“Do you want to go to the art museum?” I asked. Sydney and I stopped to shop a bit before we headed downtown to the art museum. This was our day of one on one, my birthday present to her. All plans were laid in place. I surprised her with a quick stop to pick out a new shirt and shorts then to spend the day surrounded by art.
“I really like to shop, Grammy. Like the time we tried on all those dresses? That was fun,” she replied.
“It’s your day. You make the choice, and we’ll do it.”
“Let’s go on a day when the sun is shining, and we can walk around downtown.” The writing was on the wall. My well laid out plans were about to change.
Conversation that began with her answering the questions I asked soon turned to a jabbering 11 year old talking my leg off. We piled up the clothes and headed to the dressing room. A size larger. My girl was growing. Her style was all her own. I was just along for the ride….and paying the tab.
“Can we go to Powell’s and just walk around for a long time?” Powell’s is one of the largest book stores in the world. Used books, new books, books on just about anything and everything draw Sydney and I back again and again. A reader’s paradise.
I followed. She lead. We walked the rows looking at the books for her age. Upon finding a book that she had read or a classmate read or was reading, she made sure that I was informed as to the worth of reading the book or passing it by. I saw books I had read or wanted to read. We talked about our strategy if a book in process was boring. Agreed….we moved on to something that answered that reading voice inside of us. We looked at the children picture books.
“I have this one at home. Can we look at it together?”
We looked for a couple of chairs; however, everyone seemed to be reading at Powell’s on this day. In the children’s section, we found two small chairs at a small table. Page by page we looked at the book and talked over mythology.
“How about something to drink?” I asked.
“Can we come back?”
We didn’t get to the art museum. A change in plans, her plans, took us to excitement over books, conversations that might not have happened elsewhere and a grandmother and grandchild once more spending time alone….time that reminded us how deeply we love one another.
This one on one with our grandchildren is a treasure. It offered opportunities for me to know this child better at age 11. It opened wider the door of trust and friendship.
Sometimes the best laid plans can turn into the best laid relationship.
And, yes, we ended the day in books.