhood. Again, the delight and joy that HD finds in watching these early morning events unfold is unbelievable. He can actually hear the trucks working their gears as they lumber up the block and will go running for the nearest window to watch them approach, yelling, “Garbage truck coming! Oh boy! Garbage truck!” He also is very appreciative of their work as they move past our house and has been known to wave to the garbage men and their trucks, telling them thank you and that they worked hard. This one, I have in picture form, although I wish I could have captured his face as well:
Small Grapes are amazing, even when they aren’t small at all. Harrison’s tastes and preferences will change so much in the months and years to come. I just hope and pray that no matter what brings him joy, he’ll always be able to keep some of those pleasures simple and pure like they are now in his two-year-old world. And if the child grows up and someday operates large vehicles in some capacity or another, his mama won’t be surprised at all.