Loves Me Like a Rock

rock
rock
Yesterday I was able to catch up and spend a little time with my eldest daughter and my youngest granddaughter.

They were going to go to a local park to spend a little time playing. Otherwise known as burning off a little energy before going home so that hopefully the evening would be a little quieter.

I don’t see my youngest granddaughter anywhere near as much as I would like, partly because I try not to be one of those grandparents who hover over their grandchildren all the time and end up causing family problems. However, a year ago I was able to spend a day with her on a weekly basis for about two months, and it was amazing to watch the growth and changes happening every week.

The growth continues to occur fast and furious. She is now walking quite freely, and quickly, on her own. Once she was down on the ground, off she went.

At the same time, she is also very cautious. Climbing up steps? No problem. Sliding down the slide? She is not exactly thrilled with that activity yet. And as for dealing with any elevation change, like the one and a half inch difference between the sidewalk and the ground? That is enough for her to completely change direction and find a path that is the same height as the sidewalk.

She is also much move talkative, although most of it still is not English as we know it.

She also seems to have what I call OCS. Only Child Syndrome. Any of you who have witnessed that in a child know exactly what I mean. Most children either grow out of it, or are forced out when they lose their membership in the Only Child Club.

One of the most important things I saw yesterday was just how much she sees and pays attention to things. Like the leaf that she chased for about 30 feet or so as it was pushed along the ground by the breeze.

While we were walking on the sidewalk at the park, I saw a little rock. At the time, my granddaughter was several feet behind me, with her attention focused on something else. So, I gave a little kick to the rock, sending it back toward the nearby dirt path that would obviously be a much better home for the rock than the cement sidewalk.

What I didn’t know was my granddaughter had changed her focus and saw me kick the rock.

The next thing I knew, my granddaughter was going around me and heading directly toward the little rock, which had not made it all the way to the dirt path but had stayed on the sidewalk.

When she got to the rock, she attempted to do what she had just seen me do. She had the kicking part down, but full coordination just wasn’t there yet.

Another couple of weeks, and I think she will not only have all the mechanics of kicking down, she’ll be going for distance.

The other thing I noticed yesterday is she is starting to recognize me. Because I don’t see her much, we had gone through that phase where she didn’t really want me holding her, or even really being near her, unless she decided to come near me. While her Mother wasn’t really pleased about that, I had no problem with it. I was still a stranger to her, and her wanting to not be near a strange person was a good thing.

But yesterday, when they arrived at the park, I looked inside the car and waved to her, and after a couple of seconds, she waved back. So I climbed into the back seat of her mothers car to get her out of her car seat, and she reached up to me to be picked up.

When it was time to go, she of course didn’t want to leave. After her Mom had her back in the car seat, I moved toward the front of the vehicle, and waved at her through the windshield.

She immediately waved back.

Yep, she certainly is a smart one.

Centerfield

Catcher
Catcher
Yesterday was Opening Day for America’s Favorite Pastime. I have always been a sports fan, so I figured I would write something about baseball. As I started formulating in my mind what I would write, it suddenly dawned on me that I had not seen my eldest granddaughter in about a week and a half.

Why? Probably because one of her recent birthday presents was a cell phone.

She has had a cell phone for at least a year, but it was her Mom’s old phone. The phone portion was deactivated, but she could connect to the internet via the home Wi-Fi connection.

Now, she can call her Mom whenever needed, or call her friends. She can also access the internet anywhere she happens to be.

She can also call me anytime she feels the need, or send me multiple text messages, filled entirely with emojis. She has only done that once. So far.

Having a real working cell phone of her very own is all fun and games for her right now. At least until her Mom gets her next cell phone bill.

But literally seconds before I was about to start typing this blog post, guess who came downstairs?

There were three reasons she came downstairs to see me. First was to show off her new hair. She had dyed the lower half of her hair blond. I asked her why she killed off her hair. She looked at me funny, so I started to explain that if her hair had dyed…

At that point, she gave me that look. You know the one, with the rolling eyes and the shaking head. Yes, she is starting to get my attempt at humor.

The second reason was to tell me that she had decided to try out for Little League Softball. Her Mom, who had also come downstairs but for a completely different reason, confirmed that she had decided this just the night before.

I’m familiar with the Little League Softball program in town, as my youngest daughter had decided to play one season with them.

My first question was if she was going to play in the infield, or the outfield. Her response? She said she was a really good hitter.

I then attempted to let her know that she also had to play a position, either in the outfield or the infield.

Yeah, that part hadn’t crossed her mind, or if it did, it didn’t stay around long enough for her to actually give any thought to it.

Way back when I was a kid about her age, I did play on the school soccer team. For a year. I really wasn’t very good at it, but then at that age, neither were most of the rest of us. The reason my school career was only for a year was my parents had just purchased a summer home in another state, so the team was already chosen and playing before I returned home for school in September.

I also wanted to play both baseball and basketball, but except for the very occasional flash of brilliance during P.E Class, I really wasn’t good at either of them. But, in Elementary school, I did get very good at keeping the score books for both, and in High School, I latched onto the brand new video camera and recorder that the vocational department had just purchased, and my path was set for going into broadcasting, while becoming a valued part of most of the school sports teams.

My best sports memory from school was playing softball in P.E. Class. I had the annoying habit of never striking out, and always hitting the softball into right field.

The kids in P.E. who knew anything about softball knew to put everyone in center or left field, because everybody pulled the ball when they hit it. Because I always had a late swing, I always punched the ball into right field.

My best memory of high school P.E. softball? The day they got smart and put the everyone into right field. Now, maybe coach, who always did the pitching (probably just to make sure nobody got hurt with an errant pitch), saw the same opportunity I did and tossed me a slower than normal pitch.

Which I promptly sent into left field.

During P.E. class, nobody wanted to be the catcher, so I ended up taking that position, which was much better than embarrassing myself anywhere else in the outfield or on the diamond.

Oh, the third reason my Granddaughter had come downstairs? Seems that her Mom was tired and wanted her to go to bed early, so she had followed her mother downstairs to talk with me and temporarily postpone her banishment to her bedroom for the rest of the evening. But her Mom was very insistent.

So, I mentioned to her that maybe she should try out to be a catcher as she left the living room, heading toward the hall to go back upstairs. I didn’t see what she did next, but her Mom did and told me.

My granddaughter promptly turned around and got down into a perfect catchers squat position.

Put her in, coach. She’s ready to play.