Wrapped Up In Nursery Rhymes

My daughter, Allison, called me today, breathy and so excited with ideas for the nursery. She rambled on about the colorful vintage curtains she found at a thrift store and about the cribs she’s been viewing on craigslist.org. As she spoke I flashed back to her as my little girl, tagging along to the laundry mat, rubbing the old ladies hosed legs and engaging them in long chats. I had visions of a sweet child that also visited our old neighbor, Hazel, and sat and chatted with her for hours on her front porch swing.  I flash to her a little older, tagging along to the thrift store as I scoured for clothes for my three children. How she would insist on no name brand clothing, only vintagey hodge podge mixes that she always managed to pull together and make her own style.

“Mom, what’s the name of that old nursery rhyme book you used to read to me at grandma’s house?”  She pulled me from reminiscing on her childhood back into her conversation only to flash me straight into my own childhood.  “I want to use some of the poems and pictures to decorate the nursery!”

When I was a little girl, we had a family nursery rhyme book called, The Bumper Book by Watty Piper.  The large yellow covered book and all its bright cheerful pictures are the literary background to my early childhood.  I constantly pestered my older sisters to read to me from it. If they couldn’t or wouldn’t, I would lie on the floor with my feet propped up on the couch and study the pictures and dream of a day when I would be able to read all the lovely poems on my own. When I became old enough to read, I read and reread this book to my little brother.  When the nieces and nephews came along, I read it to them.

Of course, years later, upon each visit to my parents’ home, I made sure to read this book to my own children. One of my favorites from this book is the poem about a grandmother with a very slippery knee. The pictures of the “Lollypop Jar” made my mouth water and the rhythm would stick in my mind for hours afterwards. I loved that short fat grandmamma and I especially loved that little cupboard.  I can still repeat this one almost by heart. This a few of the stanza to it.

The Cupboard by Walter De La Mare

I know a little cupboard
With a teeny tiny key,
And there’s a jar of lollipops
For me, me, me.

It has a little shelf, my dear,
As dark as dark can be,
And there’s a dish of Banbury Cakes
For me, me, me.

You can read on and find out what his short fat grandmama has to do with the cupboard at this link http://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/1573/53.html

I think of all of this and once again I am in awe of how life always seems to come full circle. How the little things that we cherish become the very ones that connect and bind families. And so, it seems so very fitting for my lovely daughter to choose to welcome and wrap her unborn daughter in the comforting literary love of our family’s generations. May the love continue! I love you, Allison!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Randy Rauch
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 14:24:00

    I love it!!!


  2. allison niemerg
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 00:23:39

    I always find it so funny that i rubbed a lady’s leg to feel the panty hose….LOL! Such a kid thing to do, and it also reminds me of when grandma would point her finger along the lines in the table or down the side-seam of your jeans, when she was further along in her alzheimer’s.


  3. Cheryl Rauch
    Jul 21, 2012 @ 00:29:22

    Very touching story! Boy Sara you have a very vivid memory! That’s awesome!


  4. Sheo
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 12:29:56

    My fav so far, Sarabelle…. wiped my tears & read it again!


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