I watched my grandson’s hockey game on Saturday from the warm room. It’s not that the arena is too cold; it’s the stairs to get to the seating.
I spent most of the game talking to my new granddaughter, just turned six, a new addition to the family by way of her Dad’s relationship with my daughter. We have spent family time together, but never been as alone as we were that day.
She was quite talkative, explaining how the red light is used to indicate a goal has been scored, but that it didn’t work, and still she had a fascination with the light switch. We watched the Zamboni making its rounds of the ice, clearing away the skate marks and nicks.
My grandson, also age six, came on the ice. He played a more regular game, with line changes and referees, the score on the big electrical scoreboard. She told me she didn’t get referees, just coaches, and they don’t count their goals. It’s funny the things kids notice, and remember.
My grandkids have lived with my increasing mobility issues; have seen me go from independence to cane, to walker. This little girl has only seen me with the cane, and less often the walker. Looking at the cane, she asked me why I used it. So typical of children, if they want to know something they ask. How else are they going to learn?
I tried to explain about balance, and how I need the cane to keep me steady. She then asked why I needed that other ‘thing’, the walker, something she’s seen at my place more than she’s seen it in use. I gave her the simplest explanation I could, and she seemed happy.
I was accepted as Grandma that day, especially when she asked if I was going to stay and watch her play, and I answered yes. When I did leave at the end of her game, I gave her a wave and was rewarded with a big smile.
My fatigue and physical limitations prevent me from being the active and involved grandparent I’d like to be, and I’ve learned to accept that. It’s these little moments that count and make up for all the rest.