Friday, March 23, 2007

“Be careful, Grandpa ...”

Isabella is excited. “Grandpa,” she says, “I got an Aquadoodle.”

“A what?” I say.

“Come here. I show you.”

Chandra says, “You can show him after we eat.”

“Okay.” She comes over to the table. “Grandpa, can I sit next to you?”

“You sure can.”

She pulls her chair close to mine and begins bouncing her foot on my knee. I ask her how she likes her new house. “My room is yellow,” she says. “Come on, I show you.”

“Later,” says Chandra, “after we eat.”

Chandra serves the pizza. While we eat, Chandra and I talk about movies we have seen recently. Isabella interrupts with her favorite movie. “Have you seen Peter Pan, Grandpa?”

“Yes, I have. As a matter of fact, I was your age when I saw it. That was in the 1950s. I saw it at a drive-in theatre.”

“A drivey theeter?" she asks, puzzled.

“A drive-in theatre was a place where you could sit in your car and watch movies.”

We finish our pizza. Chandra and I continue talking, but Isabella is impatient to show me her room.

“All right, let’s show Grandpa your room,” says Chandra.

“No, you stay here, Mommy. I show it myself.”

I follow Isabella upstairs. She climbs the stairs well, but appears unsure if I am as practiced as she. “Be careful, Grandpa,” she says.

“I’m being careful.”

In her yellow room, she shows me her new bed. “Bounce on it,” she says.

“I better not. I might break it.”

“Bounce on the bed, Grandpa!”

She insists, so I sit on the bed and make a few bouncing motions. She laughs, then jumps on the bed and starts doing some real bouncing.

I look at the books and toys on her shelves and pick up a toy bus. It’s a red double-decker. “This is the kind of bus they have in England,” I say.

“No, it’s a London bus,” she corrects me. “Mommy got it for me in London.”

“London is a city in England. We’re both right.”

I put the bus back on the shelf and pick up a small globe. “Show me where you live.”

She takes the globe, slowly turns it, then points to Texas, smiling.

“Very good,” I say.

It’s time to go back downstairs. She leads the way. “Be careful, Grandpa,” she says.