The sleeping bags were rolled out on the living room floor, ready and waiting for our girls night in. I sniffed the fluffy pillows in their crisp, fresh pillow cases. Strange. It was like I was back at my own grandma's house eons ago.
Propped on top of some pillows in between their sleeping bags, we began to chat, and the fun began as the girls plied me with questions and came to their own conclusions before I could respond.
Ava started with, "Gramma, why do you wear glasses? Because your eyes are really old, huh?" Giggles and snickers erupted.
Audrey surmised, "That's 'cuz Gramma's OLD and we're … (giggle)… welp, not so old. Gramma, you're really hairy!" she said as she brushed my hair back from my face.
Ava wanted to know how old I was when her daddy was born. When I told her I was twenty years old… way back then... her little calculator brain started processing and she said excitedly, "That's two rows of ten! Audrey, that's pretty old!"
I leaned over and confided, "And I've lived THREE MORE ROWS since then."
Her expression changed from challenging thought to horrified realization. She gasped and half whispered apologetically, "FIFTY! Gramma, you're REALLY OLD." I think she was having second thoughts about staying the night, wondering if I might not make it to morning.
About this time Audrey popped up off her sleeping bag, and before I could stop her, she stuck her little fingers in my mouth and measured my front teeth. "And your teeth are really long!" She lay back down, giggling and nodding affirmatively, "Cuz they're really old…. And your NOSE is r-e-a-l-l-y long…. 'cuz it's old, too."
They pinched my face and examined my neck, and reassured me that my skin wasn't that baggy.
Somewhere in the midst of all this hilarity, Audrey decided she needed to include great-grandma in the conversation.
"Nana's hands are squishy," she blurted randomly.
I buried my head in my pillow, laughing so hard that I didn't realize she'd popped back up again and her pinching little fingers were poking and prodding the back of my own hand. "You're not VERY squishy, Gramma. Just a little squishy."
Next thing I knew she and Ava were both squeezing their way up my arm and all of a sudden Audrey accused me amid the giggles, "Aha, your elbows are squishy!"
Aaaaaargh!!! Nooooo! Not the flabby grandma arms! Wait, not fair. My biceps were relaxed. I swear it! I am NOT squishy!
Oh, but reality has a bit of a sting, doesn't it. Up until now I saw myself as a rather youngish, still somewhat athletic person with grandchildren. They see me as old... not so baggy... a little squishy... hairy... big nosed... long teeth (kinda creepy, huh?), but otherwise full of love and laughter. a.k.a. -- Grandma.
Later as I prepared for bed and jotted some notes about our fun and silliness, I conceded that I may be getting old-ER, but I refuse to get old. After all, I'm young at heart. I still laugh at life! I … have… spirit… it's just in a gel-coated shell.
Like Caleb at 85, you'll hear my wrinkled roar, "GIVE ME MY MOUNTAIN!"
(Just don't forget the heating pad, BioFreeze and a few ibuprofen... okay?)
A little merry heart time with Ava (age 6) and Audrey (age 4).