Monday, February 19, 2007

A Lesson That Sucks ... I Mean, Seriously

Last night Debbie and I drove to the home of our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. We spent the night so that we could baby sit early in the morning and throughout the day. So we visited, we slept and we got up to be with baby Elle.

This is a child of 9 months old who loves people! I mean, she finds her toys (which she has in abundance) to be cool but she would obviously rather play with people. Just my kind of girl!

So play we did! We flew around the room. We crawled. Well, I crawled. She "army crawled." But somehow she still managed to beat me to the toy or the keys I had thrown across the room. That little sucker is f-a-s-t! The she took her nap. I was tempted to do the same but refrained. And after she got up ...


You see, baby Elle likes to be upside down. She is happiest when she is totally inverted. I picked her up by the feet and let her giggle at her grandma sitting near her. Then I took her for upside down tours of the house. She giggled and cackled like a 9 month old. Which is exactly what she is. Then we played "Grandfather Clock!" That's where I hold her upside down by her feet and swing her back and forth like a pendelum while saying "tick, tock, tick, tock." Yes, I have video if you care to observe. She loved it.

Then it was time for the finishing touch of our fun soaked day. Elle was sitting on the couch by her mother who had just returned home from work. She had her pacifier (aka: pacy) in her mouth. I really don't know why I did what I did. It just happened. I reached out and quickly pulled it out of her mouth and put it in my own. You have NEVER seen a little child look as stunned as she looked. I thought she was going to cry but she did not. She did not pout. She simply took stock of the situation and then reached out and snatched her "pacy" back! She put it straight into her mouth and began sucking and chewing on it while her mom and her grandmother grossed out.

And then ... then the most unusual, unexpected thing happened. Baby Elle looked at me. She took her pacy out of her mouth and held it out toward me. I opened my mouth and she put it in. I didn't know what to do. So ... I sucked on it! It's been a few years since I last had a pacifier of my own. (Honest!) And then she took it back and chewed it herself. For the next 5 minutes my lovely granddaughter and I shared her precious "pacy." She and I both delighted in the sharing. Pacy spit is no big deal between a grandfather and a granddaughter.

I learned from Baby Elle today. I remembered how wonderful it is to give. I recalled what it feels like to forget about yourself in favor of someone that you love. Maybe this is way too deep a conclusion for such a silly game. But it was more than a game. Elle shared with me her most prized possession... the coveted pacifier that she uses to comfort herself when she is going to sleep or is simply restless. Why can't I remember the lesson of a 9 month old? Do I have to wake up in the morning and be the same old jaded adult that I too often find myself being? You know, I am tempted to go out and buy my own pacifier so that I won't forget the lesson of Elle ... and so that the next time I hang out with her ... we can swap pacy's. After all, that is what really good friends do.

I love you, Elle. Thanks for reminding me.


One-Eyed Jack said...

Ahh, the sounds of Grandparenting! Ron it looks like this is some of the best stuff for you to do with your "time off". She is a doll. Almost as cute as my kids.;o)