Posted in Love

Joy and a Favorite

Today, I am republishing one of my favorite posts and linking it up with Mama’s Losin’ It.

I loved this exercise and rereading the final product still brings me joy

This was the first post I linked up as editor of The Red Dress Club, now known as Write on Edge.

Thanks for reading!

Where I’m From

I am from steaming breakfasts of golden, crispy bird’s nests with magnificent runny yolks, from impossibly weak Maxwell House coffee and pre-dawn moments of true connection.

I am from the salmony pink-shingled house on the corner, drafty, sunny, and melancholy. Three front steps, ever in need of fresh paint, slightly wobbly from the destructive frosting and heaving of the long and brutal winter.

I am from the unkempt clusters of lilacs, scattered dandelions gone to seed, tendrils of fuchsia bleeding hearts, stolen  and fragile jack-in-the pulpits, and haphazard bouquets of fringed chrysanthemums.

I am from high school diplomas and honest work, from Robert and Max and Judy.  Vegetable gardens of diligence and abundance, encouragement and acceptance, freedom and wild brambly raspberries.

I am from delayed gratification and inherent guilt.

From uncanny paternal resemblance and from the weight of the loss of my father placed upon my childhood.  A stand in, but never a replacement.

I am from bean suppers on Saturday evenings. Cream pies, Jello salads, blue hair, and integrity and kindness.

I am from the intersection of Catholicism and Northern Baptist. Where the Trinity meets God and Jesus.  Where faith meets practice.

I’m from New England, Maine, Fairfield, tourtiere pie and sticky, chocolatey whoopie pies.

From the legacy of my father’s senseless murder, my Pépère’s faintly beer-scented breath, his ever-present and lovely banjo, Hawaiian melodies, and his tender and loving soul.

I am from the cedar hope chest, tiny golden key, idyllic dreams, childhood report cards, penmanship awards, and two unlikely college graduation caps and gowns.

What brought you joy this week? 

I’d love to know!

Coloring Your Childhood

crayola crayonsDear Katie,

You came downstairs today, earlier than I anticipated from quiet time, with paper in hand, eager to show me a picture you had drawn.

And the joy in your face was more important than the fact that you had come downstairs far too early.

Instead of sending you back upstairs until quiet time was officially over, I invited you to bring your new crayons downstairs to color with me.

We sat, pulled out clean sheets of crisp paper, and spread the crayons before us.

From a sea of colors, with each crayon you chose, you asked me to read you the names.

Names that were more than just the words on the colored wrappers.

Names that bring to mind stories that I will share with you one day.

Salmon.

The color of my childhood home…a home that held tremendous sadness, but also immeasurable joy. The home in which I learned about trust, loss, love, and survival.

Wisteria.

The color of the profusely-blooming vine behind the house we lived in before you were born. Your daddy and I sat beneath those vines, on still summer nights, and dreamed of you.

Cerulean.

Daddy’s mommy’s favorite color.  One day I will tell you about the rich velvets that she wore…cerulean, turquoise, violet. I will tell how those jewel tones mirrored the vibrancy of her soul.

Aquamarine.

The color of the sea where Daddy and I were married. One day I will tell you how marrying Daddy brought me a peace that I’d never known before. I will tell you that in those moments, the fear that I had carried around for my entire life was washed away.

Fuchsia.

The color of the Bleeding Heart plants that flanked my grandparents’ home…the home that held only happiness, acceptance, and love.

Outer Space Blue.

The color of my grandfather’s tie…the length of silk with which he taught me the Windsor Knot…one of the many lessons taught to me by the man who stepped into the role of father when I lost my own.

Asparagus and Gold.

The color of my mother’s eyes. The eyes that reassured me that things would be okay. The eyes that have never let me down.

One day, you’ll pull crayons out of a similar box for your children and they’ll look at you, waiting to hear your stories.

May your pile of crayons be huge and colorful…and the stories you share, happy ones.

