Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nap Time

At Grandma and Grandpa's Place...

...all children took naps at 1 pm every day.

Grandma always made us take naps when we stayed with her...which was pretty often, especially during farming season. She was a firm believer that all kids needed naps (a point that I completely agree with) and furthermore that a good nap could not be taken while wearing jeans (a point that I have proven to be untrue on numerous occasions). If we were wearing knit pants we simply went to the bathroom and lay down on the bed in preparation for naps. But if we were wearing jeans we had to take them off, or at the very least unbutton them, for comfort.

After we were properly attired we got onto the bed. All three of us (more than that if any of our cousins were there) took naps together in one queen sized bed. We all laid with our heads on the pillows and Grandma would lay across the foot of the bed horizontally. That is when nap time oficially began.

Grandma would begin by telling us stories. She told us Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and all of the other classic nursery rhymes. Then she would start to sing. Sometimes she sang hymns like The Old Rugged Cross, The Unclouded Day and In The Garden. She also sang songs that she remembered from her childhood like October Gave a Party and After the Ball is Over.

It always worked. We were as quiet as church mice when Grandma was talking or singing. Her voice calmed us right down for naps. Maybe we were too quiet. Sometimes Grandma would fall asleep herself in the middle of a story or a song. We would debate amongst ourselves as to whether or not to wake her up. Of course our conversation would wake her up anyway and she would finish the concert and then leave us to our naps.

As I got older I of course didn't think I needed a nap. Grandma still made me lay down "just until the little kids went to sleep". I often went to sleep myself, as she knew I would. But once we were in 1st or 2nd grade she didn't make us take naps anymore. At the time I was thrilled. But now, I'd give anything to have my Grandma lay at the end of my bed and sing me to sleep.

Maybe I can return the favor some day.


W. Penn said...

October gave a party
Leaves by hundreds came
The chestnuts, oaks, and maples
and leaves by every name.

The sunshine spread a carpet
and everything was grand
Miss Weather led the dancing
Professor Wind the Band

The Chestnuts came in yellow
The Oaks in crimson dressed
The lovely Mrs. Maple
in Scarlet looked her best.

I can hear her singing now. That's one of my all time favorites. I wish we could be young again, but I wish more that she could be young again. I think I'll ask her if she remembers this song next time I see her.

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