Sunday, September 7, 2014

The End And Now The Beginning

August was a busy month. Our grandson, Gideon turned 3 on the 20th and I turned 59 on the 26th. We are entering an exciting time in our relationship. Gideon not only talks like crazy, he makes jokes, thinks things through, and is constantly surprising all of us with what he comes up with. His third year is also sometimes a year of rebellion. Still, he's my Gideon Gumdrop, and he's informed me I'm his Grandma Gumdrop.

His 3rd was celebrated in style. Cake and ice cream were enjoyed and many presents unwrapped. He was thrilled when earlier in the day I called to ask if he wanted to come along on errands and also pick up his birthday cake for the upcoming evening. He walked into the store, up to the counter and said, "I want my birthday cake now, please." We had asked him what theme he wanted, and each time he stated, "Bees!" We couldn't find a bee theme here in town for the decorations, but I special ordered a bumble bee cake. We also, between the two homes, each had a stuffed bumble bee. Those two bees joined the Sesame Street characters to help him celebrate. I don't know what time he got to bed, but let's just say it wasn't early.

For my birthday, I decided nothing could be more fun than a day at Comotown (a children's amusement park) with Gideon. Just the two of us. We played mini-golf for the first time. It went much better than I envisioned. Then it was off to the rides. He informed me he wanted to go on the swings. After asking, and measuring, it was determined he was big enough to go. He laughed and screamed, yelling, "Hi, Grandma!" each time he spun by. After getting off he looked me straight in the eye and declared, "I AM going on the Leapfrog." It's really called the Frog Hopper, but Leapfrog works for me. It's a smaller ride like the bigger one where about 12 people sit in a row, the ride goes up, then drops down like you will crash to the ground. It stops, goes up, repeats, etc.

Well, just two weeks prior he had gotten out of line for that particular ride. I was glad because I had my doubts he was ready. This day, though, I've never seen such a look of determination on a child. When I asked if he was sure, he said, "Yes. I am going." The attendant said some 3 year-olds rode it, and he was tall enough. A woman next to me said her child was three and went on it, so I approved it...only to stand there wondering if I was the worst grandma in the world. 

As he got on, I said to another lady also watching a child, "I think I made a big mistake letting my 3 year-old grandson go on this. He's too young." She shuddered and said she felt the same about her 4 year-old. All of a sudden, the ride started. Gideon let out a joyous scream and laughed so hard it made me laugh. The lady asked, "Is that one yours?" I shook my head yes, afraid to speak in case my voice broke. "Well," she laughed, "there's your answer." He laughed and squealed and screamed with the others the whole time. Gideon ended up going on the leapfrog and the swings 3 times each!

Driving home, I asked what rides were his favorites. "The swings, and the leapfrog," he replied. Then he said, "Grandma?"


Lat year the leapfrog was scary. This year it's just fun!" More laughter. 

Never mind it wasn't last year, but two weeks ago. I guess in his mind 2 years-old means a year old now that he's 3! How cool that he now faces a fear and conquers it—and oh my, how fast they grow. Every moment I spend with him I think about how precious the time is. It's going too fast, and yet each day is better than the last.

For me, it's the end of my fifties this year. One more year and then I'll be sixty. Doesn't seem possible, either. My time has gone just as fast as watching Gideon. Next year I'll choose to look at my sixties as just another beginning. 

Tomorrow, Monday, I start having Gideon over most weekdays again. Parents are back teaching for the school year. I have so many fun plans for him! I could blog daily about this kid, but I don't. I have other things to bring up, bitch about, share, dream with you so I try to mix it up.

When we got home on my birthday we parted ways to change clothes. Then all of us went to dinner to celebrate. One of my best birthdays ever. Something tells me they'll always be magical as long as Gideon is part of my special day.

But that boy. He has endless energy! When we got home, he told his dad, "We ripped Comotown up!" That we did. 

And that isn't bad, for a toddler and an almost sixty grandma. Not bad at all.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
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