Z – and the End

Little Buddha, we have finally reached the end of the alphabet.

But, this does not mean that we’ve reached the end of things that your Gramma is going to teach you – not by a long shot! 

There are years and years of lessons ahead, my precious grandson, so let’s just get this part of the teaching out of the way, shall we?

Z – is for Zoo.  You’re quickly learning – our family is rather one of these.  Full of wild animals of all kinds and quirks, our family is definitely varied and can be fun. 

Just make sure you don’t stick your fingers between the bars, or attempt to feed them by hand.

You’ll lose the fingers, and possibly your sanity.

Of course, with this family – sanity is optional, so it’s not like anyone around here will notice the difference or make an issue of it!  We’re all one, big happy family of wild critters!

Z – is for Zero.  This is how many times you’ll have to wonder if Gramma loves you.

Never doubt.

Gramma loves you, and always will.

And Zero is the times you’ll ever go a day without hearing it.

And, for theGrande Finale…..

Z – is for ZOMBIES!!!

Of course it is.  Everything these days is about zombies – right?

This is the latest and strangest trend I’ve seen in a long time, Little Buddha.  People everywhere are “getting on board” and joining the “Zombie Extermination Crews”, because, supposedly, the Zombie Apocalypse is just around the corner.

There are t-shirts, posters, and even decorations (not just for bumperstickers, anymore!) for your vehicle to identify you to other Zombie-Slayers.

Weird, I know, but this is true.

We’re gonna have to get you one of these, just so you can be prepared.


Of course, by the time the apocalypse actually happens… you’ll be older, wiser, and probably ready to drive… so maybe we can trick out Gramma’s van like some of the other kids these days.


There we go.  Now we’re ready to roll, Little Buddha.

Just let Gramma get her gear.

Y is for…

Little Buddha, we are done with another week, and almost done with the alphabet.

Part of me is glad, as that means we can move on to other, more exciting possibilities…

Part of me is sad, as this means it’s almost over, and Gramma hates goodbyes, even if it’s just of the meme variety.

BUT.  Let’s kick this pony, shall we?

Y – is for Yawn.  Big and open, yawning mouths seem to abound around you when you are sleepy, Little Buddha!  There’s this thing, you see… called “Baby Coma”, which, when held, a little one will induce a strong need for sleep in the person holding on.  You are such a warm, soft, comforting little bundle while you sleep, it’s hard to put you down in your bassinet, instead of just having you curl up on someone’s chest, right over the heartbeat, and nap together…. yaaaaaawn…. sleepy now…

Y – is for Yummy!  I want you to have a wide palate of what you like to eat, Little Buddha, so we’re going to have to work on your choices of food.  There are 4 basic food groups we’ll focus on…. Salt, grease, carbonation… and chocolate.

No, seriously, I do want you to be able to eat more than just chicken nuggets and toast (don’t talk to your Uncle, OnlySon, he doesn’t know what’s good for him!).  Your Mama’s got a pretty good range of foods she likes, so she’ll help you out with the “healthy” stuff… but Gramma is going to help you pick the bestest of the bestest of the so-called junk foods.

Strawberry pastry pirate ship & chocolate treasure chest? Oh, definitely!

Hey, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, right? 

So… as soon as you are old enough to nom down the solid stuff… we’ll get started – with strawberries and chocolate.

Hey, I know strawberries are considered healthy because they’re fruit… but we can make them so that the possible gains are outweighed by the sweetness and yumminess of the dessert!

Y – is for Young.  You are this right now, Little Buddha, and will be for some time to come.  This is ok.  You don’t have to grow up too fast.  Take it easy.

I mean it. 

The older you get, the older Gramma gets.

Stop it.

Now, come here and give Gramma a kiss and a hug.


X is for…

Honestly, Little Buddha, when I started this alphabet for you, it was going to be more joking and a little less serious than it actually has ended up.  But, I guess there really is a serious side to yer ole grinning Gramma, little one.  On with it, shall we?

X – is for Xylophone.  Yes, you will have one of these, and yes

I'm sure your Mama couldn't object to a "Turtle" xylophone...

 – your Mama and Daddy will hate it.  It is, however, a rite of passage for every child to have at least 1 super-annoying noisy toy that Mama and Daddy aren’t allowed to get rid of.    You need to learn about music, and what better way than to be able to bang out a tune on small strips of metal with a wooden stick and ball? 

I can’t help but wonder, though, if you wouldn’t do better to have something a little more… complete – shall we say? 

Maybe something along the lines of …..this?

We do want to make sure you can get to ALL of the notes, after all… right??

