Topic: My Daisy Boy by Alexandra Tomkinson

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Rosa Walsh was forty-seven years old that year when she gained custody of her young grandson Jacob, who was six months old.

"I must be insane to be doing nappies and night feeds again," she thought as she mixed formula for the baby at one o’clock in the morning.

His was a placid sunshiny temperament, loving the songs his grandmother would sing to him. Before long, Jacob was two years old, enjoying playing outside but taking time to come inside saying, "Grandma, I have 'prise for you. Dah dah!”

In his little hand lay squished daisies which he had faithfully and lovingly picked off the lawn.

"Thank you, Jacob,” Rosa smiled. “I will put them here on the window-sill where I can look at them as I prepare dinner."

On Jacob's next birthday her request to her favourite radio station was ‘I'll Give You A Daisy A Day.’

Rosa soon began to use a pet name for Jacob which was her ‘Daisy Boy.’

One morning while he was in the bath, he sung out, "That man said my name!"

“Yes, it is your third birthday and I asked for our song as a special treat."

"I didn't want him to use my name though," Jacob pointed out, as he sat at the table for his breakfast. "Yum, Grams, my favourite, bacon! Thank you."

"Hurry up, we are running a bit late for kindy,” Rosa said. "It would be great if I had my own car," she began...

"But, Grams," - that was Jacob's nickname for her - “we wouldn't be able to look for ladybirds or rainbows. Maybe a ship will be out on the sea."

"You're right. Come on then, let's go, I can do the dishes when I get back. We can pick up your friend on the way."

"Yay. Do you mean Ravi? He calls you Lollipop Grandma," Jacob said, referring to how she would buy a lollipop each for them at the dairy.

As each year passed, daisies seemed to come less and less. Rosie missed them but knew Jacob was growing up although their bond was as strong as ever.

Now, any time Jacob watched a programme on television he would ask his grandma, "What's the name of that song? Where's it from?"

"Look, Jacob,” Rosa informed him, “I don't know them all, I'm not a Google search!"

"Well,” he stated, “you should be!"

"Oh brother!" she muttered to herself.

 

Time flew past as Jacob’s childhood years went by, and now he was a Nearly Teenager, as he wanted to be called. He would be thirteen this year.

On the first day on the way back to school, Jacob realised there was a daisy bush in their new garden. Picking one he went to his grandmother.

“Grams," reverting to his old nickname for her, "Did you know the daisies I used to pick for you were actually weeds?"

He asked this with a touch of anxiety in his voice.

Rosa looked over his head memories flooding her mind, of the squished flowers proudly given to her with all the love of a two year old. Turning her eyes to the young man before her with tears welling in her eyes she answered softly and lovingly, "Yes, I knew. Have a great day at school."

She watched as both grand-dad and Jacob left in the car, before going inside to put her daisy in a small vase on the window-sill where she could see it at the sink when she organised meals or dishes, just as she had as in days long ago.

 

‘My Daisy Boy’ was written for the Memoir & Local History Competition 2011, run annually by the New Zealand Society of Authors (Bay of Plenty Region) with support from Tauranga Writers.

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This page archived at Perma CC in October of 2016: https://perma.cc/W8RA-LXKD

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My Daisy Boy by Alexandra Tomkinson


Year:2011