- Good evening from the French Riveria, friends. We had a wonderful trip to the medieval town and gardens of Eze, and toured the Fragonard parfumerie beneath. I am working on some lovely pictures for your enjoyment, because we truly had a nice time, and including you folks makes me happy.
But, part of my ‘bucket list’ for Sabbatical in a Teacup was to fiish my National Novel Writing Month book, and it is done. What a relief!
Here’s a little background though, because I’m actually a terrible cheat and poseur. The goal for NaNoWriMo participants is to crank out a 50,000 word novel in the space of one single month.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Big goals scare the hell out of me. I cut it in half.
50,000 words is around 200 pages, or a normal novel. I figured if I could crank out 25,000 words in a comprehensible story, I’d be doing pretty well. So I did. A little more, actually, not quite 26,000. It’s about a hundred and fifteen pages.
So here’s a chapter. The premise is based on Psalm 91:11, the verse where God promises to “give his angels charge concerning you”, and the Skillet song I referred to in a post a few weeks ago. (Looking for Angels -Skillet, 2008, I think)
Now, since Chris died, angels have been a source of interest to me. I do believe they exist in the spiritual realm, heck, I think there’s a lot more going on in the spiritual realm then most people, even Christians, care to acknowledge.
But I also think that angels can manifest in a more concrete form, mainly you and me. This first chapter is lightweight, and actually happened. You have to get the visual here, to truly get the magnificence of the action. So read along, if you will, and picture with me.
Larissa was only nine months old. She had just mastered the ability to sit up, and was reaching nicely with her hands for objects. She cried when Mom left the room, and smiled and stretched out her arms when Mom or Dad came back.Erica was only a month younger. Their mothers were friends, college buddies, even. They had been pregnant together, given each other baby showers, even took vacations together.
Now, their baby girls were in the same preschool together, sharing the same schedule, and the same nursery.I was their teacher, if you can call it that. I had spent nearly nineteen years in a pediatric oncology wing, and that was way more than most. Finally, I had had enough of watching the smallest victims of this terrible scourge of childhood cancer.
Infant development had always fascinated me though. So when the local preschool advertised a ‘Baby Cuddler Wanted,’ I jumped at the chance.I didn’t need the money. Larry and I had plenty of pension cash every month, but I was beginning to get a little bored. But gonzo twelve hour shifts as a charge nurse? I think not.
Today was an easy day, and I sat both of the girls down in the fine motor play area. It was soft, lined with pillows, special seats to hold developing infants, and baskets of toys appropriate for little hands to dig through.
The “Bumbo” seat was a special, molded chair for infants like Erica. Shaped roughly like an inverted bowl, the idea was to sit the infant in a deep, pliable well, to support the developing stabilizer muscles. This left the hands free for reaching and grasping.
I sat Erica in the Bumbo, and placed Larissa a short distance away. A large part of my job with these children was watching. I used my professional eye to document these kids’ activities during the day, and gleaned a lot simply by watching how these children interacted with each other.
Erica started to cry. Larissa turned her head and noticed. Larissa looked at me, as if to ask “Aren’t you going to do anything about this state of affairs?”
I smiled encouragingly at Larissa. Aha! The green giraffe!
Erica loved that stuffed green giraffe. She loved to sleep with it, wave it around, gnaw on it, and now, couldn’t quite reach it.
She strained from her Bumbo seat. Strained and strained, but couldn’t quite figure out how to tilt her torso just a little bit to give herself the extra bit of reach.
Larissa watched this with interest. She rolled over to her side, and using her newly learned crawl, started to crawl over to Erica. Slowly, slowly, she inched her way over to her friend.
I leaned over to pick up the green giraffe and give it to Erica, but something stopped me. Just wait a minute.
Larissa continued her determined crawl as Erica’s crying escalated.
Just give her the giraffe, part of me said. She can’t reach it yet!
Larissa finally reached the giraffe. Laboriously, as if telling every part of her tiny body what to do, she sat up next to the toy. Carefully, she picked up the green giraffe with both hands. Erica got even more angry. Larissa had her precious toy!
Larissa got a good grip on the neck of the stuffed animal, and very deliberately, handed it to Erica.
Erica’s cries stopped as if by a switch. Here eyes widened and she smiled at Larissa, and made happy cooing sounds. She grabbed the prized giraffe, and stuffed it in her mouth.
Larissa smiled next to her friend, and put her hand on the seat, as if satisfied. Mission accomplished.
(PS, My devoted readers, please don’t send me any Bumbo recall notices. I know, and I use them on the floor, and only around pillows, and with the strap. It’s all good. )
So there we are. Part of a series of loosely woven episodes. Mostly true, some explainable, like this one, some not so much.
Thanks SO much for getting to the bottom of this. Do me a favor then, if you liked the writing of this, would you hit the “like” button? I’d like to know what you think. Authors can never tell if their own work is dreck, or pretty interesting. Thanks!
Look forward to hearing from you.
Eze and Nice are next.