Jet ate an enormous breakfast: oatmeal, one-half cup of yogurt, a handful of Fruit Loops, milk and two oranges. She was bursting with energy and so anxious to take our morning walk she could barely stand still long enough to brush her teeth.
“Let’s get out the wagon and I can put Penguin and my animals in it,” she pleaded. Jet loves pulling the wagon but tires quickly from the effort of dragging the weight and soon wants to ride too. Since I was in the mood for a longish walk, her toy stroller would have been the best choice, but she had left it at home.
I remembered that while looking in a dusty corner of the garage for gardening shears, I had noticed the full-sized stroller I used when her mother and aunt were little. I know it must seem from my posts about old toys that I never throw anything away, but honestly, I’ve been quite particular in my hoarding! After I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I used the stroller to carry packages when Christmas shopping. As my children grew, they gradually took over the task of saving my finger joints, until the stroller had been nearly forgotten. I’d made a mental note that it was past time to dispose of it, but now it seemed just what we needed.
As I pulled the stroller from the corner and shook off some of the dust, I wondered if I might be making a mistake. Once Jet saw it, would she want me to keep it another 5 years? On the other hand, I knew she’d be thrilled to have control of a real stroller. As soon as she saw it, I knew: “Grandma! Is this for me?! Do I really get to push it?”
“Yes, I thought you could put your animals in it. Later we’ll put it on the back porch and spray it off with the hose. For now, they can sit on a towel.”
As we made our way across the street I discovered that it is easier to hold Jet’s hand
while pushing a big stroller than carrying a toy stroller. Jet, however, had to hold her arms above her head to grasp the handles, which had to be more tiring for her, but she wasn’t about to admit it. I might decide that the stroller was too big for her! She had a better idea, a better way to take a rest and restore the blood flow to her arms.
Jet stopped walking and checked the animal babies. Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out an imaginary cell phone. In perfect pantomime, she checked the screen and accepted an imaginary call. She put the phone to hear ear and conducted a brief but unintelligible imaginary conversation. Then, she disconnected the call, turned off the screen and returned the phone to her pocket. She looked up at me. “I had to take a call.”