I thought so.

I tell you - a coupla pieces of cotton - and I can HARDLY HEAR A THING. It's like a miracle for my ears!

X – is for Xanax. 

After a long day of musical experimentation, I’m sure your Mama will be most likely wishing for one of these.  You don’t need to worry, however, Little Buddha.  Your music will be beautiful, and Mama can wear cotton balls in her ears if it gets just a little too “enthusiastic”. 

X – is for “X Marks the spot”.

I think Gramma’s going to put a big X in her front yard – so you always know where the spot is that you can find me. 

Gramma would never want you to get lost on your way to her house, so here you go!

This is the spot where you don’t have to worry if someone’s going to be mad if you’re a little late getting there – I’ll be glad to see you anytime.

This is the spot where you will always have a warm hug, a smile, and a willing ear to listen to all your troubles, or a shoulder to cry on. 

This is the spot – where you can escape the whole wide world if you need to.  Gramma will make you a safe place to rest, to talk, and to regain what you need to get back out there. 

Gramma’s here for you, Little Buddha.  Always.

W is for…

Another week, and you are already a month old, Little Buddha!  Time is slipping by so quickly, it’s amazing to me how much you’ve changed.  You’ve started “talking” to people you see, cooing and squeaking like a little dolphin!

Speaking of the aquatic…

W – is for Water.  You love the water already, Little Buddha.  And you come by it naturally.  Your Mama has always loved the water, and your astrological sign is Pisces, the fish, so it’s not unexpected that you would be a natural little swimmer!

Water is a wonderful thing, Little Buddha.  It will keep you clean (which you like – for now), and it goes into everything we eat and drink to keep us healthy.  But, mostly, I know you’re going to enjoy playing in it!  Swimming, splashing and just playing in it will be one of your favorite pastimes, I’m sure.  And your Mama will make sure you have plenty of opportunity! 

Of course… there’s always the possibility that you might need some water guns… or squirty toys… you know… just for the heck of it… hmmm… Gramma needs to go shopping…

W – is for Want.  You’re going to want a lot of things as you grow up, Little Buddha… but there’s a BIG difference between wanting and needing.  Mama and Daddy will make sure that you have what you need.  They love you very much and will give you all the things that every child has to have to grow up big and strong, in body, mind and heart.

You will NOT be like this child. Please?

But.  For those things you want, you’re going to have to come up with a darn good reason why you should have them. Not just because it’s Tuesday, and you’re cute (although that reason might work with Gramma… sometimes).  Wanting means needing to work for the prize.  You should have toearn the things you simply want, but don’t really need.  This will teach you the value of everything, and that’s a big lesson to learn.  A lot of people never quite get that lesson down.  Here’s to you being smarter than that!

W – is for Words.  I am going to make sure that you have a love of these.  We will read together every chance I get, because I want you to know all the worlds that can exist for you, outside of the television.  Books are precious, and words even more so, because they teach us how to communicate with one another on a level that is far more intelligent than some these days.  (OMG! WTH? IDK…LOL, Orly?)  Sure, text-speak has its place… on the phone, when you’re actually texting.  But these are NOT words.  I want you to know real words like “magical”, and “fantastic”, and “obnoxious” and “loquacious”… I want you to be able to speak to people, and when someone speaks back to you, to have the words at your advantage.  You are not going to grow up to be a dumb blonde, Little Buddha.  You are going to stun the world with your intelligence and adaptability.  For that, you need words.

I can teach you some doozies…

V is for…

It’s cloudy and kinda yuck outside today, Little Buddha.  Spring is taking its time getting a good hold – it’s been rather coolish for the last couple of weeks (in the 20’s to 40’s range).  I want more sun, but I know we need the cooler, wetter weather too.  Never argue with the weather, Little Buddha.  Make the best out of every day with what you get.  Cooler weather means snuggling up in the house, so hey! it’s not all bad!  But the work goes on, and you have letters and words to learn – so let’s get to it!

V – is for Victory!  Of course it is, Little Buddha.  You are already victorious at winding Gramma around your little fingers, along with everyone else who’s met you so far.  I know this is probably only the first step in your path to world domination, so I’m glad to know I get in on the ground floor of minionhood!

Gramma’s gotta get all the face time and brownie points she can now, before your Mama & Daddy find their own place to live, and you aren’t right there, in my living room, everyday! 

V – is for Vent.  When you need to, my beautiful grandson, you can come to Gramma’s house to vent.  Everybody needs a safe place to get frustrations and anger and all the things that just fill you up with a case of Had Enough off your chest.  If ever you need me, Little Buddha, I will be here to listen, to commiserate, and to kick the collective heineys of anyone who picks on you.  Gramma’s got yer back.

