Summer Waxing Summer Moon
Grandpas Bill Schmidt, Scott Simpson and Frank Broderick (Woolly Mammoths all) prepared me for the wonder of grandchildren. They were spot on. Ruth came in last night and said, “Hi, Grandpop!” She had me at coming through the door. Gabe got transferred from Dad to me soon after Jon came in the house. Gabe looked up and gave me one of his trademark smiles, Happy to see you Grandpop. That’s what I heard, though Gabe’s 1 year plus mouth formed no words.
Herschel, their 6 year old German Shorthair, recently diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, bounded in as if he had no stinking terminal illness. He proceeded to pick up a small Ruthie sandal and run from one end of the house to the other with it in his mouth. This is Herschel’s way of signaling anxiety.
The Olsons stopped to see the Johnsons in Nevada, Iowa. Zelma Johnson, Jon’s grandma, still lives in this small Iowa town where Kate and her sisters grew up. Due to estrangement from David, Jon’s father, Jon had not seen his grandma in a long time. Jen got to meet Zelma and Zelma got to meet her great-grandchildren, Gabe and Ruth. David and Kate were high school sweethearts.
Kate got two cloth bags full of kiddy stuff at the dollar store. Ruth opened her hers and took out each item and showed it to me, exclaiming happily as only small children can. Retaining the young child’s sense of of awe and wonder at simple things is a goal worth keeping at the forefront of our maturity. Who needs a Lexus when she has a bubble maker? Who needs a fancy house when there’s plenty of chalk to draw on the sidewalk? Who needs fine clothes when a small electric fan with lights can entrance you?
These visits, back and forth, them here, us there are critical to family cohesion. They are why I still travel to Indiana and Texas for family reunions. As Grandpa Frank put it, “You don’t have a family if you never see each other.” True.