Margo Bartlett

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Everywhere Babies 2022

I was surprised and also not surprised to learn the book Everywhere Babies has been the focus of conservative outrage in Walton County, Florida.  I was surprised because I hadn’t realized this book, written by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Marla Frazee, was well known. I have an embarrassing tendency...

Outgrowing shared reading someday

I fully expected my older grandchildren to start pulling away from reading together by now.  They’d be nice about it. They’d gently explain — and by gently, I mean raucously, interrupting and overlapping each other, but still gently, in the sense that they’d sincerely not want to hurt my feelings...

Back to something like normal

The recent holiday was almost normal. For much of the day, we were nine: our daughters and sons-in-law, the three grandchildren, my husband and me, all of us vaxxed, vaxxed again, and boosted. Covid tests had been taken. We were good to celebrate. The grandchildren opened their gifts from their...

We're venturing out

For more than a year, we’ve stayed a safe distance from everybody else, worn facemasks, followed guidelines, and scanned the horizon for the specks of approaching vaccines.  When vaccines arrived, we older ones got in line; but our daughter, like so many daughters, impatient to see us inoculated (and also, perhaps, impatient to have loving and protected grandchild-caregivers again) jumped on the internet and found us appointments an hour...

Reviewing outdoor reading

This is what book reading with grandchildren currently looks like during the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: We bundle up – to the teeth, to the ears, sometimes only to the neck, depending on the Ohio weather – tighten our face masks, and, if necessary, sit both on and under blankets. If...

COVID-19 is like dental implants...

Edging back from a full shutdown to -- not normal; it’s too soon for that -– something near the outskirts of the suburbs of greater metropolitan normal, is like getting a dental implant. Implants take time. You don’t break a tooth, go to the dentist, and come home with a shiny...

Reading Together, Apart

Before the pandemic shutdown, I’d never said the words “social” and “distance” together, let alone adapted my life to fit the words. I’d been volunteering in my older grandson’s first-grade class, collecting him and his brother after school once a week to read and play until their parents got home,...

Volunteer grandma

Ed. note: Obviously, this post was written before the pandemic forced schools to close and families to stay home and visit with friends and relatives virtually. Margo will reflect on the "new normal" in an upcoming post. There I was, on the floor of a first-grade classroom, my grandson on...

Building on the Foundation

For my birthday, my husband gave me a stack of photographs as thick as a Harry Potter book. In almost every picture, I’m reading to at least one grandchild while crouching on floors, snuggled in restaurant booths, sitting on park benches, and all over our house and our daughters’ houses:...
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