The Rising was released Friday. I changed poopy diapers. It was an all day event. Not the diapers, the release. Well, ok, maybe the diapers, too.
I had a “cyber” release day party on Facebook and it was a blast. Lots of fun. Lots of cyber pats-on-the-back. Less humble authors may have gotten a big head with all the attention. But I know my place in the grand scheme of things. This week brought several reminders.
Like Paisley asking me where I was going to work when I grow up.
Or this little conversation with Emma…
Emma: Grandma, how many more books are you going to write before I’m twenty? (she’ll be 8 in November)
Grandma (me): I don’t know. I hope a bunch.
Emma: Probably not a whole whole bunch because you may be real old by then and already dead.
Or this from Aiden (said with a sour look on his face): Poop.
Or from Ava…I was tickled to see a picture of my book in a shipping box on Facebook so I called to Ava to come look…her response was something along the line of, “Uh-huh. Can I have a snack now?”
Nina and Allen were showing a little concern over Casey’s hearing. Sometimes he responds when his name is called, sometimes he doesn’t. But this week I discovered there’s nothing at all wrong with the little guy’s hearing. Nina and Allen are simply calling him by the wrong name. You can call “Casey,” until you’re blue in the face with little response. But when you say, “NO Casey!” kid responds like a charm. He thinks his name is NO Casey.
So now I’m wondering what the other Grands really dohear on a daily basis. Hourly basis? Maybe half-hourly basis would be more fitting. Imagine it goes something like this:
3:00pm to 3:30pm, on the playground
Me (Said not all in one breath. There are pauses): Landon, let the girls play. Aiden, why are you crying? Emma – there is no such thing as the Hatchet Man. Landon – why did you tell her that? I’m positive, Emma. There is no one living in the woods with a hatchet. Landon – he’s not living next door either. Stop scaring her. Casey, no. NO Casey! Can someone help me get Casey? Aiden, do you want to swing? You’re swinging high enough, Ivy. No more high. We’ll have snack when we go in. Where’d Ireland get that cup of water?No, Ireland! Landon, can you run go get a towel? Paisley! Ava, Emma – why are you going inside? I promise there’s no one in the woods. Ok, who locked Casey in the castle? Good job, Aiden! No, don’t throw the mulch. Where’s Ireland? Paisley, you’re swinging high enough. Don’t go any higher. Ava – what are you doing in the tree? Ireland, don’t eat the mulch. Casey’s coming down the slide, head first, someone help him! Never mind. Is he bleeding?
And that’s how we roll in the trenches. Er, playground.
The question seems to comes up every time a kid inflicts violence upon another kid. Experts say children are becoming de-sensitized to violence and often don’t understand the consequences of their actions. I’m no expert so all I have to offer is my own experience.
My nine-year old grandson, Landon, is a gamer. Through and through. Call of Duty, Black Ops, Halo…you name it and he plays it. And he plays it well. Very well. So well in fact, adults don’t like playing against him. A while back, one of his dad’s friends said, “I can’t believe I got beat by a seven-year old.” Yeah, he’s that good.
His Uncle Garey doesn’t shy away from the competition, though. He’s been known to call Landon’s mom or dad and ask if Landon can play. Imagine!
But does grandma worry her oldest grandson is turning into a gaming geek? Not that there’s anything wrong with that but, sure, I worried. Note the past tense.
You see, Landon is a well rounded kid. He loves playing outside with his cousins, loves sleeping in a tent by a campfire, loves basketball and baseball. He’s been playing baseball since he was three. Yes, three. He used to arrive at his games in a car seat. He works hard in school and makes good grades and will kick it up a notch to bring a so-so grade up. His mother is his favorite person in the whole wide world; he adores his dad. He loves his siblings and feels a big brother responsibility toward them. I’ve seen the worry on his face when he can’t find Ava in the car-rider line at school. I’ve seen him take time to comfort Ivy or cousin Aiden when they’re upset. I’ve seen him tote Casey or Ireland upstairs or downstairs to help mom or me. Yes, I’ve even seen him change a diaper.
He’s gentle and kind and has a wicked sense of humor. He has some of the best one-liners you’ll ever hear. And yeah, he has a high kill rate.
He wants to be a Navy Seal when he grows up. Not because he would “get to kill things” but because of the honor of helping others.