Sweet Baby was here for a visit yesterday. His dad was helping next door with a project and his mom had the new puppy with her so it was a really good visit all around. A much needed respite in these End Times.
He's nearly five (GASP) and pretty independent. His parents are of the free-range mindset so I wasn't surprised when he wandered over to our house, twice, by himself.
*It really occurs to me with this post that I can't continue calling him Sweet Baby. I will call him Five because he is number five in naming succession. (As in John Anthony Smith the Fifth.) That was his original prenatal nickname anyway*
The first time I heard him coming because there is nothing quiet about an almost five-year-old boy. I called out "Is that Five!?!"
"It's me! I'm here! Where are you Auntie Surely?"
I was painting the tool shed and I put everything down to go spend time with him. I knew the paint would be ruined when I returned but I was ready to be done anyway. And, you don't say no to an almost five-year-old when they want to see you.
We walked next door to see the puppy, he got his bike to ride, and we all had a small visit. Then he headed off to see his other (great) grandpa with his mom and grandma.
Almost two hours later, I am now working in the garden. Kevin was next door and I hear footsteps in the gravel. "Auntie Surely! Where. Are. You!?!" I called out to him and he came around the house to find me in the garden.
Tens of questions later and after crawling on the rocks, he sits down on the lawn. He calls Lucy over to him and she came. She is not a fan of children so this is unusual. (not a mean bone in her body, just not interested in the ear and tail pulling stage)
"Come down and sit with me" Five says.
"Let me finish this one thing" I reply as I'm wrestling a five-gallon bucket of mulch.
"Come down and sit with me" he repeats, a slight tone of impatience/want. Not whining because he knows that doesn't work but a genuine want of me to stop what I was doing and sit with him.
Something in my head clicked and said "You don't pass this up. He won't be Almost Five for long."
I made my way down and sat with him in the grass. I expected that he would spring back up and want to play because Almost Five. He didn't. He indeed wanted to talk and pet Lucy, who tolerated it.
I'm a little amazed at this point because he's old enough to have a conversation with but young enough that they're usually fleeting. But he's in so I'm in.
At one point, he just plainly asked "Where is your dad?"
He's never met my dad as he passed in 2009, almost seven years prior to his birth. I never talk about him. It's been almost two years since he went swimming at my parents house. There really was no connection at all. It also wasn't in context with anything we were talking about. We had been talking about bugs. "Callerpallers" to be exact.
I stalled because that's always a tough one to answer to children. The kids (his parents) have a direct approach with these things so I followed their lead. "He's not here, he died"
This was followed with "How did he die" and "Why?" I explained that he got very sick and sometimes that happens, especially when you are old. He took that on face value, paused, "Oh." and thought about it. Then we talked about other things until he was ready to go.
So, here's the thing. The anniversary of my dad's death was Wednesday. It passed with barely a notice from me and none from my family. Kevin and I have made jokes about my dad "hanging around" the house in the past and now I'm wondering if he made a visit yesterday.
Five seems to be an old soul who would notice these things.
My point is Listen. Stop and Listen when they ask you to. These moments are fleeting.
|I'm sad this is blurry but happy that I can use it here because it's blurry|