You Had One Job
I debrief my grandson constantly, pop quizzes on his fund of knowledge, probing for gaps that only a grandpa can fill.
He understands that he’s a child, and that his job is to learn things. He’s good-natured and agreeable about this, most of the time anyway, but then he’s a very sweet boy.
I had no problem asking him questions, then, and he gave me answers. On this occasion, I was trying to find out what children’s stories he was familiar with, and which ones he wasn’t.
He recognized Pinocchio, after I described the plot. Not so much for Snow White or Cinderella. I kept going, and after many questions and much mingling of sources, we watched The Wizard of Oz together.
The 1939 film, the one most of us are very familiar with thanks to multiple showings when we were growing up.
It holds up, in case you were curious. The quality of the film was remarkable, colors bright and sound crisp. Compared with my recent Marvel marathon, I noted the old-fashioned special effects and realized they were perfectly fine. I didn’t need the Wicked Witch of the West to actually melt, it turns out. The trap door in the floor was fine. It was all fine.
This kid has been climbing all over me lately, as if he just discovered he could do that. Beth says it’s because I’m patient with him, and that may be true, but as I explained to her, that’s not exactly a feature of mine. It’s not like I’m impatient. I just don’t think it’s the first thing that will pop into your mind when you’re trying to describe me.
Patience isn’t a virtue for me; it’s a reaction, at least in this case. I happen to think this boy is perfect. I just relax and admire. This is either a reflection of his unique abilities, or just a feature of being a grandparent. I can’t imagine why it matters.
I just know I’m happy to spend as many seconds with him as I can, and if he wants to use me as a jungle gym he’s welcome.All of my missions were accomplished, then. I helped, I wallowed in Boyland, I charmed and was charmed. I ate many different foods. I’m beginning to suspect I have a Diet Coke problem. There are other unimportant things.
I fly home tomorrow, looking ahead at a quick connection in Phoenix, and all the many problems that could arise from that. I’m used to flying nonstop to Texas, although it just made more sense to do it this way at the last minute.
And of course I don’t care. I’ll eventually get home, I’m sure. I hear there’s no place like it. I also know that it sort of depends on who’s waiting for you.