When I played the flute in the orchestra as a teen one of my favorite songs was ode to Joy. Since I love words, I decided to check the definition of "ode" and it is "A kind of poem devoted to the praise of a person, animal, or thing. An ode is usually written in an elevated style and often expresses deep feeling." (according to dictionary.com)
How fortunate because that is exactly the type of mood I was in today when I penned this ode to my joy. This has been one of my most joyful lessons in recent years - a sweet little nephew who I never thought I could have so much love for. I can honestly remember the first day my sister brought him to my house and he saw me and burst into a huge smile. I didn't think he would even recognize me as he had been asleep every other time I had visited. At the time my younger sister said - "he knows you are one of us... ". I now suspect he was smiling in anticipation of the lunch I had made... That child loves food almost as much as Talibah loves raisins! (My younger sister and for those who don't know - a true foodie at heart with a special love for raisins). The biggest lesson he taught me is that I am way more a soft touch than I ever thought, even a little soppy.
A few weeks ago, I attended my first toastmaster meeting - an attempt to improve my public speaking - and I got selected to say a spontaneous poem. It's been years since I wrote any poetry but as I got up to do it, I remembered how much fun I used to have writing poetry. Since my nephew has inspired me so much, I decided to put my rhyming hat back on so that I could write a little poem of appreciation for him. I take much liberty with my grammar and rhymes when I write poetry, I should warn you, and also I'm pretty rusty. But this is my blog and one of my other lessons was how to break the rules (more on that later). For now please enjoy an ode to my joy. And much love and appreciation to my sister (his mumma) for bringing me such a marvelous gift!
It's true sometimes the big lessons come from the smallest place
A fact I am reminded of each time I see your face
Your twinkly eyes and hearty laugh, the funny things you say
Can brighten up the darkest room, bring sunshine to my day.
But let's start at the beginning of how you filled my heart with joy
It started as all good stories start. It started with a boy.
"How would you feel about a nephew"... That's what my sister said
All kinds of thoughts started rolling around inside my head.
Even before you had arrived, before you were even here
I should tell you having a boy around was my greatest fear.
I come from a healthy stock of girls; we are the sisters 3!
How could we teach you about boy life (Especially how to pee?!?!?!)
A wise friend with an older son advised me not to stew.
"Just wait until he knows himself, He'll show you what to do"
And so you came... And tiny! And in those early stages
So afraid was I to break you, I wouldn't hold you for ages!
Then one day they brought you over and to my great surprise
I opened up the door to you and saw your shining eyes!
You seemed so pleased to see me you broke out the biggest grin
You opened up your arms to me and boy you drew me in!
I'd never been so happy, I thought my heart would melt
I started feeling mushier than I had ever felt
I remember those early days I always craved your smile
You always seemed so cheerful and boy I loved your style!
You'd reach up to my table and swing under the ledge,
Then one day I saw how much you grew you could see over the edge.
Your legs grew long, you learned to walk and then began to run
And when you saw I couldn't keep up it really became fun!
Your words became full sentences, your kisses better placed,
Your hugs got so much tighter and you took up much more space.
As you grew in stature, your personality expanded
You started to be dominant, our attention you demanded.
Your tricks became legendary, with your great comedic timing,
You became more acrobatic and developed skills for climbing!
Eventually we realized your crib held you no more,
You'd hop right over the railing and jump onto the floor.
Your singing voice can always be heard, in tune you always stay
Your rhythm completely on point as you beat your drum and sway.
I loved it when you started to notice things, it really made my day
When you say look the steel donkey on the ABC highway.
When Christmas time came around your face was filled with glee
Whenever we went anywhere that had a Christmas tree.
Quite often you surprise me, your logic is so steady
Soon you'll be headed off to school and baby I'm not ready.
You teach me to laugh loudly and showed me how much I care
And that more love was deep inside my heart than I knew was there.
With every inch you get taller my heart doubles in size
I feel as if in all the world you are the greatest prize
The love you show me with that smile and cheeks so round and Rosy
You are in life a joy to me!
My sweet little Nkosi.
See!!! Told you I got mushy... Anyone want to put some music to it? I will crack out the old flute.
Big love from a small Island.
Ps. The above photo is a tribute to my nephew and sisters, as we are all beach babies!!!