Monday, February 3, 2014

Ben's Bells, Ralph Stanley, and The Littles

They don't like being referred to that way, the elementary school cohort in Amster's life. True individuals, they require different pieces of my attention.  Always have, always will, I imagine. That's what makes it interesting.

Because of a difference of opinion over child care, my presence was required on Thursday afternoon.  Somehow, life knows when to send me the means to soothe my soul. I was in need, and The Littles were there to help.

Off the bus and into The Schnozz, Kindle taken out and promptly put away as I declared my car an electronics free zone. No, not even just on the ride.  I kept to myself the fact that some of the most interesting conversations I've ever had have occurred just on the ride.

Train switches and round-abouts, bicycle riding and banjos and being the elder sibling, a little bit of teasing and tickling and a whole lot of laughing and we were in the parking lot.... because none of us had any quarters for the open meters surrounding our destination. The Littles help me figure out the Pay Here Machine, Miss Texas ran back to put the ticket on the dashboard, and, after a brief discussion about the difference between the visor and the dashboard, we were on our way.

The last time I brought them, I couldn't keep up.  On Thursday, we all tumbled in together.... noting the restroom on the way.

It's a beautiful, open, courtyard in the middle of downtown Tucson, where the temperatures were in the upper 60's and the sun was playing hide-and-seek between the clouds. The kids carted the supplies to the table
and started painting like old hands.
There was no poking or teasing.
There was serious concentration
and an eagerness to share  
the more interesting of the fired pieces we were able to decorate.
There's something about the atmosphere that brings out the best in everyone.
They were amazed that the activity came with no fee.
We're doing a good deed by making these beads.
The notion was a big one for little heads.
There was silence, and random nodding, and then, accompanying Ralph Stanley on his Pandora Radio station playing softly on my phone, were Messers 8 and 10, crooning that they, too, would Fly Away, oh Lordy

It was a moment, denizens.  
All the pieces of my life were coming together.
There was nothing to do but smile.
At ten minutes to closing, we cleaned up
and rinsed off
and admired our work. 
Do you see the smiley face?

We made a donation, 
I hugged Ben's mom, who was working but still had the time to applaud my BE KIND Ben's Bells' logo'd t-shirt,
we bought some Kindness Coins and a BE KIND hand and took a decal or two 
and I dropped them off at Amster's office, full of stories and Mom, listen as she and I smiled and hugged.

Life is good.
Doing good makes it even better.
Doing good with little ones..... for me, that's the very best of all.


  1. Smiles all around. Best medicine.

  2. I love Ben's Bells. Wish they had a location here. I would be there all the time. I remember seeing a bell for the first time and wondering what that beautiful item was glistening in the wind. I also saw a story about them on NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams. Out of Ben's mom's heartache, she started something so amazing and beautiful.

    Hope you had a great weekend.

    Megan xxx


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