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Confessions of a Love Struck Gramma

I've been thinking big thoughts. I am normally a pensive person. Over the last few months that habit has intensified to the point that I have been lost in my own head. I enjoy being lost. I find it exhilarating. I know that people fight being alone.They kick and yell and scream and for the life of me, I don't know why. When I am alone  I am expending energy but I'm not struggling to find a way out. I am looking for a way deeper in.  I am busy looking for the road not taken; the reasoning to the rhyme and just what information all those synapses contain.

When I am like this every thought is an adventure. I seem to notice things that would normally escape me. I hang on to them. I cherish them. I replay them over and over until like a shard of glass tumbling in the ocean they are smooth and comfortable to hold.

My grandson was sitting behind me in the RAV4 while I was driving. He was playing his Game Boy and it had him totally focused. Whatever game he was playing, he was trying to put some body English on his moves- just like I used to do when playing pinball games as a child.  The flipper would send the ball zipping across the game, pinging more productively off the bumpers if you used a little hip action when you hit the ball.  Like me, my little buddy was contorting his body to try to help out his score. I could feel his feet kicking the back of my chair. Right exactly where my lumbar spine hurts, his foot pushed against the chair as his body twisted and his 8 year old fingers pushed buttons to a fare-the-well.  The feeling of his foot in my back was magic to my soul.

Almost 26 years ago, his mom and auntie sat behind me in my Pontiac Grand Prix.  They squirmed and wiggled as children are wont to do and if they had the misfortune of kicking the back of my seat they would have been yelled at with gusto. I can hear my authoritarian voice kicking in, "Do NOT kick the back of my chair, do you understand me?!"  Yet now I was relishing the feeling of his foot pushing against the back of my seat. It didn't feel pleasant but at the same time  I found it oddly comforting.  What's up with that?

Have 25 + years of maturity given me more patience?  Have I suddenly re-prioritized my need for comfort? What was so special about Junior having a foot pushing against my kidneys?  I thought about these questions for the 7 hours we were in the car. How could I be deriving joy from something that used to be a pet peeve of mine?  

The time in the car left my question unanswered. I was lost for several more days rummaging around in my brain trying to find answers for these questions. It wasn't found in the typical responses that  people would give me. I didn't enjoy the foot to my spine in some weird way to make up for yelling at his mother and auntie.  I haven't matured to the place that being uncomfortable is OK with me.  I think the comfort for me was in knowing exactly what he was doing. It may have been an old fashioned pin ball machine I played as a girl, but we were sharing history between us. It was a sweet communion between the memories of an old woman and the competitive nature of a young boy. I knew exactly what he was feeling when I heard him say, "Yes!" and when he groaned and said, "Oh, man!"

In that brief moment I was overwhelmed with love for my grandson. He kicked my kidneys and wrapped me around his little finger in one fell swoop.  I never saw it coming and he has no idea it happened. For the rest of his visit each time he kicked the back of my seat, my heart skipped a beat. I also lost a few heartbeats when I found his rubber scorpion on the floor, but that was an entirely different story.

I miss him.


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