THE DAY MORGAN TURNED 13 YEARS OLD
May 6, 2023
My oldest Grandson crossed a threshold today. He exited childhood and entered the Spooky Forest of Adolescence. A long and winding road awaits him, finding his way to himSelf. Growing into a Man. There is beauty in this forest as well as dark and treacherous paths. There are Beings who live here — but one doesn’t know if or when they may show up nor whether they will be friendly Guides, or hungry Trolls hunting their dinner.
But this young boy-man of mine, he’s smart, and he’s incredibly creative. He’s adventurous and eager to learn things. I trust him to make it through this spooky forest. In fact, he will probably enjoy most of the journey! I certainly hope so.
To honor this momentous occasion, I am re-printing a blog I wrote the year he turned 4. As much as I love watching him grow to be a man, towering over me, now, his voice deep, his knowledge and abilities far beyond even just a few years ago, still, I miss the little boy he used to be.
So, Morgan, this is for you, today.
FIGHTING GOBLINS AND RESCUING PRINCESSES
April 7, 2014
I walked with three-year old Morgan, soon to be four, the three blocks to the little playground next to a neighborhood ball park. We looked for daffodils growing up beside the houses and talked of birds and worms, the dietary habits of squirrels and why the rain makes the grass turn green. We tried a short cut through the tennis court, but the gate was locked, so we took the other short cut through the alley.
“What’s an alley, Nonna?”
“It’s a little road behind the back yards of the houses. See? We’re walking down an alley.” We heard a rooster defending his territory.
“Nonna, what’s that sound?”
“Is a rooster a daddy chicken or a mommy chicken, Nonna?”
We arrived at the Park. Morgan ran for the largest layout of blue and green and orange equipment that included platform stairs, a tunnel, a swinging bridge, a curved stair ladder, a lookout post and a 10′ tunnel slide. He scampered up to the lookout post before I could even catch up and hurled himself down the slide…and did a full body face plant into the mud at the bottom.
You know how one of the funniest not-funny sights is someone slipping on the ice? The next funniest not-funny sights is a little boy covered in mud–face, belly, hands, knees–just after a half-flip belly flop face-plant off a slide. Morgan looked about to cry and much to my shame, I burst out laughing. He looked at me in confusion. His brain was registering tragedy and calling for tears, but his Nonna was having a complete giggle melt down. Tragedy lost to Giggles and soon we were both laughing while he spit out mud and wood chip fibers and I brushed what dirt I could off his nose and chin and hands.
He actually looks pretty clean here; we’ve removed most of the mud…but he’s still working on spitting out the mouthful of grit he got…
“Nonna, the Bad Guys are hewr. They pushed me down the slide. We bettow find ow fighting sowrds ’cause we need to fight bad guys.”
“What kind of bad guys?”
“Zombies.” He looked around. “No! Theys Goblins! Theys the wust kind!”
He grabbed a stick sword, I grabbed a stick wand. I said my wand could get more goblins. He said, “Ok, Nonna. You can use a wand this time. …Oh no! Hewre they come Nonna!”
We fought Goblins. It was quite a noisy battle.
“Nonna! We have to wescue the pwincess!” He took off to climb the stairs and cross the swinging bridge and climb up the roundy ladder… “You fight the goblins, Nonna, so I can wescue the pwincess!”
The tower was breached successfully. “Hurry, Morgan! Grab the Princess! Where are we taking her?”
“To that bench oveer thewr!”
“Is that where she lives?”
“No, she’s fwom Cavelot. But we can make hewr safe thewr on the bench and fix hewr ouchies. That’s the hospital, Nonna.”
“Ok. You better pick her up and carry her over your shoulder.”
“Ok, Nonna. …Whew…weew safe now. You fix hewr ouchies with yous wand, Nonna. She’s a beautiful pwincess, Nonna. Do you think she’s vewy pwetty, Nonna?”
“Oh, definitely, Morgan. She’s very pretty.”
“…Oh-oh, Nonna. Hewr come mowr Goblins! Mowr and mowr and mowr and mowr…Fight Nonna!”
“Morgan, I think they captured another princess! I think they turned her into a bird!”
