I guess you could say I'm one of those "ask me about my grandchildren" type of guys. At least I am inclined to repeat to others what my grandchildren say to me. And with 21 grandchildren I reckon I have plenty of material to choose from.
The thing is that, since not all of our grandchildren live nearby I don't get to interact with all of them equally. But I could easily recount interesting conversations I have had with each one of them at one time or another.
The grandchildren are doing what grandchildren do -- they are growing up. So now they range in age from 2 all the way up to the mid-20s. Two granddaughters (out of a total of 15) are married, and our oldest grandson, Paul, is planning to wed in July. We have met his fiancé, Heidi, and she has our stamp of approval. She is very nice and will fit right into the family.
Today, though, I want to tell you about our granddaughter, Danica Jo, who is 4 1/2 years old and cute as a button. She has three older sisters, Annie, Jamie and Laila, and an older brother, Landon. Her oldest sister, Annie, recently turned 16 and was able to purchase her first car. Her folks helped her find an older car for a good price. It probably wasn't Annie's first choice but I suppose it serves the purpose.
I was visiting with Danica (we call her Dani) one day and asked her if Annie liked her new car. She looked thoughtful for a moment and then she said, "All I know is she's not the first one to the car when we go somewhere." From this, I got the distinct impression that Annie wasn't exactly excited about her new (older) car.
On another occasion, Dani and I were visiting and out of the blue she said, "They shot John Kennedy."
I said, "Who told you that?"
"Landon told you President Kennedy got shot?"
"Yeah, and they shot President Lincoln, too," she said, then added wistfully, "I think I remember that."
"Well, I kind of doubt you do since it happened quite a while before Papaw was born."
"Oh," she said.
A couple of weeks later I finished a bed I had made for Laila and Dani, so Linda and I loaded it up and took it down to their house. I was bolting it together with Dani by my side helping me. We were both sitting on the floor as I put little metal covers over the bolt holes in the bottom of the bedposts. Dani was handing me the screws. I said, "I like working with you."
"I like working with you too, Papaw."
I told her, "I like you and I love you."
"I like you and I love you too, Papaw," she said. Then, "Papaw, is there a difference between liking and loving?"
I was just beginning to toss in my mind how to explain the whole "you like someone because, you love them although" concept when she continued, "Landon loves me, but he doesn't like me."
"You don't think Landon likes you?"
"No, but I know he loves me."
"So you know he loves you but you don't think he likes you?"
"Yes, Landon loves me but he does not like me."
"Well, that's interesting. I bet Landon likes you more than you realize. Hey, look at this, Dani, you can slide this metal cover to the side to get to the bed bolt. It could be a secret hiding place if you wanted one."
"Yeah," she said, excitedly, "I could hide things in there." She quickly added, "Let's not tell Landon!"
We looked at each other and giggled conspiratorially.
"I won't tell if you don't," I said, "And thanks for helping with the bed."
Sam Byrnes is a Gentry-area resident and regular contributor to the Eagle Observer. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.