I don’t know about you but I feel the need to share rather acutely nowadays. It’s a bit of relief to connect by video call with friends and family and at least see their faces and hear their laughter. But I want to give something, to feel that I am reaching out and that hopefully someone on the other end of the line gets some benefit from my effort.
Sharing recipes has been fun, and learning from other people’s sharing has been cathartic too. I watched Amanda Hesser, one of the founders of Food 52, do an Instagram video making cookies in her home kitchen. She laughed about it being the first time in 4 days that she put a clean shirt on, and I laughed back, looking down at my shirt of more than a couple of days, too.
I’ve also posted garden pictures, and been cheered by those of others. Spring blossoms always boost my spirits, and knowing the bees are still humming and green shoots are still sprouting is wonderfully reassuring.
I’m going to try a new thing this week. Our group of little Sparks (the tiniest of Girl Guides, aged 5 and 6 years old) will be hosting our first Zoom meeting tomorrow night. It’s only going to be “Show & Tell” this first time – I’m quite sure that 24 littles trying to feature the new project they have at home will be more than enough for one hour! Thank goodness for the mute button.
Along the same lines, I also volunteered to do some story-reading for a kindergarten teacher who wanted “community helpers” to read their favourites so she can show them to her class. My role as a Girl Guide leader is to help kids and offer them another adult perspective, so I figured why not. Selfishly, it gives me a chance to be a big kid and connect at the same time.
So, I’ve made myself a cup of tea and dusted off my Girl Guide vest with the bazillion crests and badges on it (that’s how they know that I am wise old leader, or at least that’s the plan). I shall introduce myself as “Poppy”, my leader name for the last 14 years. Then I’ll launch into my stories.
Dr. Seuss and A.A. Milne would have been friends with my Gramps I think, if he’d ever run into them. “And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” sounded like the stories he told about when he was young. I’m hoping my reading will convey the kind of wonder I knew, sitting on his knee listening to his tales of yore.
Even if the kids are not enthralled, perhaps the stories of an imaginative youngster making the most of a boring time and a silly old Bear stuck in a hole will offer them ideas for how to get through this crazy time.
I am so thankful we have many ways to share nowadays. I do still like the in-person method best, but there is a lot to be said for having a back-up plan at times like these.
P.S. If you’re a big kid like me and love the fanciful stories usually dedicated to the young at heart, here are some classics I love. Feel free to read them, pass them along or read them aloud.
- “The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles” – Julie Andrews (she also wrote “The Very Fairy Princess” books)
- “Peter Pan in Scarlet” – Geraldine McCaughrean (didn’t you ever wonder what happened to Peter Pan?)
- “The Wind in the Willows” – Kenneth Grahame (I read this to my stepdaughter when she was little, and she still remembers it)
- “Mrs. Frisby & The Rats of NIMH” – Robert C. O’Brien (like “Watership Down” this isn’t all sunshine and roses, but it’s a wonderful read)
- “The Cricket in Times Square” – George Selden