I took a newcomer to a play last night. He's Joyce's first grandson, and this year he's five. The show was great (The Wizard of Oz) and Christian enjoyed it immensely, although the scary witch parts he wasn't so sure about during the performance.
After the show, his mom asked him what his favorite part was:
"My favorite part?"
"Yes, what was your favorite part of the show?"
"My favorite part was... it wasn't the mean witch. No, it wasn't that."
Silence for two blocks... then: "You wanna know what my favorite part was?"
"Yes, Christian, I want to know what your favorite part was."
"My... my favorite part was when Dorfy frew water on the mean witch and killed her!"
He was a kick. The best part for me was before the show even started.
We'd arrived at the parking garage and the four of us got out of the car: me, Joyce, Joyce's daughter, and Christian. He's been taught about roads, and that includes parking garages. He asked me if he could hold my hand -- he wanted to get to the other side of the car, where Mom and Grandma were, but knew he couldn't unless he was holding an adult's hand. Guess I qualified. I told him he could.
The feel of that very small hand in mine was odd, but not uncomfortable. We walked together to the other side of the car. I had supposed he would transfer to Mom or Grandma, but he didn't. He continued to hold my hand out of the garage, across the street, and to the gates outside the theatre.
We joined the crowd already waiting for the gates to open. Christian walked around me, leaning out as far as he could go, and my arm stretched out with him. I told Joyce I needed a longer arm.
She looked, and told Christian not to walk so far away.
"Why?" he asked (a common question throughout the evening).
"Because you might pull Michelle's arm out of the socket. It'll fall off."
Silence. The five-year-old looked at me and then gravely examined the arm in question. After a moment, he released my hand and transferred to Joyce's.
We couldn't help but laugh. Obviously I'm much more fragile than Grandma if my arm will come loose at any second... and he didn't want to chance that it might happen while he was holding onto it.
Copyright 2013 Michelle Hakala