Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowflakes and Blubees

While more snow fell this week, again changing the landscape snowflake by snowflake, I ate blueberries and thought of building blocks.

It all started the other day, between snowstorms. We were babysitting, and our granddaughter said, "Blubees, blubees."

"Sure, honey," I said, "Grandma will give you some blueberries."

Soon after Bill came in and asked Angelica if she'd give Grandpa one. She looked down and picked out a large, juicy berry--and promptly popped it in her mouth. Grandpa asked again. She fingered another big berry--and popped it in her mouth, too. On the third request, she finally offered her grandpa a berry--a small, runt-sized one.

Only twenty months old, this little thing has already learned to differentiate sizes. And she's learning about sharing--albeit still a bit begrudingly!

On the same day, Angelica's mommy reminisced about a fear she had when facing kindergarten. She was my little girl then and worried to death about learning enough to get into high school. But she remembers me telling her to think of it like building blocks. All she had to do was learn enough to get to first grade. There she'd learn enough for second. Each year she'd build on the one before until, by the time she got to high school, she'd be ready. The idea, Melissa said, helped her a lot back then.

Writing is built on increments like that, too. Word by word, building block by building block. Having my manuscript professionally critiqued is one of  my building blocks. The manuscript came in return mail this week and the feedback is encouraging (thanks, Terri)--yet I see I still need to build a bit more on the foundation. But just like one snowflake upon another creates a new landscape, and a child adds to her knowledge one small school-step at a time, I'll get there.

Sort of like the skills Angelica is learning that lay the foundation for her future--even if her building blocks at first resemble blubees.

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