We recently moved into a new neighborhood, which has a handful of small stores within walking distance. Our four-year-old grandson, Aubren, asks me daily to take him for a “walk,” which is his way of asking me for an ice cream, sold at one of those stores, Quality Dairy (QD).
It’s still challenging to walk, even though it’s been two years since I came out of the hospital following two major back surgeries. I also have problems with my feet. But I love these walks with Aubren – and I only buy one ice cream when we go!
Aubren’s mother is a nurse and frequently reminds me that ice cream is not on the list of recommended foods for diabetics. I find this bewildering – how can anything that makes you feel so good possibly be bad for you? Nurses can be illogical – in the hospital, they would wake me up in the middle of the night to give me a pill to make me sleep
Aubren literally drags me to QD. He pulls me along as we take the twelve-minute walk. Actually, more precisely, it’s 12 minutes 30 seconds – I timed it last night and that extra thirty seconds makes a big difference! I can feel the level of excitement rising in his little body as we get closer to the store.
When we arrive, he pushes open the door and immediately turns left to the ice cream counter. There are 24 different ice cream flavors to choose from but he always goes for the “green”, mint chocolate chip. But last night, there was no “green” ice cream. Not to worry, he soon found a “brown” substitute, Mackinaw Island Fudge.
After receiving the “scoop,” we leave the store and walk to a nearby hill, where we sit. He takes his time with his ice cream, while we both look at cars approaching the intersection from four different directions. He already knows the car he wants when he gets older – “the red one, grandpa!” Any red one. But it has to be red.
I smiled as I remembered a minister I knew many years ago who told one of his parishioners he must return his brand new red car and get one of a different color, as “red” was the color of the scarlet colored “harlot” of Revelation. I smiled at this reminder. At 4, Aubren is not concerned about such things, and I hope he never will be.
Mackinaw Island Fudge definitely is not as good a flavor as mint chocolate chip. I know this because Aubren suddenly took his ice cream cone and started painting the parking lot with it. This ruled out any thought I might have had of finishing off his ice cream – Mackinaw Island gravel did not appeal!
We started walking back, a slower walk as Aubren was no longer in a hurry. He was now commenting on the “white van” in one driveway, the dog in another. He was no longer thinking of ice cream, though there was evidence of consumption all down the front of his tee-shirt. I should have taken his top off to remove the evidence. Parents sometimes get upset when I buy one of my grandchildren “food” that tastes a lot better than what they get on their dinner plate at home. I’m not trying to compete with dinner but, rather, to supplement it!
We’ve had all nine grandchildren in the house all week. I took our four granddaughters, all aged 9-11, to get a milk shake one afternoon. We took 3- year-old Leeson with us – he could not believe his luck at being included!. As the six of us sat down to our treat, I said: “Do you remember, girls, a few years ago, I used to take you all out for a walk in the park, or to the zoo, or around the neighborhood? All I can do now is take you all out to get food that’s bad for you!”
One of our 11-year-old granddaughters came right back with: “And we love you for it, Grandpa!”
This is what grandparents are for – spoiling their grandchildren. They are the center of our lives as we age and think about the legacy we will leave behind.
61 years from now, when Aubren is my age, he will still remember his walks with Grandpa and those mint chocolate chip ice creams. I would like to think one of his grandchildren will be pulling him to the nearest ice cream store. Hopefully, he will have learned to take some “wet ones” to remove the evidence before returning his grandson to momma, especially if she’s a nurse!