Though grandson Eli, age two-and-a-half, slept through the late night chaos on the Fourth of July, he had a whole lot of Independence Day excitement anyway. Too young even for sparklers or snap-pops, he spent the holiday in a decidedly un-fireworksy kind of way. And I was lucky enough to celebrate the day watching him doing all kinds of fun stuff. Such as:
- Hanging out at the playground of a nearby elementary school that hasn’t updated its equipment to smooth-and-safe PVC. That didn’t matter one bit to Eli. He crossed its rickety wooden swinging bridge and swooshed down the warped curly slide more times than I could count. And, thank goodness, didn’t wind up with a single splinter
- Meandering down to the railroad depot, which is surprisingly busy for a small Kentucky town, and watching the trains come and go.
- Spotting a squirrel dash across the road with an enormous walnut in its mouth. Which inspired us to retrieve Eli’s sand bucket from the backyard shed and spend half an hour filling it with walnuts. Next time I visit, I’m going to take a baseball bat and teach him how to knock them over the fence.
- Discovering an excavator—his favorite piece of construction equipment—parked under a shade tree on the Centre College campus. Although I wouldn’t let him climb into the driver’s seat, I did encourage him to touch the gigantic tires and to lie down in the bucket of the front end loader.
- Finding an amazing mushroom circle growing on the quadrangle lawn at Centre. For some reason I can’t quite explain, Eli got down on all fours in the middle of the circle and pretended to be grazing like a cow. I’m fairly certain he didn’t really eat any grass. Or any mushrooms.
- Stopping at every drainage grate and man-hole cover to shout “Hello, down there!” Much to our disappointment, no one ever answered.
- Picking up sticks. Eli’s figured out that he can’t possibly collect every one he finds and that his Marmie (that’s me) won’t carry them for him, so every time he found a stick bigger than the one he already had, he traded it in. He dragged a stick that must have been five feet long for at least two blocks.
- Stomping through puddles. Though central Kentucky didn’t get nearly as much rain as we did here in Putnam County, there was enough to make for plenty of fun. Eli never once plowed through a puddle and then turned around and plowed through it the other way. Instead, he got out, walked on dry pavement back to his starting point and did it again.
- Playing at the base of the statue honoring Kentucky’s Confederate dead on the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church. And then playing at the base of the statue of Abraham Lincoln near the entrance of the Centre College library. And not, at age two-and-a-half, understanding or caring about the significance of either of those statues.
(July 19, 2015)