Drug testing

The View From Nana and Papas

I'm a working mother with a preschooler, worrying about Mom and Dad, who are approaching their eighties. See, I'm part of the growing number of Americans who are caring for aging parents (or wringing their hands in anticipation of it) and raising a child simultaneously.

When we visited last November, we found that Dad had converted my old bedroom into storage space for his fishing equipment. I sang the cowboy song at bedtime as usual, and when I got to the part where it fondly describes New England winters and the wonder of blueberry pie, I paused to pay attention to the droplet of sweat making its way down my back. The house isn't air conditioned, despite the tropical climate. While my child slept, I quietly opened my laptop.

As an anthropology major, I tend to think that child development has more to do with what is learned than what is natural or instinctive (if I recall correctly, human beings don't have many instincts at all--most of what we display on a daily basis is learned behavior). From that viewpoint, exposure to grandparents can be fabulous for children's development, and seems so much healthier and socially connected than having only their photographs, a parent's recollections and an occasional telephone call through which to try to know them.

We (or more accurately, Dad) built this house during twelve weeks in 1971. My sister and I were in first and third grade, respectively, at St. Christopher's Girls School. We were a hit on the playground there, mainly for our skill in jumping Double Dutch.

There's open pasture to the east, and somebody's vegetable garden to the west. As a little kid, I cared only cared about running with our sheep, and riding them like the horses I wished they were, when Dad wasn't looking. And so I was truly surprised when the butcher, a family friend, visited us in his professional capacity. That was thirty-one years ago.

The incredibly blue ocean is still visible from the living room, but the eye can no longer rest without the interruption of clotheslines, galvanized rooftops, satellite dishes, and lately, the construction of condos. What was once quiet is now punctuated by the messy sounds of people going about their lives. St. Christopher's Girls still stands, but when we saw it last year, it looked empty. It was sad that the place where I spent part of my childhood seemed no more than a memory.

Nonetheless, emboldened by the jar of Herbes de Provence I brought along, I promised to do all of the cooking. The gas man was to bring more propane, and the ice-cream truck announced his bi-weekly visits by playing, much too loudly, a tinny-sounding "Home on the Range."

copyright little-turnips.com 2003-2005 - All rights reserved.

Tricia Wellington is the mother of one toddler. little-turnips.com

In The News:

A fire and rescue squad in California said they’re trying to find the owner of a tortoise that was discovered by paramedics Thursday taking a slow-and-steady stroll in El Cajon.
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A 12-pound meteorite that blasted from the moon was sold at a Boston auction for the out-of-this-world price of $612,500 on Friday.
California residents were stunned to watch a fireball of space junk shoot across the sky and fall onto a nearby ranch last week.
Golfers in St. Petersburg, Florida, were shocked when they saw a massive rattlesnake slithering across the course.
New Jersey workers were cleaning up the Pequannock River in Bloomingdale's Sloan Park to prepare for a flood mitigation project Thursday when they spotted a stone with an unusual marking.
An extremely rare menu from Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage to New York is up for auction in the U.K. this weekend.
An invasive insect species native to China, India, and Vietnam is posing a problem in at least two states in the northeastern and southeastern part of the country.
It's been more than 14 years since a spacecraft launched toward Mercury, so don't miss your chance to watch a rocket do just that.
Whole libraries have been written trying to explain how Leonardo da Vinci produced some of the world's most revered paintings.

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