I recently came across this unpublished post that brought a smile to my face. It was a post written during simpler times when something like COVID was the stuff of science fiction. It was written at a time when children complained about homework and not stopping for ice cream. It was written at a time when we were able to appreciate all the good that surrounded us without the added distraction of all that is bad. The following post enabled me to relive a precious moment and reprogram my mind to focus on the many blessings that were and continue to be a part of my life.
The path ahead continues to be one filled with uncertainty, but so was the path I left behind. At this point, as I thankfully continue to move along towards whatever destiny awaits me, I choose to accentuate the positive: whether it appear as a whimsical mask on the face of a fellow traveler, the sound of a mourning dove cooing to its mate, an uplifting phone conversation with a friend, watching movies that convey the theme of hope (Forest Gump being one of my favorites), or reliving happy memories stored in my memory bank. What follows is one such memory. I hope it serves to ignite some of yours.
One Morning in Massachusetts
Have you ever tried carrying a scooter and child’s helmet in one hand, two plastic bags filled with a small juice, a bottle of water, cookies, bagels and two Beanie Boos in the other, along with a three-year old child in your arms? Let me tell you, this is no easy task! However, this Yeayah mustered up strength held in reserve to do just that! Am I impressed with myself; impressed that a woman of my age (which will remain my secret) was able to do the seemingly impossible; a woman whose orthopedist is her best friend? You betcha!
On a recent sojourn to babysit our granddaughters, I arrived, prepared as usual, with a bag of snacks, two bottles of water, and two boxes (one for each of the girls) of crafts for when I needed some “down time.”
Since May was at school, I only had to keep Eloise, our three-year-old granddaughter, entertained until May’s school day ended. It was a beautiful day so I asked Eloise if she would like to take a walk down to the path that runs alongside the beach near her house and ride her scooter. Eloise was thrilled with the idea and immediately had me put her helmet on her head before we took off.
The walk was an incredibly long one for a three-year-old, and I admit as we set out I thought, “Am I out of my mind? How is she going to walk down a huge hill and home again?” but, as is often the case, good judgment gave way to the look of joy on my granddaughter’s face and we happily went on our way.
As we headed towards our destination, my worries proved to be in vain. Eloise chatted merrily as she walked along holding my hand with her scooter hanging over my shoulder.
Before we reached the path, Eloise asked if we could stop at the local store and get a “snack.” As she perused the shelves, with me trying to encourage healthful snacks, she settled on string cheese (something she had never tried), a bottle of orange juice, a bottle of water, and, try as I did to dissuade her, a bag of M&M’s. Eloise took one miniscule bite of the string cheese and a droplet of the orange juice. We agreed that the M&Ms would be put aside until after lunch.
Once on the path, I put her scooter down on the ground with the expectation that she would spend some time riding it and I would spend some time recovering from the burden of carrying it. I must have been dreaming. Eloise rode the scooter for about three minutes and then wanted to continue on walking towards the bakery, a destination I had mentioned as a possibility at the onset of our outing. Only now she no longer wanted to wear the helmet. Made sense to me! Why wear a helmet when you are not riding a scooter?
So, with helmet in hand, scooter over my shoulder, bag of snacks on my arm and Eloise holding my hand, we walked to the bakery where she managed to find two “must have” Beanie Boos, one for herself and one for her sister, May. Chocolate covered pretzels, two Beanie Boos, and two bagels later, we bid our goodbyes to the saleswoman and began the long journey home. Knowing that we had about ¼ mile trek ahead of us with a lengthy hill near its end, I once again wondered if my small companion would survive the return trip.
Eloise gets frightened around loud noises and the initial part of our walk back home was along a street busy with trucks unloading their wares. As we walked past one such truck, she asked me to please carry her. A portent of things to come? With some adjustments on my part, I scooped her up into my arms and she nestled her sweet, little face into the crook of my neck. What a feeling! I wanted that one moment to last forever, but wanting something and being able to do something are often at odds and once again I put her down and let her feet do the walking.
Amazingly, we made it up the huge hill, with an occasional stop so that this Yeayah could catch her breath, As we walked along, Eloise acted as my tour guide, pointing out “annoying dog” who barks all the time, the places where Woo (her dog) likes to “pee,” and, her next door neighbors’ cars.
As I reflect upon our adventure, I find it hard to believe that Eloise and I accomplished so much in so little time. It is heartwarming how much joy and love can be packed into one brief hour with your grandchild by your side. Thanks for the memories, Eloise!