The serious-looking young woman to the right is my granddaughter. She turns 5 on Sunday, and she’s a heller.
My grandson, her twin, is the spitting image of his father, both in temperament and in looks (though my grandson’s dimples are slightly deeper, and don’t argue because a grandmother knows such things). Because I’ve been down that road before — spending time with a hard-headed, cute little boy — my grandson and I have a lot of things between us we don’t have to talk about because we already have.
Not so with the girl. I was raised with two older brothers and quickly learned that to get along, you needed to be a boy. I was a champeen baseball player and arm-wrestler, and I could spit really far. I hated dresses (still kind of do).
My granddaughter likes pink. If you give her a stuffed animal, she’s happy for hours, and most of her games revolve around her being the mother and the stuffed animal being the child. If there’s music on, she’s dancing. She has long, fly-away curly hair and she likes it pinned up and believes in her heart that I haven’t a clue how to do that. As I was rocking a pixie cut from age 5 or so, she may be right.
I melt around the boy. The girl keeps me on my toes. She’s independent, smart, funny, and loud and if she wasn’t in my life already, I think I’d have to go out and find someone just like her.
This fall, they’ll be in kindergarten and I am reminded that from the moment a child is born, they are walking away from you. That’s a good thing. That’s how it should be. But last night, we were in Boston to watch the Red Sox lose. We made it two whole innings and as we were heading back to the T, I reached down to pick up the girl, thinking she might be tired after all that walking and skipping and squirming around. She giggled and skipped just out of my reach. “No thank you,” she said. “I want to walk.” Of course you do, girl. Of course.