Last Sunday was National Grandparent’s Day and I had the privilege of spending it with two of my three grandkids. The Arizona ones. Living over a thousand miles away from them makes it especially sweet to drop into their daily lives. Even if it’s just for a week.
Firstly, I must say, it’s loud here. Very. Michael says it’s just me and the juxtaposition to the environment to which I’m accustomed. And he told me to stop telling Adi I’d give her $100 if she’d stop yell-talking. And I truly wish you could hear the sound Benjamin makes when he plays with his little, green, racecar. It’s hilarious and . . . loud.
Secondly, it’s fun here. Watching Benjamin’s determined pulling up to standing practice and the contortions he goes through to lower himself gently, over and over and over again. The way he works to open a book by himself. Such skill. The way spying an iPhone from a hundred yards induces a lightning crawl and Ninja skills to taste it before anyone can avert. The way his entire face alights when he sees his favorite sister. And the way he gives her hell for manhandling him.
Dolphins Dinos and Dress-up
Being invited into Adi’s elaborate make-believe world is quite the treat. A swim is never just a swim, but a dive into the magical world of mermaids and dolphins. Dinosaurs are friends, but some of them are mean. Her favorite accessory is the red-beaded, clip-on earrings I brought her from her great grandmother’s Sunday jewelry.
It’s Not All Fun And Games
And then there’s the hard stuff. Apparently, during song time at Jitterbug Preschool, Adi was NOT allowed the privilege of being the preschooler who proudly held the laminated blue horse up high when the lyric was “blue horse, blue horse . . .”
Blue is Adi’s favorite color. She always eats out of the blue bowl, plays for the blue fish in Go Fish, and her dad is no longer allowed to claim blue as his favorite color. Adi basically owns blue.
One, tiny, four-year-old heart was broken. At lunch, as the story was revealed, Adi’s mommy asked her if she’d expressed her wishes to the teacher. Maybe she could put in a request for next time. If Adi thought it might be appropriate to even share blue occasionally. The details of the event were sketchy, but the emotion was perfectly clear and real.
I’m embarrassed to say I was one of those moms who would have emailed the teacher, hoping to intervene for my child, but these parents–when the whole debacle was still a topic at dinner–actually led a real discussion. We went around the table, each of us citing a recent example of personal disappointment. I followed along as they acknowledged Adi’s feelings while noting that disappointment is both inevitable and universal.
Adi was taking it all in. Listening. Asking clarifying questions. My observation is that important discussions are one of Adi’s favorite activities. She loves talking to adults about life and its issues. After we all bore our souls and shared our particular methods for dealing, the discussion ended with an emphatic, slightly dramatic declaration: “But I want to be the blue horse!”
Oh Adi, how I wish I could just give you the danged blue horse. Somehow make it all okay. But the truth is that it wouldn’t help. Wouldn’t teach. Wouldn’t prepare you for all the inescapable blue horses to come.
It’s hard. Long, audible, Nana sigh.