A grandma, a girl, and their secret world

Not long ago, I invited you to write to me about the traditions you enjoy with your grandkids. Thanks so much for all the great responses.

Here’s what I heard from Carla Martin-Wood, a poet and retired advertising copywriter in Birmingham, Alabama:

“When my granddaughter Sarah was merely a toddler, we began our weekly trips to explore the natural world.

We’d spend most weekends in the public gardens, where we evolved our own mythologies about the fairies who lived there. We’d make tiny boats of walnut shells, line them with moss, and float them down the streams, where we were sure the fairies would climb aboard.

I’m a poet, and I would always read poetry to her. Wordsworth to Silverstein. By the time she was six, she was quoting Blake. We’d climb trees, and I’d sit on a limb with her, reading, reading, reading. We’d hike the mountains in the fall when she was older.

She loved our time together, and I know it’s made a difference in both our lives. She is an adult now, a student living in Oregon, where she is pursuing a degree in science and is passionate about protecting our ecology. She loves poetry, of course. And she calls me frequently to share her life with me. She actually did a reading of my poetry once.

And one Christmas, strapped for cash, she sent me a box of stones and crystals she’d collected on hikes in the Northwest. It was the most perfect gift possible, and she knew it—those stones were the essence of what we were about.”