Friday, May 23, 2008

Sam, age 7, blogger-to-be?

I don’t know whether public schools in northern states have “snow days” built into their yearly schedules, but schools in southern states definitely do. These are days when the schools will not be open because of wintry weather. In northern states, and please correct me if I’m wrong, the schools hardly ever close regardless of the weather, even though northern winters are much more severe than southern ones. Blizzard or no, off to school the kiddies go (I’m being only partly facetious). But in the south, just the possibility of snow or ice sends people into a panic and they have been known to clear the grocery shelves of milk, bread, toilet paper, and the like in a matter of minutes.

Sam and Sawyer, our Alabama grandchildren, had a Friday off from school recently because of an unused, leftover “snow day” (the administration is going to get that day off one way or another, the logic apparently being that if they didn’t take the unused day off, the children would end up spending one more day in school than the minimum number of days mandated by law, something that apparently couldn’t be tolerated under any circumstances). On the following Monday, the first-grade teacher asked everyone in Sam's class to write a paper on the subject “How I Spent My Long Weekend.” Here is Sam’s paper in its entirety (and if I possessed a scanner or even a digital camera, I would have shown you the original, which is currently displayed on our refrigerator door):

I went to

gorgia to

my nana

and grapa

and ther

Dog jethro

Short and sweet. No wasted words. No ending punctuation. Capital letters used only when absolutely deserved. And that’s not all. Sam’s paper was illustrated. Across the top of the paper he had drawn, stick-figure style, the following from left to right:

a boy, a woman, a man, a dog, another woman, and a house

All of the human figures are wearing shirts and pants, but the females are the ones with long hair. The boy is shorter than the adults. Representational art at its best. We think the woman and man standing together are nana and grapa, the Dog is Jethro, of course, and the other woman is our daughter, Sam's mother. Unless the child is standing by the mother and the dog is between nana and grapa. There is no Daddy in the picture because Daddy had to stay home and go to work on that particular Friday. We are also confused about who the boy is. It might be Sam himself, in which case he left out his brother, Sawyer, who also made the trip. Or it might be Sawyer, and the scene is what Sam was looking at. Since he wasn't looking at himself, he didn't put himself in the picture.

One day I will ask Sam about his picture. But not just yet. In the meantime, as true Bulldog fans everywhere sing (to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”), “Glory, glory to old gorgia.”


  1. Precious!! And you and Ellie sound like a very special "nana" and "grapa"!

  2. Wonderful story; brought back memories of my grandchildren's first letters to me. After over 50 years, I still have some written communication from my then barely-in-school children. Precious memories!

    Thank you for visiting my Sky Watch Friday post. You are *most* welcome to re-post either photo on your blog. I am mightily honored by your request!

    Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

  3. I don't blame you for being a proud grapa. That sounds very cute. I wish you could have posted the picture.

    And thank you for returning my visit by stopping by my blog. I really liked your statement that all the ground around the cross is level ground.

    It's funny that you should have mentioned Billy Graham and Wheaton. I'm a Wheaton alum myself. BG once spoke in chapel on my birthday . . . but I think it was just a coincidence even if I do have the same first name as his late wife.