One of the advantages of still being in the same area that I grew up in and have spent the majority of the last 40 years, is that I have stories and information regarding just about every day trip that we make with the grands. The same thing is the disadvantage. Let me interject here that I have a trivial pursuit brain. Big stuff, important stuff has always run through the holes of my mental colander but the non important, tee tiny obscure stuff sticks like glue.
Oh sure, things have changed throughout the years in the state. Development, new sites, old haunts, cows and horses pretty much look the same as the other cows and horses we have seen before but honestly......it's my stories and Sweet Man's stories that embroider the grands trips. They like their mother will be boring someone else with the useless information about the Native Americans and their diapering techniques in the olden days, the train trips across country, the first time flights in small aircraft etc and so on and so on.
But there comes a time in every one's life when you hear these words, "you already told us that one before". And then the sweet little darlings add the statement (out of sheer fear or because they don't want to be told that what they just said was rude) "but we'd love to hear it again." Until recently, I hadn't encountered that scenario quite as much as we do with SM and the umpteenth telling of how he used to sneak in the back way to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, or the reason he hates limes is because as a busboy he had to clean ashtrays where folks had put limes and cigarette ashes or how he used to coach a basketball team at the YMCA.
And today instead of a moment of "oh hell, I've retold another one".....I got a backseat crowd of silence and then a million questions, as we drove slowly past the old prison. I struck oral tradition gold. And then they both got a little unsettled.....it was quite unique. Even Sweet Man said he had never heard that one before and had questions. She talks, she scores.......and the crowd goes wild.
On a field trip in Junior High we went to the state prison when it was still used to house inmates. We did a tour and then ended it at the gas chamber. All of the kids took a turn in going into the chamber. And as we did this, an incredibly tall man in a prison guard uniform said, "and I hated dropping the pellet every time". There were several of the kids who laughed, most were silent and me and two other girls cried and then threw up. I was and still am horrified that anyone would jack with kids minds like that. Every time I drive past that prison I think of "Lurch" and his mumbling about the deaths of all those men. Nothing I find funny at all.
GK had a million questions about the chamber, it's condition, why I had been upset, was I embarrassed about throwing up and did the other kids laugh at me??? All very typical responses for an 11 year old. She is at the "only the facts, ma'am" stage of life. Ry in all his Aspergian glory said to me, "Oma, next time we go to see something, let's go another way so your heart won't hurt". And then says to Papa, "we gotta be kind to Oma's little girl inside of her because even if she is a grown woman, that little girl inside her can still get her feelings hurt."
When the aliens come back that gave this precious little critter to my family in this life, I've gotta ask for more critters. More heart centered loving, kind creatures who have an empathic something built into their bodies. The only addendum I would ask for is that the creatures don't have to suffer because of their gifts and that we could help them better communicate. Although today, I'd say he said it just right.
There are days of course I would sell him and his sister and Sweet Man for that matter to the first passing gypsy but I'll tell ya what, this was not one of those days.
I am so blessed to be a part of his life. Stars what a day ya'll.