Saturday, June 28, 2008

Let Me Teach You How to Walk

This past week our 3½-year-old grandson L stayed with us. He road the 3 hours from his home with his two uncles who had spent last weekend camping with L’s father. If I have the story correct, his uncles picked L up after church Sunday morning. When they arrived, he walked out the door with his suitcase in hand. His mother had to follow him out to the car to get a goodbye kiss. He was a little disappointed having to ride in his Uncle K’s car because he wanted to ride in his Uncle J’s car. The uncles solved that problem for him by stopping at Uncle J’s apartment and switching cars. It is amazing the amount of power being the only nephew gives a person.

L arrived late Sunday afternoon and spent the remaining time settling in at his grandparent’s house. At one point Sunday evening I heard him telling his grandmother that he missed his mother. When I woke up Monday morning the den was empty and I found L sleeping in grandma’s bed. L must have heard me making my morning coffee because just as I settled into my chair for that first cup, he came into the den telling me that he had a good night’s sleep and could he watch some TV. So I sipped coffee and watched children’s programming with him.

Later Monday morning, L, his Grandmother, his Aunt K, and the two children she is babysitting this summer took the train downtown to the aquarium.. They didn’t return until late in the afternoon and then L spent the rest of the day telling me all about the train ride and all the things he saw and did at the aquarium.

The rest of the L’s week was busy with going to the gym with Grandma, going shopping for bridesmaid’s dresses with Grandma and Aunt K. One day he helped Aunt K wash the outside of the windows, he spent time in the wading pool, helped Grandma plant some things in a planter. He was basically either Grandma or Aunt K’s shadow.

Unfortunately Wednesday he woke up with a headache and a 101+ fever, so he spent the entire day either sleeping or resting. However Thursday morning he woke up and told us that he was feeling better and his headache was gone.

All the other times L stayed with us or we visited him, he would just accept my wheelchair, ventilator, and Foley as being normal for Grandpippy. However, he must have been thinking about why his Grandpippy wasn’t able to walk. A couple of time this past week he would tell me that I needed to watch him so he could teach me how to walk. He would say, “Grandpippy if you learn to walk you won’t need your wheelchair anymore”. After telling me this he would say “Watch how I walk Grandpippy” and then he would slowly stride around the room-using long exaggerated steps. “There” he would say, “if you learn to walk like me you won’t need your wheelchair.” Later I heard L asking Grandma why his Grandpippy couldn’t learn how to walk. After all L was a little guy and he had learned to walk.

Thursday evening after supper, L stayed home with me while his Grandma and Aunt went looking for material that might be used to make the bridesmaid dresses. So L and I stayed home and watched the movie “Night at the Museum.” There were times during the movie when L was a frightened enough that he wanted to sit in the recliner with me. After watching the movie for a while, he became bored with the movie and went into the other part of the house and started messing with the vacuum cleaner. Just when I was starting to transfer from the recliner to the wheelchair so I could find out what he was up too his Grandma and Aunt opened the front door.

Friday evening his parents drove down and this afternoon they left to spend a couple nights at a downtown hotel with his other grandparents. So now our house is much quieter and emptier also.

I remember how I would look forward to spending time with my grandparents. In fact I have a vague memory of my Uncle Bill taking my older brother and me to a White Sox baseball game. I have stronger memories of walking in the back doors of both of my Grandparents houses. One lived in town and the other on a farm. What I remember most about those houses is the way each house had it’s own odor. So I hope L has great memories about being young and spending time with his Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. Maybe he will have a vague memory of teaching Grandpippy how to walk.


Blogger Me said...

Grandpa and Grandma M's always had a unique smell (especially Tracy - and especially in the basement of the parsonage)- every so often I will smell something that brings all the memories back.

Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 7:35:00 PM PDT  

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