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Thirty-Seven Months

Bunny Egg

Dear Persephone,

Thanks for sharing a wonderful Equinox with us yesterday. We decorated eggs and had an egg hunt and watered your tree (which we planted on the last vernal equinox) and went on a nature walk and you even put on some bunny ears (sent in the mail by your grandmother) and hopped around the house saying “boing boing boing” later in the day.

You have long passed the point where I can chronicle all your developments. Nevertheless I will try give little snapshots when I can. And so I present the incident of the grapes and the bowl. This happened a week or two ago.

One day after dinner you were promised some grapes for dessert. You were pretty excited and you covered your eyes in anticipation so you could be surprised when Mama served them. When you opened your eyes you were surprised all right: The grapes were in a bowl. Apparently you’d expected them on a plate. You began to cry and protest. You pleaded to have the grapes on a plate. Of course we could have put the grapes on a plate for you, but you have many capricious whims, and I often feel we are too indulgent already. It seemed to me that there was a learning opportunity here. We explained that grapes are round like balls, and they would roll right off a plate and fall on the floor. You weren’t having it. You were ready to throw the grapes down anyway. I put the bowl out of your reach, and I told you could have the grapes in a bowl, or not have them at all. Still you cried and cried. You clearly wanted the grapes. But that bowl was highly problematic.

After listening to you cry for a while, I finally got out a plate and put it on the table next to the bowl. I plucked a grape from the bowl and put it on the plate. I encouraged you to eat it, which you did, though still quite tearfully. Then I told you to take a grape from the bowl and put it on the plate yourself. You did, and then you ate that grape. Next I told you to get another grape from the bowl and simply touch it to the plate before popping it into your mouth. Your tears were beginning to subside now. The fourth grape went directly from the bowl to your mouth. See how they taste just as good whether from a plate or a bowl? You ate all the grapes in the bowl, followed by a couple more bowls full. On the next night you asked for your grapes in a bowl.

So now at least you know how to serve grapes properly. But did you learn anything about being flexible? It remains to be seen. But we’ve reviewed the incident together. “Do you remember when you wanted the grapes on a plate?” I hope that helps to seal the deal, helps you generalize the lesson. In any case, I thought this story kind of encapsulates where you’re at, and how we relate.

Published inLetters to Persephone


  1. Brooks Brooks

    I admire your creative handling of the grape showdown. Something tells me you had great parents yourself.

  2. Grampa Ray Grampa Ray

    There are a few, but only a few, people on our planet that can see beyond the rough surfaces of life. Brooks seems to be one of those rare individuals. This was a great observation and I couldn’t agree more. You are one lucky guy, Bart, creative too.

    I loved this story. I can just see Persephone asserting herself.

  3. Ah yes, the old plate/bowl meltdown. What is it with kids? They could put stuff like this in those “What to Expect” books. Same old stuff like clockwork. As different as Evan and Sydney are, sometimes they go through the same exact tantrums, just 3 years apart.

    Happy Equinox!

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