“It is never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~Tom Robbins

I already had one happy childhood, but am reliving it through ‘the smalls,’  my grandbabies and young nieces–the crowd I roll with.   Consequently I find myself pondering many things, such as the essence of childhood…which I believe is life…truly giving yourself over to play, absorbed in the moment, noticing everything around you from ‘The gorgeous’ as four yr. old grandson Colin calls the sunrise, an event he rarely misses, to the tiniest bug, delighting in kittens, clapping and dancing when happy, one yr old Chloe does this best, and hugs if you’re rejoicing or sad. (Beth and Chloe)

I’m invited to contemplate dragon’s wings and the possibility of flight, while cautioning against the inevitable tumbles.  Recently I was entrusted with the mission of contacting the tooth fairy for four yr old granddaughter Emma because, well, who else better to ask than one who believes.  She told me her mommy didn’t so it was up to me.  She hasn’t actually lost any teeth yet so I have time to ponder that task as well.  Emma is also the child who requested a real baby dinosaur, and when told this might present a challenge, threw her hands up and said I had ‘all the way til Christmas.’ Sheesh.  No hurry.  (*Colin, Ian, and Emma)

Seven yr old Ian invited me on a dragon hunt when he was five.  I accepted but was later informed the hunt was off because, sadly, he’d learned they didn’t exist.  Does something have to exist in order for us to seek it, I asked.  And besides, whose to say they don’t, just because none have been spotted over Virginia in recent years.   On with the hunt, I say. (*Ian and niece Cailin)

Ian then decided he would be a crocodile ‘measurer’ when he grew up to see how the crocs compared to the primal sea creature sarcosuchus.   Which he could pronounce along with many dinosaur names.  Lately he wants to ‘always be a boy and play and fight with swords like Peter Pan in Neverland.’

My highly imaginative niece Cailin, age seven, is an ardent believer in fairies.  When given a collection of tiny fairies for Christmas, Cailin looked around in delight seeking someone to share her joy.  

“I love fairies,” I proclaimed. 

She gave me a look and said, “Of course, you do.”  It’s a given.

Cailin also declares she can talk to the animals and they understand each other.  She’s a regular on my blog as we have much in common.  🙂

I loved the following quote from ― Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle In Time, a much-loved book in this house

“I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be… This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages…the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide… Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup.

When I’m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don’t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.”

I totally agree with Ms. L’Engle

(Colin and baby Chloe on the bridge over the creek)

“All of us have moments in our childhood where we come alive for the first time. And we go back to those moments and think, This is when I became myself.”
Rita Dove

“Arguably, no artist grows up: If he sheds the perceptions of childhood, he ceases being an artist.” Ned Rorem

(*Two yr old Owen in cow costume helping to feed calves, darling beyond words but he doesn’t say a lot yet.)

“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ― Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider

“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”  ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

“Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.”
~William Wordsworth

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.” ― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

(*Lovely Emma Rose)

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”  ~Tom Stoppard

“Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.”

About BethTrissel

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles. And nonfiction about gardening and country life.

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18 Responses to “It is never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~Tom Robbins

  1. Adorable kids. I started to live a joyful childhood with my children and now continue the giggles with the grand babies.
    Too much fun.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. Lovely post, Beth. I love spending time with my grandbabies too. Not so long ago I didn’t think I’d have any as my kids were busy careening around the world. But now I have three – all so very different and gorgeous (to me anyway!). It was also nice to read your introduction “I already had one happy childhood”. We hear so often of all the unhappy things in the world and it’s easy to forget that there’s so much good as well. Thanks for sharing.
    PS: a while ago you invited me to friend you on Facebook but for some reason the link wouldn’t work. Would you mind trying again? Best, Leigh.

    • bethtrissel says:

      Thanks Leigh. I became a grandma a little sooner than I’d planned—and how these dear little people have changed my life. For the better, I add. Yours too, no doubt. I will certainly refriend you on FB.

  3. Ray G says:

    I must be in my third childhood or is it fourth as my great grandchildren live with me.

    Your grandchildren are really good looking and look like they are keeping you young..

    Ray

  4. Shauni says:

    This was just a wonderful post! I got lost in the memories you evoked! I love to go out and lay in the grass with my kids (now 17, 20, 22 and 23) and watch the clouds. Or a particular family favorite, we get together and howl at the moon.. hey, it relieves stress and is great fun.. we always end up laughing

    Shauni
    Tea and Book

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lovely blog, Beth. Our childhood doesn’t seem all that far away, despite the years.
    The little people in your life are truly a blessing and, from your description, lots of fun!

  6. Gerri Bowen says:

    You’ve written a lovely blog, Beth, Lucky grandchildren and nieces.

  7. Your children are so darn adorable and they are so lucky to have such a grandma and aunty as you, Beth. I don’t have grandchildren so I just love all the little ones and adopt them to my heart. I think I am still part child myself when we travel. I am so excited to be there that I don’t miss a thing. It’s the joy of it.

    As usual, you have put another smile on my face.

  8. A delightful blog. I loved every picture and quote. Especially ― Madeleine L’Engle’s. I am amazed how easily I can slip into being (mentally) an adolescent – usually with humor and silly stuff.
    I took an extension course in writing class at UCLA on how to dig deeper into our characters, and this one particular insight by the professor blew my mind: “There is always one moment in childhood where the door opens and lets in the future.”
    See, it works both ways!

  9. gmapat79 says:

    They are all darling children, but then they’re my grands and great-grands, and you do a wonderful job of caring and tending.

  10. bethtrissel says:

    Thanks Mom. As do you. 🙂

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