Hello world!

Welcome to Carmen Comments!  I have moved my blog to WordPress, and I think I’m going to like it.  I am transferring my last blog from the old site so I’ll remember where I left off.  Enjoy,

How quickly they grow.
I watch my eighteen month old granddaughter walk out to the garage, wait while I fill a bucket with dog food, take it in her two hands, turn and carry it through the house and out the back door. She doesn’t spill; she walks with assurance.
Just two months ago she couldn’t negotiate the small step-down from the laundry room into the garage without reaching out to hold onto my hand for balance and confidence. She couldn’t hold the bucket and walk at the same time.
Two months ago she couldn’t reach doorknobs; now she opens doors. She adamantly wants to be independent.
Better not step in and try to help her with something she is working hard to do for herself. And she is just beginning. Before you know it she will be all grown up and more than ever she will need to make choices on her own.
Will she reach up for a helping hand when she needs balance or a little boost in confidence?
Will she bring a blanket and lay her head on granddad’s (dandad) shoulder when she’s tired–worn out by the choices and lessons of the day?
There are some things I hope she never grows out of even as she works so hard at growing up. I hope we are here for a long time and that her parents and tios and cousins and all the rest of the people who love her will provide a foundation of love and strength that will continue to support her when we are gone, when she is an adult, offering a hand to babies of her own.
Last night the little one came across the house in the dark, long after her mom and dad were soundly sleeping and stood outside our door knocking. We heard a little voice–Mima, dandad, mima. . . . Then giggles of delight as we open the door.
In bounds the wide-awake sneaky one! So we bounced on the big ball, told stories, snuggled in the covers, sang songs together for over an hour before I walked her back across the dark expanse and in to sleep between her parents.
Life is good. I only wish all of our grandchildren were this close geographically. But this baby is the template, teaching us to be better grandparents.
What would it be like for a child to grow up without the love and support of extended family? Unhappily, it happens everywhere. Maria, a Guatemalan girl who lost her family when she was  eight years old tells her story in my new book, The Shaman Priest, now available on Kindle.

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About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States"--Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico, Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and Cochise College in Nogales, Arizona. She and her husband travel extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, and have spent many summers in the remote highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala with their family. Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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