Can a five-year old make you cry?
Perhaps my question should be—should my five year old granddaughter have the power to make me cry? Well, no, she shouldn’t because I’m an adult and she’s a small, defenseless child.
Wrong. Because I’m a big, defenseless, aging middle-ager.
My daughter, son and two of my grandchildren, including my angst producing granddaughter, went canoeing on the James River yesterday. We had a blast despite the angst and a discussion held by my daughters the day before we went canoeing. The girls doubted my canoeing capabilities even though I’ve been canoeing before. They were worried I’d hurt my back and felt it was best I wasn’t given a paddling position. This didn’t go over well with me—never mind my herniated discs and autoimmune muscle disease.
I’m fifty-one not eighty-one, but had a fast forward glimpse of myself in a nursing home with the daughters reminding me I was too weak to run away again. The situation made me want to manifest my own destiny; I mean canoe, even though I haven’t been canoeing in a long time. One of my daughters asked me if I’d ever been canoeing. This really got my dander up. (Fourteen years ago I went canoeing for the first time with the children, back when I bossed them around.)
I threatened to rent a kayak instead. The girls weren’t impressed by my bluff. My future son-in-law exclaimed, “Kayak!” and looked quite concerned. Our son, John, home for four days from the Air Force, gave me a big grin. He was up for it. I’d give him someone to rescue.
My husband, R.J., overheard the conversation and rolled his eyes, not at me, at the situation. He reminded the daughters I was tough. I reminded our children, ages thirty-one, twenty-eight and twenty-four, I could swim better than any of them and took advanced lifeguard training. From their lack of expression, I think they remembered it was thirty-four years ago when I was a junior in high school.
When we arrived at the canoe rental facility, John said he was going to be the sole paddler of our canoe. He relented and let me steer but there was a little bit of yelling about left and right. Did you know if you want to stop your canoe in the middle of the river and you’re drifting right, you hold your paddle on the right to keep from going right? How was I to remember (when I'm half-senile already) it’s the opposite of when you’re moving and you paddle left to go right and vice versa?
I’m proud to say I paddled (or held the paddle) the entire trip. We didn’t tip over and only spun in a half circle one time due to that confounded left-right thing.
As for the crying thing? My granddaughter was sitting on my lap while we were waiting for the bus to take us and our canoes to the river when I leaned my head on her head and she said “Stop it, Nana.”
I said, “Why, Lilly?”
She said, “Because you’re old.”
My muscles and right knee are very sore today but that one hurts the most.
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...