For me, there was one grandparent that stole my heart. Oh, I loved them all. One granddad took us to get a Slurpee every time we came to town – that was cool. But this one, we called her Idee, was something else. Her real name was Ivy but my brother couldn’t say that. His inability to speak correctly stuck. She was forever our Idee.
There is something about the grandparent who drops everything when you came to town, but the best part about Idee was she could relate to us. I distinctly remember just lying on her bed while she got dressed. She “put on her face” each morning while talking to me about life. Who would have thought that a seventy-year-old woman could give a 12-year-old advice? She could. And I hung on her every word.
When I went to her house to spend the night as a kid, she would pile blankets on the living room floor and my brother and I, along with Idee and Papa, would sleep there. Before midnight, she would ship my granddad back to the bedroom ’cause his snoring sounded like a freight train. Come to think of it, perhaps that’s why she was so anxious to not stay the night in her bedroom.
When we arrived at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving last Wednesday, it dawned on me that the day beds in their playroom had four mattresses stored underneath. For some reason, my holidays with Idee popped into my brain.
“Girls, we’re sleeping on the floor tonight! Four in a row.”
“But dad, there are lots of beds in this house,” my maturing college sophomore explained to me.
“That, is not the point.”
We retired at around 11, but sleep did not come until much later.
We sang, “There were four in the bed and the little on said, ‘roll over, roll over,’ and one rolled over and one fell out when she hit the floor you could hear her shout.” And as we rolled across the mattresses, one would hit the floor.
Michelle told us the story of Danny the Ogre. He wouldn’t let his children drink sodas at restaurants.
We recanted songs that we sang at bedtime when they were young, “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tired and true…”
We named my future grand kids (Obediah, Boaz, Sheamus, Isabella, Minnie), and I chose a granddad name.
We laughed til it hurt, gossiped about most folks we know, and learned the moves to Juju on that beat.
Several days later, I’m still tired. Although, it was certainly worth it.