Posts Tagged ‘Rosie the Riveter’

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. (Heraclitus, philosopher, 500 BCE)

Sometimes what begins as a mistake can end right-side-up.

I’ve left physical therapy and I’m on my way to pick up Rebecca from kindergarten. Her daddy calls my cell phone. Both Daddy and I remembered the wrong dismissal time. Rebe’s big sister is in fourth grade now. That seems like longer ago than it is. Morning kindergarten ends at 11:00, not 11:30. Since the time in my car reads 11:10, the chance of a punctual arrival doesn’t exist. My ancient Toyota has no time-machine properties. In fact it locks and unlocks with an old-fashioned key—not a remote control.

“Rebe’s okay,” my son assures me. “She’s in the office.”

Now I need to keep the speed somewhere close to the limit. The needle on the gauge wants to jump into the panic zone, next to how I feel. However, after turning left instead of right only once, I arrive. My granddaughter has the attention of everyone in the office. She trusts that Grandma will come. Her smile calms me immediately.

Since Grandpa is out-of-town until Tuesday he couldn’t have helped. Her babysitter isn’t available today. We would never have planned for the office to take over for a half hour. But today it worked, and I’m grateful. My therapy didn’t end until 11:00.

“We have six hours of Grandma-Rebe time,” I tell my granddaughter.

“Is that long?”

“Long enough to have lunch, go swimming, and have dinner together.”

“Yay! Can we go to your house, too?” she asks.

“Don’t see why not. It’s our day. Let’s play follow the leader. You lead.”

“The kids stay on this side of the sidewalk because it’s safer. We had a fire drill today, with fake smoke. I kept away from it though because we were learning what to do if it was real.” Rebe walks as if she were on a tightrope. My act looks less natural. I consider it a privilege to follow the kids’ route.

I watch my granddaughter and know the example I follow is worthy. She enjoys the moment, recognizes its beauty.

“What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?” I ask.

“Rosie, the Riveter.”

“Great. That’s history. From what was called World War II. Did you know that Rosie, the Riveter is older than I am?”

“Older than Mommy, too.”

I’m grateful for swallowed laughter. Our little girl’s feelings get hurt when she thinks I’m laughing at her, not her innocence. Rebe’s mommy is a tall, attractive brunette—she’s the same age as my son. However, time and age are relative terms in our kindergartener’s world. When she turned six a little over a week ago, she told her daddy, “In ten years I can drive.”

Right now I would rather play follow the leader, and act as if time didn’t exist. This day is precious. The gift of unconditional love abounds. And I’m enfolded in its child-sized arms.


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