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Poems & photos: Day Dreams, or Twelve Years Old

May 1, 2016 | Birthday,Family,Forest City,Photography,Poetry,Twins


My baby girls recently turned 12, so I took some license, replacing “ten” with “twelve.”

I measured myself by the wall in the garden;
The hollyhocks blossomed far over my head.
Oh, when I can touch with the tips of my fingers
The highest green bud, with its lining of red,

I shall not be a child any more, but a woman.
Dear hollyhock blossoms, how glad I shall be!
I wish they would hurry – the years that are coming,
And bring the bright days that I dream of to me!

Oh, when I am grown, I shall know all my lessons,
There’s so much to learn when one’s only just (twelve)! –
I shall be very rich, very handsome, and stately,
And good, too, — of course, — ’twill be easier then!

There’ll be many to love me, and nothing to vex me,
No knots in my sewing; no crusts to my bread.
My days will go by like the days in a story,
The sweetest and gladdest that ever was read.

And then I shall come out some day to the garden
(For this little corner must always be mine);
I shall wear a white gown all embroidered with silver,
That trails in the grass with a rustle and shine.

And, meeting some child here at play in the sunshine,
With gracious hands laid on her head, I shall say,
“I measured myself by these hollyhock blossoms
When I was no taller than you, dear, one day!”

She will smile in my face as I stoop low to kiss her,
And – Hark! They are calling me in to my tea!
O blossoms, I wish that the slow years would hurry!
When, when will they bring all I dream of to me?

—Margaret Johnson

PHOTO: Hollyhock near Forest City, Iowa © DMBR

Posted by Becky @ 11:27 am | Comments  

Poinsettia tradition

December 18, 2011 | Birthday,Family,Holidays

After Mom died in January, I wrote about how I’d gotten my last birthday poinsettia from Mom.

This year on my birthday, my husband and son came home with a beautiful poinsettia for me, and they told the story about how my mom had always given me one on my birthday. The tradition continues.

I love my family.

Posted by Becky @ 10:49 pm | Comments  

My last poinsettia from Mom

February 8, 2011 | Birthday,Family,Holidays

This was the last poinsettia I’ll ever get from my mother on my birthday. She and my father had been doing it since I was born. Then, after Dad died, it was Mom.

See, I was born in December. Ten days later, they had me in church for baptism. They had poinsettias on the altar that Sunday. And they sang something about roses … oh, I don’t know. She’s told me the story a dozen times, and she told my children the whole story again last birthday. I didn’t ask questions. Nor did I write any of it down. I just know that my birthday and poinsettias have always gone together.

Now? Not so much.

Posted by Becky @ 11:17 pm | 9 Comments  

Now We Are Six

April 29, 2010 | Birthday,Family,Twins

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly Me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

~ A. A. Milne


Both of my daughters were excited for their birthday today, but one was especially thrilled.

“I can’t wait for my birthday!” she squealed with glee last night as we tucked her in bed.

Sure enough. She came to our room at 2 a.m., 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to ask, “Is it my birthday yet?”

Then, at just after 6 a.m., she came running to say, “It’s the 29th! It’s my birthday!”

So … happy birthday, Sweetie. Happy birthday to your lovely sister too.

Posted by Becky @ 10:25 am | 2 Comments  

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss

March 2, 2010 | Birthday,Books

I’ve said before that we love Dr. Seuss in this house. We have plenty Dr. Seuss books on the shelf, but we have several everywhere else — in the dollhouse, beside pillows and under covers, on the coffee table, in the toybox, in the bathroom. My kids enjoyed looking through my old My Book About Me By Me, which I got when I was about their age. They each got one last year for Christmas.

As I look at the titles, I realize we have read every one of them, some of them many, many times (we went through a serious Horton Hears a Who! phase a while back). We love them all. Well, I don’t care much for Fox in Socks. That was a dirty, dirty trick, Dr. Seuss, that would drive any parent to drink. At least the ones who actually try to read it out loud at bedtime. I mean, c’mon.

Through three cheese trees
three free fleas flew.
While these fleas flew,
freezy breeze blew.
Freezy breeze made
these three trees freeze.
Freezy trees made
these trees’ cheese freeze.
That’s what made these
three free fleas sneeze.
(from Fox in Sox: A Tongue Twister for Super Children by Dr. Seuss)

Seriously? Children. “You have em, I’ll entertain em.” Indeed, Dr. Smart-Aleck.

But really. You gave us The Eye Book, The Foot Book and The Sleep Book. Green Eggs and Ham and Hop on Pop. The Lorax, Sneetches and the Grinch. Most of all, you gave us playful rhythms, language acrobatics and a wonderful carnival ride into the world of your imagination.

If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born, well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that . . . Why, you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all. No, he doesn’t.
A Wasn’t just isn’t. He just isn’t present.
But you . . . You ARE YOU! And, now isn’t that pleasant! (from Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss)

We’re so glad you had a birthday and that YOU were YOU. Thank you for that. And from all of us in my home, happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Posted by Becky @ 12:30 pm | 7 Comments  

Iowans are funny

February 3, 2009 | Birthday,Iowa,Stuff

I’ve driven by this house lots of times. Either I never noticed the lamp in the window or they just won it in a contest.

Here’s a laugh for my brother, who turns a year older today.

Happy birthday!

Posted by Becky @ 12:07 pm | 7 Comments  

Best birthday card ever

December 29, 2008 | Birthday,Stuff

Posted by Becky @ 8:33 am | 1 Comment  

You say it’s your birthday …

December 17, 2008 | Birthday,Goon Squad Sarah

It’s my birthday too, yeah.

Happy birthday, Sarah!

Have a piece of my cake. Angel food. Mmm.

They tried to put the girls’ last candles on the cake (you do the math), but they kept falling over. That’s OK. I got to be 1 again instead.

Posted by Becky @ 12:13 am | 12 Comments  

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