Zoe just left to play at my parents’ house for the morning with her cousin Cate. They do this every Thursday morning, and my mom often works in a library story hour or even some performance or other. Zoe looks forward to it all week.
It strikes me again today, as she leaves the house, that Zoe is flush with grandparents. There is a newly redecorated cousin room at my parents’ house, and at the Turners’ house, Zoe has her own room (the perk of being the only grandchild). She has time alone with at least one grandparent every week.
It’s a gift that stuns me.
This week I ran across the one thing that I had requested from my Grandma’s house when she died. Somehow, in my care to preserve them crumbling already, I had hidden them from myself for many years. They are these tiny shoes (about 2 inches long) that sat on her piano in her parlor.
When we went to visit Grandma after Grandpa died, Mom would sit in the kitchen with Grandma and we would try to amuse ourselves with anything we could find. The only game in the house was Ants in the Pants and after we had played that a while and checked for anything cool left over in Uncle Al’s old room, we would troll the parlor for anything we could make a toy of.
These shoes were it for me. I thought they were so cool. I remember walking them on my fingers across the piano keys, examining the tiny painting on the sides. They kept me occupied for hours and quickly became the first things I sought out upon arrival.
There was no tricked out room at my Grandma’s house–and I remember only rare occasions of having her all to myself. But these shoes bring back to me what I hope Zoe remembers of her own grandparents.
The delight with which the door is opened at her arrival.
The hearty laughter at something she said that she didn’t know was funny.
The unmitigated adoration that is the right of grandparents alone.