My wee grandbaby came for a play date, and after the obligatory tea party with assorted stuffed bears she turned to the doll house. I watched, amused, as she carefully positioned each piece of furniture and posed every character. Obviously, she decided it was time for bed.
The baby was tucked into the crib, the daughter napped on a bunk bed, and the dog was snoozing in the dog house, outside of course. Then she took the gray-haired doll and placed her on the floor instead of the bed.
“Why is Gramma on the floor?” I asked.
“So she won’t fall down and hurt her leg.”
Sometimes the innocent thoughts of toddlers are profound and gentle. I recently survived knee surgery, and my grandkids had seen me incapacitated with pain, hooked to an ice machine, and then hobbling around on crutches and a cane. I thought I was providing a good example by getting better and finally walking without assistance. But, she was still concerned that I might get hurt again. In her mind, if Gramma stayed on the floor, she couldn’t fall down.
I probably should obey that advice, but I have too much to do. However, I’ll consider being more careful, especially in the presence of little observers. They are learning that an injury can’t be cured every time with a Barbie Band-Aid and a kiss from Mommy. (Although those examples do have definite therapeutic and lasting value.)
As I get older, every second of every day, I’m reminded that this old gal ain’t what she used to be. I ache in new places, I don’t have as much energy as I once had, and body parts are moving south without my permission. Injuries take longer to heal, and sometimes I long for an afternoon nap. That phenomenon is new and a bit bewildering.
In a recent attempt to cheer up, I scheduled a hair appointment. My regular stylist was gone so I had a new hairdresser who looked as if she had just skipped in from recess. She told me she was excited to celebrate her 21st birthday by visiting her mother. I asked her if the mom would like a copy of my book Midlife Cabernet. She remarked that her mother wasn’t “that old” but maybe her grandmother would like it. I debated giving her a 20% tip, but of course I did and then shuffled out the door.
In my mind, I’m still 40. But then I realize my daughter is in her thirties, so one of us has the wrong age. I’ve appreciated the marvelous adventures on this glorious journey through the decades, and I look forward to many more. But now I’m tired and think I’ll go lie down. Maybe, just to be safe, I’ll do that on the floor.