With a heart brimming with love and dreams of helping you to color your childhood,

Mommy

What a Wonderful World

After a few weeks’ break, I’m so incredibly happy to resume Small Moments Mondays.

And I can’t think of anyone better to kick things off than John, from The Adventures of Daddy Runs a Lot.

What words can I use to describe John? Witty, kind, intelligent, loquacious, driven? Yes, all of those things.

But there’s more…there’s something amazing about how all of those qualities come together and make John who he is.

Thank you, John, for sharing this lovely story here on in these small moments. Your generosity means the world to me.

What a Wonderful World–by John

I can say that “I love music,” but that’s like saying “I like to eat” or “I prefer breathing to any alternative” for many of us. I named my son Coltrane after the greatest tenor saxophone player to ever live. I am constantly playing some instrument, or singing, to my kids because I need them to know the joy that music gives me1.

All of this brings us to Louis Armstrong, whom I love for a plethora of reasons, though two stand out more than the rest. First is the quote “There is two kinds of music the good and bad. I play the good kind. which may or may not have been said first by Armstrong – but it doesn’t matter. It’s a kick-ass quote, and it allows me to turn up the volume anytime the t.A.T.u. anthem “All the Things She Said” comes up on my iPod with minimal embarrassment.

The next is that he made the song “What a Wonderful World” popular. Now, this is a great song, and it likely would have found roots throughout popular culture no matter who “ran with it” first, but it was Louie, and I love him for it.

While the song is a great song about the importance of the acceptance of racial diversity, it’s the last verse that brings me to my small moment.

I hear babies cry

I watch them grow

They’re learning more

Than we’ll ever know

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

When you’re playing a keyboard instrument with a baby on your lap, you expect the little one to pound on the black & white keys before him or her. They’re there, and when they’re pounded on, they make noise, and they control that noise, and that control is good.

I can usually only take a few minutes of this.

But, the other day, I had to stop & stare in wonder.

We were in the music room (I have a lot of instruments, so they’re all relegated to what would be the “formal living room” in most houses) when the boy asked to play the organ (which he does, at his 21 months old, by pointing and grunting). I sat down on the bench, my 14-month-old girl in my lap, lifted the boy onto the bench beside me, turned the organ on, turned on some voices, and we all started playing a little something.

It didn’t take long for my girl to want to wander about. On the floor were a set of maracas, and shaking those was a lot more interesting than the stupid noises she was making, so I went to put her down on the floor.

Somewhere along the way, the “clear voices” button was hit on the organ . . . it was on, but pressing the keys simply didn’t make a sound. CJ started pressing buttons until the keys made sounds, and he looked with his “serious face” as he realized that the sound changed as different of these buttons were pressed. So, then he pressed more & more buttons until they keys made a sound he liked.

Rather than just pounding on the keys, beating them with his fists, he took one finger and started pressing the keys, individually.

He’d play a few notes, stop, and then press the voice selectors, turning some on and some off, until there was something in the sound that the notes made that “worked” for him.

As I sat on the ground, shaking maracas with my little girl, he sat at the organ and started playing a melody (well, random notes, but random notes played one at a time) and did this babblesing along with them.

I sat, my daughter in my lap, marveling at the fact that I was actually watching the boy learn, right before my eyes.

He turned his head to the left and gave me that great big smile that he gets when he “gets” something (as he tries to figure something out, he has a look of utmost concentration) and then asked for help getting off the organ bench . . . the guitar had caught his eye.

What a wonderful world, indeed.


1 I tend to prefer that my singing soothes my children instead of eliciting nightmares, but I think this statement is subject to verification.
You can also find John entertaining the masses over on Twitter. Go, follow! :)

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
More about Nichole
  • @NicholeBeaudryon Twitter
  • Nichole on Pinterest
  • Nichole on Instagram
  • Nichole on Facebook
  • Nichole on LinkedIn
  • Subscribe to this site's RSS
  • Contact this author

I also write at

all Parenting
She Knows Parenting

Instagram photos