And, I know, that if you don’t have that place to just let yourself be angry, be frustrated, it all goes sideways in a hurry.  So, don’t worry about it, my Little Buddha – buddhism may be based on peace and serenity… but it ain’t always that easy to find.  Sometimes you have to be allowed the space to be righteously pissed off. 

So, just because you’re nicknamed after a man of peace, doesn’t mean you’ll always feel peaceful.  And that’s normal, dude.

V – is for Value.  Always be aware of this, Little Buddha.  In everything you can, try to remember the value that it brings to your life, to others, to the world in general. 

Know the value of the things in your life.  If they provide what you need, then the value of something small and inexpensive can be far greater than something that cost an arm and a leg… but doesn’t do you a damn bit of good.  Get rid of things that don’t bring you value and worth to your life, Little Buddha.  They’ll just clutter up your space, leaving no room for better things – things that will make a difference for you.

Know the value of others’ words, Little Buddha.  If they impact you, make you think and act in a way that betters your life or others… then they definitely have value.  But if their words are only used to slice away pieces of others – then they have no value at all, and need to be ignored – or pushed aside. 

And, my darling Little Buddha – know your own value.  Don’t let anyone else try to make you less than you actually are.  Stand up and acknowledge your worth, because it is incalculable – priceless – and there is no one who can say otherwise.

U is for….

Unbelievably, I’ve almost made it through the whole alphabet, Little Buddha!

Words, words, words… and many more things to say!

But now, we get into some of the more difficult letters to define, so here we go!

U – is for Up.  Up is many things, Little Buddha.  It is the way you will grow, healthy and strong.  You are already growing like the bean stalk in the story of Jack the Giant Killer (we’ll get to that one later, don’t worry!  Just believe me when I say – That’s TALL!), and it’s the direction I wish for your life to take as you move through it. 

Up is where I want your heart to be, happy with life, and full of all the love you’ll be getting from me and the rest of the family.

Up is where you’re going to “chuck” when you don’t feel good… making a general mess, and stinkin’ up the joint.  I’ve already been so baptised by yourself, as has your Mama, many of your blankets and clothes and bedding.  Time to get Daddy.  He’s got it comin’.  I’ll help you with your aim.

U – is for Unpredictable.  Life can be this, definitely.  Although you will hope for the best, always… sometimes life will throw a curve ball to you – directly at your head.  Sometimes, you reach up, just in time – and catch it.  The game is saved, and you don’t end up on the ground, dazed. 

Couldn't have predicted that one!

The best way to be prepared for the unpredictableness of life, Little Buddha… is just to keep your eyes open.  Be aware of what’s going on around you, and be ready when the unexpected happens.

Because it always does.

Unpredictable can be a good thing, too… Like bringing your sweetheart (or your Gramma – hint hint) flowers/cards/something quirky and funny, just for the heck of it, because you saw it, you were thinking of them, and couldn’t resist.  Leaving someone a hidden note, telling them they look pretty, or you thought their joke was funny, or even just a smiley face and a hug… it’ll make their day, I promise.

Be unpredictable.  It makes it harder for the aliens to find you.

No one wants to be this guy->

And the last new word for today?

Well, U is for Universe.

It’s big.  Really big.  We live in it, and are a part of it, but we don’t understand a whole lot about it yet.  We’re getting there.

I know, right now, your whole universe revolves around Mommy and Daddy and the rest of us hooligans you will come to call family… but it really is bigger than that.  And hopefully, someday, we’ll find a way to explore more of it.  Learn more about it.  And make something better of ourselves as human beings.

S is for…

So many words, Little Buddha.  There are too many to cover all of them in these few short posts… But I’m trying to get some of the most important ones defined for you!  I know that these posts are woefully inadequate, but bear with me – we’ll have years and years where I can teach you all the ones we missed out on here!

Hang on, it’s almost over! 

S – is for Soap.  Yes, soap.  This is a MOST important word, Little Buddha… even if you don’t want to hear it! Remember when I told you what your Great-Papa taught me?  That poop washes off?  Well, soap comes in might handy about this time.  Besides, used in the right amounts?  Soap can be a LOT of fun!

You can also use it to make a handy-dandy slip-n-slide out of the kitchen floor!  Just don’t tell Mama that I told you (pssst! Dawn soap works best!)

If you get caught?  Gramma will deny all knowledge of this conversation… but I will help you clean it up!  You know, out of the soft, innocent goodness of my heart!

