Long before I began crawling, I began making noise. I found ways to express my small self.
My beloved mother and father, Louise and John, listened as little as they could after I crawled into our rich-mahogany kitchen and clanged our ’70s pots and pans like I was playing all the instruments in the local school’s marching band.
John and Wizzie also set the scene for me to feel secure and inspired.
Mom read the same book to me over and over and over and over (and over) again at my request. She snuggled beside me on my pale pink, canary yellow, and sky blue butterfly bedspread beneath a matching sheer canopy, and read:
Over in the meadow in the sand in the sun,
lived an old mother turtle and her little turtle one.
“Dig,” said the mother.
“I dig,” said the one.
And they dug all day in the sand in the sun.”
And on it went, from one through 10, as baby ducks, birds, frogs, and fish trailed behind their moms.
I fell madly in love with rhyme those evenings on that bedspread when I was learning to count to 10 with my bouffant-haired mom.
About the photo: My mother duck watches over her flock, including (from left to right) our neighbor Paul, my younger brother Freddie, me (Suzie) with red yarn in my hair, my older brother Johnny, and my cousins Shelly and Monica.