An afternoon with the grandkids

By Joanne Peterson | Jun 27, 2013

Today I drove to West Seattle to visit my grandchildren Abby and Adam at their daycare in the nursing home facility where my daughter Lisa works.

After visiting with Lisa in her fifth-floor office for a few minutes, I rode the elevator to the first floor to Adam’s classroom but found that he hadn’t awakened from his after-lunch nap. (Later he denied that he was sleeping. He said he was just lying there, waiting for me.)

Because Adam was sleeping (or appeared to me to be sleeping), I went back to the elevator and rode to the third floor to little Abby’s daycare room.

Abby recently had awakened from her nap and, through the glass doors to the room, I could see she was in her aimless-wandering mode, reminding me of myself on the unfortunate occasions I give in to the temptation of a nap.

“Aimless wandering” pretty much describes my actions the next few hours after the nap, so I felt a rush of compassion for my little granddaughter in her after-nap lost-ness.

I entered the room, and one of the teachers called Abby’s attention to me. “Abby, there’s Grandma!”  My sweet two-year-old granddaughter turned and gazed up at me, blue eyes round and perplexed, hair a mass of pale blonde unmanageable curls. She made no move toward me.

Ah, yes, after-nap lost-ness. My granddaughter.  I chose a chair, sat quietly for a few moments and then held out my arms to her. She took another half minute to stare at me, made her decision, and ran to jump into my lap. Bliss.

After listening to a story about seeing a bear in the woods and not being afraid, and after sharing a muffin-and-milk snack, it was time for Abby’s class to go out to the playground.  The dozen children, three teachers and one grandma all made our way to the elevator.

Since one trio of giggling two-year-olds chose to hold hands, making themselves into a lop-sided circle, motion was complicated, as their little circle moved jelly-fish-like, a continuing  (adorable) distraction in the midst of the group.

On the next floor, a woman waited to get into the elevator. When the door opened, she hesitated, clearly considering the wisdom of waiting for the next elevator. “Let the lady get on,” called out a teacher.

“Why?” asked one of the jelly-fish trio, still holding hands, still giggling. “Because we’re nice!” instantly responded the teacher, and the woman stepped, smiling, into the last empty corner of the elevator.

After some playground time with Abby, during which her teachers encouraged her to show how well she dribbles a basketball, I said I needed to go visit Adam. (Abby did not favor this proposal.)

Soon, four-year-old Adam and I sat in the cafeteria chatting, sharing raisins, peanut butter and crackers.

Eventually, I reluctantly returned him to his classroom and drove into rain, wind, lightning and five o’clock traffic.   Fortunately, the afternoon was such a delight that I scarcely minded the drive home.

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