S – is for Silly.  Be this sometimes, too!  Life is too short to be serious all the time.

Seriously.  If you can’t get silly, and laugh at yourself, sometimes, then it’s just not worth getting out of bed in the morning!

So get yer swerve on once in a while, Little Buddha!  Give the world something to smile about!

S – is for Simple and Small.  There are many things in this life that I wish for you, Little Buddha… but I think the single most important thing – is this:

I wish for you a joy in Simple Pleasures – and a life of Small Troubles.

I hope that as you get older, you remember that most of the really important things in life come in simple packaging.  Laughter, love, friendship… a sunset, the smell of fresh, homemade cookies, a hug, holding hands as you cross the street.  Simple pleasures are often the best remembered, the longest held close to our hearts.  Don’t forget all the little things, as you grow up… they’ll be the biggest, best memories as you get older.

And the small troubles?  Well, life is full of troubles, we simply can’t get away from them all… even things as small as hangnails and bed-head can mess up your day.  But as long as you can get through the day with only small troubles, then you’re ahead of the game.  I know that you have to have some obstacles to overcome in your life, or you’ll never get anywhere… but I pray for you to have them all be small enough to in the “bite-sized” portions. 

Love you, Little Buddha.

R is for…

Rare smiles.  The best ones of all.

Little Buddha, you have only 2&1/2 weeks under your turtle shell, and yet you are already the ruler of our household!

No wonder you’re smiling, you little stinker!

Anywho – the next letter in the alphabet is…

R – is for Read.  Someday soon, Little Buddha, I will start reading stories to you.  And someday after that, you will be reading these posts that I’ve written for you to yourself.  And probably, shortly after that… you’ll be reading to me, because I’ll be old and feeble and will demand that you read to me and feed me and prop the pillows up behind my back so I can see you – – and who the heck are you anyway?

No?  Ok, well, can’t blame a Gramma for trying!

R – is for Radio.  This probably won’t mean much to you growing up.  By the time you get to the age where you really care about music, most of it will be digitally processed via the internet, and most likely,actual radios will have gone the way of the dinosaur!  But… radio was really cool while it lasted… kinda like MTV.  I know you don’t understand this either – but at one time?  MTV stood for MUSIC TELEVISION.  Yes – really.  I’m not kidding.  They played real music, and VIDEOS.  No, not like YouTube, where people mock the songs, but videos that the artists actually created themselves… to be shown on television.  I know!  Hard to believe, right?  But it all happened, just like that! And radio was there first.  Yes, seriously.

R – is for Raisins.  Little Buddha, someday, your Mama is going to hand you a handful of these little, brown, wrinkly pellets and try to tell you that they’re “yummy” and “Good for you”.

Do these look "Yummy"? NO! They look like Rabbit doo!

 Reject this!  These are so-called “healthy snacks”!  They are not what you want!  Hide them in your pockets, drop them quietly to the floor (don’t worry, they don’t make a lot of noise… too squishy!), feed them to the dog/cat/plants…

Raisins are just dried up grapes.  If your Mama wants you to have fruit, tell her you want it like all other kids – in FRUIT ROLLUPS!

You’re welcome for the timely warning…

R – is for Rebel.  Be one.  Oh, I know, not to the point where you are rebelling against everyone and everything, just for the sake of being different…

I just don’t want you to feel like you have to conform – just for conformity’s sake.  Rebels are the people who break new ground, the ones that make the life-changing discoveries.  Rebels don’t take “You can’t” for an answer, they say “Why the hell not?” and go out and try it for themselves. 

Being different doesn't mean being bad - just find your own way and follow it!

Rebels don’t let peer pressure push them in directions they don’t want to go.  They show others the direction they’re going, and let them decide for themselves whether they want to be sheep and follow the herd – or be individuals, and take after the rebel. 

Precious grandson – believe this – our family is full of so-called “black sheep”.  Be exactly who you are, and you’ll fit right in with the rest of us!

Q is for…

Little Buddha, you are growing so fast, I’m going to have to make the first new word…

Q – is for Quick.  In just the 2 weeks since your birth, Little Buddha, you have already grown over an inch in length, and are filling out to become a happy, round little baby!  You have developed an insatiable appetite, which I hope continues throughout the other aspects of your life, as far as your appetite and desire to learn and grow.  Life comes at you quickly, so you’re going to need your energy and your wits to keep up.  Keep growing, keep learning, keep pushing yourself (and everyone around you!) – but remember… sometimes it’s also good to step out of the “fast lane”, and be sllllloooww for a little bit.  Recharges the batteries for the next go-round!