“Yous wight, Nonna! Only she’s not a biwrd. She’s a winosowus. The Goblins changed her into a winosowus.”
“Oh no! We’ve got to get her out of here! You better kiss her, Morgan, turn her back into a beautiful Princess! But be careful of her horn!
“Nonna, I’m not Mowgan. I’m a Pwince. I’m a Supeohewo Pwince! And I can’t kiss the winosowus pwincess.”
“Why can’t you kiss the princess, Prince Superhero?”
“‘Cause I’ll get make-up on my face!”
“So who’s going to turn her back into a Princess? You don’t want her to be stuck being a rhinoceros, do you?”
“Nonna, you can do it with yous wand!”
“Ok. I will cawwy hewr over to the bench…I mean the hospital.”
“Prince Superhero, where do the Princesses live? Should we take them home?”
“Yeah. They live with the King in Afwica. We can fly in the aiwplane to Afwica. But you have to fight off the Goblins while I cawwy the pwincesses, okay Nonna?”
“Ok Prince Superhero.”
“Yay! We made it Nonna! You got the Goblins! Now we need to fly the beautiful Pwincesses to Afwica!”
“Nonna, quick, we got to take the Pwincesses to the King before more Goblins get us! Huwwy, Nonna. Theys coming…the Goblins aw coming! Mowr and mowr and mowr…”
“Prince Superhero, let’s get back to our plane and fly somewhere else!”
“Okay, Nonna. We’s going to Austwaila, now. To visit the Kangawoos. I don’t know if theys Goblins thewr. See Nonna? Thewrs the Kangawoos! We’ll land the aiwplane by the Kangawoos.”
“Nonna, the Kangawoos can talk. They’s Mommy Kangawoos with theys babies in theys pockets and Daddy Kangawoos–theys have babies in theys pockets too.”
And so we had a lovely conversation with the Kangaroos of Australia and discovered that they were also under Goblin attack. Soon we were fighting more Goblins and discovered that they had captured several Princesses that needed rescuing. Six princesses to be exact. According to the Little Prince they were all from the Star Planet Shada Zuken Sak. We rescued them…and just barely making our escape from the evil and ever present Goblins, the Prince and I flew them in our airplane out beyond the Moon and past the Sun until we came to the Star Planet Shada Zuken Sak.
Upon our arrival, the Little Prince made a mad dash for the castle carrying six pretty princesses on his strong shoulders while his brave Nonna fought off a horde of Goblins. Apparently the entire Universe is suffering from an infestation of Goblins–there is no escaping them.
He was successful…suffering only a broken arm
in the battle.
All six princesses survived and were very happy to be home again.
Nonna was called upon to do some magic with her wand to try to make the broken arm of the Prince better–but her wand broke before the spell was cast.
“Nonna, you will have to take me to the dentist to get my awm fixed cause yous wand is bwoken.”
“I see. Where is the dentist?”
“Can’t you see, Nonna? Ovew thewr!”
“Ah, yes. Under the slide.”
“But you have to get a new wand, Nonna, ’cause theys a lot of Goblins coming.”
“Okay. Let’s make a run for it, Prince!”
“Good job, Nonna. You got the Goblins and fixed my awm.”
“I think we need to fly in our airplane back to Earth, now Prince. Daddy and Mommy are waiting for us to come home.”
“Okay. But aftew we fly home we have to take the twain.”
One airplane flight, two more Goblin battles, one train ride, and then a narrow escape from another horde of Goblins later…we were headed out of the park.”
“Nonna, I think more Goblins are going to follow me and gwab my feets!”
“Oh dear. You better ride on Nonna’s back then…they can’t get you then.”
“Are we going frew the alley again, Nonna? Whewre’s the wooster? Who’s that guy–what’s he doing? Does the wooster live in that biwrdhouse? Those are cool box gawdens. Weally–that’s what my Daddy is making fo ow home? Why is it called a daffodil? Maybe we can have a tweat when we get home! I’m hungwy. Can we pway bad guys when we get home? Not Goblins, Nonna…zombies.”
Enjoyed that. Pretty good with geography at 4 years old.