"Awww oh my gosh your baby is so cute" Dressed in a white buttoned down colorful polka dot shirt paired with bright yellow drawstring pants. He was no more than two years old and I could practically hear the wonder in his eyes. So young, new, innocent. His grandparents were beyond proud to stroll through Landblurberry Park showing off the beauty of their newest DNA strand. Later that day they window shopped through 10 stores holding up Outfits and commenting on the beauty of their little one. They put him in tiny tuxedos, duck Outfits, a sailor outfit, a puppy outfit and even a Halloween Holy man outfit with the fake beard in all. They began scrapbooking and a few years later they had created a wonderful book of memories. When the boy turned 12 his grandparents told him he could go anywhere he wanted and they would buy him whatever he liked. Naturally he wanted to go to Disney world and visit Harry Potter world and all the Star Wars attractions. They rode rides and played games and to end the day they ended eating a great meal trying the gray stuff from Beauty and the Beast. It was exquisite. A few years later the boy turned 15 and he was given a party and 2 video game consoles.
I watched as my crush was spoiled and loved. I watched my cousins and nieces and nephews receive love and affection. When I listened to other people's conversations the grandchildren always seemed to be embarrassed and excited with the conversation they were having.
I was embarrassed. I always sat in the corner and stared at the mesmerizing relationship between the young and the old. The experienced and innocent come together in a single place in time and space all to share love and admiration and knowledge. I always wanted to know what it would be like to drive over to a grandparents house and be fed sweets even though my parents say no. To watch old love continue to blossom and sparkle with an odd and sarcastic sense of humor. To drink tea and hot chocolate while we watched movies and did arts and crafts. To sit around a bonfire while stories of love and sadness and triumph fill the air the way constellations fill the sky.
What does it feel like to have such love as one grows through life. How much sweeter are warm homemade chocolate chip cookies with milk instead of chips ahoy and oat milk after a long day of work. How releasing is an embracing hug instead of walking through the blanket aisle in Target touching each one until finally settling on the fluffiest one and squeezing it as if to choke the life out of the blanket itself. Well at least the fabric holds my tears. While hugging the blanket I hear in the next aisle a wishful woman, she sounds hopeful as she asks "So since he's back from Seattle we were hoping you could come over with your brother to the lake house for the weekend. We really miss all of you and it wouldn't be the same without you". I wait to hear her reaction to the answer. "Oh how wonderful, I will have your favorite pie ready for you when you all arrive." She ended with saying I love you and I swear I could hear each footstep leave a note of jolliness as she began walking towards the baking aisle. I was happy for her and envious of her grandchildren for they are unaware of how much their life means to someone else.
I once went to my step grandparents house, about a year after my step grandmother passed , which was also on a lake. I spent time trying to teach myself to fish to no avail. I asked them to show me but they were too busy talking to others to want to spend time with me. The next day I stayed inside, but having nothing to add to their conversation I sat there silently. Begging for someone to ask me a question so that I do not accidentally require the super power of unintentional invisibility. Talk to me please, ask me something, teach me to fish, notice my existence so that I know that my life does have meaning and that you somewhat love me. No? Nothing... I understand.
Walking outside I grab a drink and a few Napkins. This time of day at the lake will continue to live on vividly in my memories. Looking back at the house i See the outline of everyone in the house and hear hysterical laughter. The water begins to shimmer and shine and sway ever so gently as the boats in the distance behind to to pick up speed. The beautiful peach glow of the sunset as it kissed every visible piece of skin made the tears that began to blur my vision look like the birth of a new universe. As I sit on the edge of the dock I use the Napkins to wipe away my tears for if they fell into the lake the fishes would feel my sadness and hurt in empathy for me. I couldn't do that to those fish. My crush, thank goodness he was around me during those early years in life, allowed me to live curiously through him to know what strength and beauty the love of caring grandparents can build a person up with. The lady in the next aisle of Target informed me of the amount of affection and pride that only grows with time for the ones she loves. The Lake taught me that even if no fish grabs the hook I'm putting out, that doesn't mean they don't see my hook and I can still care about them from afar.
Grandparents. What a wonderful experience it must be to have them. To be loved by them. To watch life bond us closer together as age continues to stretch us apart.