Q – is for Quiet.  Hahaha! ahhaah! haahaHAHA… ok, now that I’ve got the hysterical laughter out of my system… I can tell you that, while your Mama and Dad  might strive for moments of this – you’re unlikely to give them any for a while.  A long while.  Say… about 20 years of while.

Sure, there will be those times when you’re sleeping, or, when you get older, in school, but those will be the times when Mama and Dad will have to get all the other stuff done that they couldn’t do while you were awake and needing their attention. 

Quiet is a precious commodity, which your parents are about to learn the hard way.  And I don’t think they quite understand how precious and rare it is to find… but they will….

Q – is for QUIT.  Oh, Little Buddha, this word will haunt you for many years to come.  “Quit doing that”, “Quit being like that”, “Quit saying those things”…

Quit means stop, and often – it’s your Mama’s way of just saying “I’ve had enough, and need this to change”.  Sometimes, it’s a good thing to quit.  Like when continuing on will get you in trouble, or get you hurt, or someone else hurt.

But – sometimes, quitting is not an option.  Sometimes, even in defiance of the people who love you, you have to not quit

When you’re following your dreams, but others don’t see the importance of it the same way you do…

When you know, in your heart, that to not quit is the only way you can live happily…

When quitting is just the easy way out, and your conscience tells you that quitting = coward

Then, Little Buddha – don’t quit.  Don’t you dare.

Mouth worse than a ship full of sailors - but he makes a good point!

P is for…

It’s Friday once again, Little Buddha, and you are now 2 weeks old!

Bestest of all is Mommy

One of your favorite things to do is to snuggle. Best, of course, is with Mommy, but I’m privileged to know that you like to cuddle up with Gramma too, and that I can get you to calm down when you’re upset, or hungry. I love being one of the people in your life who is allowed to love you!

So, to kick off the new week of your life, I have a very special first word for our next letter:

P – is for Papa.  Papa is your Great-Grandfather.  Gramma’s daddy.  He is an amazing man, and I’m glad that you are able to get to know him.  He taught your Gramma – and your Mommy – so many things, that it’s hard to pin down just one or two.  But, and here is the most important thing I think, his wisest words to me throughout my life have always been… Poop washes off.

Yes, Gramma said Poop.  Don’t get upset, Mommy won’t mind – because she knows it’s true, too.  Poop comes to you in many forms over the years, both literal and figuratively.  And as long as you can remember that you can wash it all off – you’ll be alright.  Papa is funny, smart, compassionate, and calm.  He will tease you and love you and teach you many things.  Watch him, and you’ll learn what it means to be a good man and father, grandfather, great-grandfather. 

P – is for Patience.  Let’s teach Mommy this word, together… hunh?  *snicker* Being a “firsty-baby”, you get to teach your Mommy all kinds of cool new tricks, and patience will be one of them.  This one can be fun, but it can also get you into a lot of trouble.  Careful where you step when you’re working on your Mommy’s “patience lessons”, Little Buddha, or you’ll end up having a “discipline lesson” taught to youbyyour Mommy.  There’s a big difference.  If you don’t believe me, ask your Mommy.  She taught Gramma LOADS of patience.

P – is for Pacifier.  You hate these right now – and yet you love them too.  There’s no getting away from them, they’re everywhere!  In your bassinett, on table tops, tucked into your diaper bag and in various pockets on Mommy’s person – the pacifiers just seem to multiply randomly!

That’s ok, I guess, as they work sometimes to calm you a little.  But not for long!  Mommy knows that this is only a temporary fix, so she doesn’t waste too much time with them. 

But… Little Buddha, these small objects of mass destruction can come in handy…

For tossing to the floor and waiting for an unsuspecting parent to step on in the middle of the night…

For tricking the cats into thinking that they “can be the baby” too… then YANKING it back out of their grasp…

And for launching at high velocity at someone/thing that’s perturbed you.  Just remember… Gramma will play catch and release.  And you’ll get it right back!

And, the last one of the week –  P – is for Ponder.  Don’t look at me like that.  Take time every day to ponder on something.  I’ve seen you do it.  You get this far-away and slightly lost look on your face.  I know better than to think that you’re filling your diaper, or headed out for a nap… I know you’re pondering the mysteries of the universe.  Don’t kid a kidder, kiddo!

I’ve got you figured.  Give you a few years and you’ll either rule the galaxy, or will have cured every disease on the planet.  I know – I see it in your face. 

You’re headed somewhere.

Or… maybe it’s just a gas bubble…