“How was your school day?” I asked my eleven-year-old granddaughter.
“Terrible. It was the worst day of my life,” she answered. “I flunked a pop test in Social Studies because I read the wrong chapter. Oh, and I started a small fire during my science experiment, but teacher got it out and no one got hurt.”
Suddenly I regretted volunteering to pick the kids up from school. Shouldn’t one of her parents be consoling her instead of me? When my kids were young, I consoled them with chocolate chip cookies. (Turns out that was not a healthy way to console a child.)
“Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?” I asked, thinking along the lines of an ice cream cone.
“Well, maybe. Could you take me to Phoenix, Arizona? Or, I know, you can arrange for me to go to outer space. I want to go to every planet. But if you can’t do either of those, I know I would feel better if I could have a cheetah for a pet.”
Oh yes, next time her mom or dad is getting her after school.
My son was concerned about my driving eleven plus hours alone for a visit with his family. He hinted perhaps my eyesight might be slightly impaired. It’s not. I am still capable of spotting a ketchup stain on my husband’s dress shirt from across the dinner table.
It didn’t help my cause that while we were discussing by phone my travel plans, I spotted a frog on my dining room floor. (Oh, the joys of living in the country….) Naturally I had to hang up before we completed our conversation. Upon further investigation, I discovered the frog was deceased, and had been so for some time because it blended well with the brownish hues of the carpet.
I’m pretty sure if I spotted a tiny frog in my dining room, I could spot a large semi-truck on an Interstate highway—especially if I put in new contacts before leaving home.
I probably exaggerate when I say my four children created 32 “decorated Valentine Boxes” during their combined elementary school years. For me, though, a non-artistic, non-crafty person, it seemed like even more. Surely, “we” created 432 boxes. Ever tried to find four shoe boxes at 10:00 P.M. the night before Valentine’s Day? Ever financed red crepe paper, doilies, ribbons, construction paper, scotch tape, and glue?
Now, I realize I should not have waited until the day before to get organized for the big day. Some things have “disappeared” from my memory, and the reason why I wasn’t prepared for Valentine’s Day is one of those things. I suspect I was busy doing laundry, cooking, and going to the office.
Valentine’s Day is now one of my favorite holidays. The grandkids send me valentines, and I know they look forward to the ones I send them. In fact, a “thank you” usually comes a week or so later. They appreciate the “green” inside as much as they do the “red” valentine.
With no boxes to decorate, John and I usually dine out, and any day I don’t cook, is one of my favorite days. Happy Valentine’s Day!
“Nana, show me your ballerina skills,” my young granddaughter said as she twirled through the room.
“Oh honey, Nana doesn’t have any ballerina skills,” I answered.
“Come on, Nana, I’ll teach you,” she said and pulled me up from my comfortable recliner.
After I made a few clumsy attempts at spinning around the room I heard her small voice say, “That’s okay, Nana, at least you tried. Do you know any other dances?”
I remembered my attempts to “Twist,” to do the “Smashed Potato,” and even to “Polka.” Searching far back in my memory, I thought of the square dances I attended with my parents long ago. Surely my granddaughter would be impressed. I “allemanded left,” “bowed to my partner and bowed to my corner.” I “do-si-doed” and “promenaded home” with my imaginary partner—all while I hummed Turkey in the Straw.
“Stop Nana, stop. That’s not dancing, that’s galloping.”
Hmmm, well it had been over fifty years since I last square danced.