Violet For Christmas







Its funny how, as adults, we walk around in our everyday life, completely immersed in our own little world and wrapped up in our own problems.  So much so that we almost completely miss the world around us.  Tons of things are happening daily and because we are so involved in getting our own daily chores done or putting out little fires here and there.  We completely miss what is right in front of us.  Its kind of like the difference between driving somewhere or riding your bike or walking to the same location.  Ever notice how much you miss while driving? “Oh look, there is a trail over there for a short cut.”  How many times have you driven past that trail and never even noticed it until you walked past it.

For me, I usually get wrapped up in my own self.  I have a tendency not to notice all the good around me.  I seem to focus more on the problem, whatever it may be, then on the solution to the problem.  Or even recognize that I could have avoided this or that just by thinking differently.  I’m very fortunate in my life.  I have a lot to be grateful for.  But I have a tendency to forget these things and find something minor, then turn it into something major.  These are things that I work on, being grateful for what I have, taking time to see the small things and not worry so much!

As some of you may know, my black lab Gordo and I travel around our county and do therapy work.  Gordo loves people and really loves children. Doing this work with him usually pulls me out of my own little world and for a while I get to see what my dog looks like to others and the comfort he gives in his unconditional “Love me, Pet me” way.  We go to UCSC for finals week as a stress relief for the students and we travel around to schools and libraries for an event called Reading Buddies.  For Reading Buddies, I bring Gordo’s bed, he lies down and waits for a child to come and read him a story.  He loves hearing his name “Oh look Gordo is here” and he loves the little voices that read to him!  I enjoy watching him and the children be so happy with each other.  Their have been plenty of times where I have witnessed a child having difficulty reading and then he/she starts petting Gordo and all the nervousness goes away and all of a sudden the child is reading flawlessly.  I see these events as little miracles and I’m always so thankful to have been there to witness it.

This last week was different!

I heard a voice behind me say, ” Daddy, Daddy, look, Gordo is here, Daddy, Gordo is here!”  This was the voice of Violet, the second and last child to read for the day!   She came around and asked if she could read to Gordo “Of course you can”  I said.  She sat down and showed me that she was reading a book with chapters in it. This of course is very impressive.  But then she showed me the book she was reading and my heart did flip flops.  The book I saw was old and had been read before and the cover was a little torn, but there it was, the familiar horse drawn wagon on the cover with Laura and Mary riding in the back of the wagon.  I was stunned, Violet was reading a Little House on the Prairie book!

Before she even started reading, I felt as if my chair was shaking and transporting me back in time.  Then Violet started reading and once again I was 5 years old, at a time when I did not have a care in the world, and nothing mattered more than the words on those pages.  Pa building their log cabin and Mr. Edwards coming to help.  Laura and Mary playing by the stream, while Ma looked after baby Carrie.  I sat there completely transfixed, and no longer heard any noise in the large room. All I could hear was Violet reading.  In one half an hour, she read three glorious chapters.  I think I was able to sputter to her that my mom had read me the same books as a child and that I had even bought the whole series as an adult, just to read them again.  My mother read the series to my brother and I when we were children living in Norway!

I’m not sure if Violet will ever know what she had done for me that day.  She was able to pull me out of my own wrapped up tight world, and give me 30 minutes of being a child again.   Sure there are things that might remind us of our childhood, but Violet took me back 43 years to some of the BEST memories I have of being a child!

So thank you Violet for letting me be the miracle that day!