Separated in Flight. . . . Reunited by Love

Illustrations by Sue Cornelison from “Lost and Found Cat”, Crown Books 2017

A little over a year ago, Sura, a widowed mother, her three daughters and only son fled war torn Iraq under cover, taking only what they could carry on their backs and in their arms. Among their possessions was Kunkush, their beloved cat. On their way to Istanbul, they travelled by car, followed by three days on foot where Sura and her children walked behind the others lest the smugglers discover Kunkush and double the price of their escape.

Crossing the Aegean Sea to the island of Lesbos, the family along with 60 others was crammed into a flimsy rubber boat meant to carry 25. When they finally scrambled ashore, in the excitement Kunkush’s carrier—its door broken—was left unattended for several moments. He slipped out and retreated to the forest.[...]

The Covenant

How does it happen that as infants grow into their six-month stage, their eyes, large and wide, their gaze, long and leisurely, seems to beam from a far off place, a heavenly body, perhaps, where pools of feeling need no shelter, where wonder and seriousness are in abundance, exposed and available for the innocent to absorb.

My most recent “gaze” came from my grandniece, Lucy, at her baptism ceremony. [...]

Bribes Are Best with Love

dell antonia bribing kids

The secret to building kids’ connections to the printed page is through stories—the pot of gold in books and the imaginations of young children. My grandson, Matthew, loved to tell stories about how he thought the world worked, or, better yet, the violence and valor (in his mind) of dinosaurs: how they lived and how they died.

I loved to listen, my form of bribery. I even upped the ante and the two of us improvised dino-dramas in my living room converted to dinosaur habitats—one for his carnivores and one for my herbivores. As time went on, [...]

July 27th, 2016|Categories: the social side of learning|Tags: , , , , |

Bedtime for Toddlers: ‘I’m Sorry, No More Ducks’

I'm Sorry, No More Ducks NYTimes article

I remembered rocking my drowsy grandson in my arms, in his dusk-lit bedroom, our songbook closed long ago, his crib in the ready just a few feet away. I could hear the voices of his mom and dad at dinner downstairs. I felt hungry myself, but was never in a rush to give up the sleeping bundle in my arms. Unlike when I was a mom, as a grandmom I had time (lots of it) to give to the bedtime ritual, a routine I knew would pass all too soon. And I had perspective, not lots, but enough to realize that the value of moments spent with this small body nestled next to mine were invaluable. [...]