Last night before I went to sleep I decided that if all went well today I was going to take Levon to see May at the restaurant where she works for a little visit, some hugs, and pizza.
All went well and I got to see my beautiful May. And hug her and hug her. And also eat pizza! Pepperoni and pineapple because that is Levon's favorite. Oh, wait- with cheese.
It was like a dream.
When the grands were younger, Lily and Jessie and I and whatever kids were available, used to do this fairly often- go eat lunch with May but after awhile, it became apparent that this was very stressful for our darling because she was trying to visit and provide the good service that she does AND keep up with all that needs to be done when you're a manager and server. So we sort of backed off of that but I so rarely get to see May because she does work so many hours and on her days off, she is so much like me and mainly wants to stay at home and be quiet and get the things done that need doing.
Even today I felt guilty, knowing that she had things she needed to do so badly but taking the time to talk to Levon and me. But I'm still glad I went. I was suffering for lack of her. Mama needed to get her arms around her baby.
Levon had a decent time too although he refused to let me take his picture unless his tongue was sticking out. Mr. Sassy Man.
May asked him if she could put her arm around him and he said no, so she sort of put her arm around him and that turned out like this.As I told Mr. Moon a few minutes ago, the boys are the boss of me and in fact, all of the grandchildren are the boss of me and it is true.
When I picked up August at after-school care, he came running out, his pink back-pack strapped to his back, wearing his rainbow socks and a pair of purplish pants which he informed me he'd put on backwards and he figured that out because the pockets were in the back. That kid is operating on a different plane than many of us are and that's the truth. It delights me. He gave me a huge hug and then asked what his treat was.
Lucky for him I had his box of animal crackers right there in the car waiting for him. Levon had already eaten his. When we got back to the house, August wanted some milk to go with his gorillas and giraffes and kangaroos but there was none in the refrigerator.
"I know we have some," he said, and then he led me to the hall and opened the door to a cabinet where Jessie keeps some foods and indeed, there were some cartons of oat milk. I reached up to get one and August said, "You're so old that you can barely reach it."
I said, "August, being old doesn't make you short. Well, okay, it can make you a little shorter but look at Boppy- he's the same age I am but he's still one of the tallest men I've ever met."
He agreed this was true. So did Levon.
A little while later I referred to Mr. Moon and me as old fuddy-duddies.
"Do you know what a fuddy-duddy is?" I asked him.
"Yes. Like you."
Things like this do not annoy me in the least. I love seeing myself through the incredibly honest lens of my grandchildren and I do very much realize that one of my roles in their lives is going to be part of their process of learning about aging and death. And kids think about these things. It is one of our main human tasks to try and come to peace with the idea that everyone will die. It is a first step in learning about our own mortality and it is reassuring to the children to think (and know) that I am old and still alive and will be older still when I die. That they have years and years (an eternity!) before them to live their lives as fully as I have.
But of course, this is not something to dwell on, and it's not something we even need to discuss unless they bring it up, and their thoughts on aging do amuse me and if I need to set them straight about certain things I will, gently, and with as much humor as I can manage. Why not? I'm still learning every day what aging truly means and if I can help my grandchildren understand it in a way that may serve them much later on in their lives, I am so happy to do it.
Once again, I surely did not set out here to talk about aging but often, it is only through writing that I realize what I am really thinking about. And it is not specifically death this evening, but how organic it is for children to have old people in their lives who are still capable of laughing with them, doing things with them and for them, of delighting and being delighted by them, of finding joy in them.
Or something like that.
This picture came up in my FB memories today and I swear- I forget so much these days but I will never not remember this moment.