I’ve been writing a column for the newspaper for quite a long time. Recently I took a look back through some of the ones Mom had cut out and saved. Why she chose the ones she did I really don’t know. It might just have been these were the ones she had time to cut out and others were thrown out before she even thought about cutting them out. Whatever the reason, they give me a look back into what was happening in my life in years gone by.
I came across one column that had me thinking I would not have been a good parent if I had settled down, gotten married and had children. Something that growing up I always thought I’d do but life doesn’t always follow the path that we first envision.
In this column I was babysitting one of my nephews. I suspect it might have been my nephew Zach, who is now a dad with two young children of his own. At the time of the column though he was only 1 1/2 years old.
His parents were moving and I was babysitting to keep him occupied and out of the way of activity. He wasn’t talking yet but upon seeing the moving van he got excited. So I had asked him if he wanted Santa to bring him a truck and he had nodded in the affirmative.
So far, everything seems to be going well, but then we went for lunch. Laws were different then because he was buckled into his car seat but in the column I refer to him as my co-pilot beside me. Today toddlers would be in their car seats in the back seat, not up front.
On our trip to town I was pointing out the various vehicles but, according to the column, it was the vans and trucks he was most enamored with, which boded well for a truck being a Christmas present.
We must have gone through a drive-through for lunch because I seem to be proud that as a single person I was able to drive while still “periodically feeding my nephew.” I had to read this several times, each time shaking my head.
This likely took place some 30 some years ago but the current me would have been the first person to say, “What are you doing?” Obviously we do get smarter as we get older. This just proved it to me.
So what was this child eating? A cheeseburger and fries! Just so healthy for a toddler … not!
We dropped off “lunch” to the rest of the family as they continued the packing and moving process, before my nephew and I headed to the grocery store. There I found him a balloon on a stick (which I bought him because I figured an aunt could spoil the child the same as a grandparent). He played drums using the balloon stick as the drumstick and a box of cereal in our cart as the drum. While it might have driven those around us crazy, it kept him occupied and happy for an hour.
While the rocking horse his dad made him when he was a little older was a favorite item, the electric pony in front of the grocery store was not. The first time he sat on it and it began to move up and down, he immediately wanted to jump off. After leaving the store he wanted to see it once more but while he was happy to see it move, he didn’t want to ride it.
It was interesting to look back and “relive” this day once again through the column. I used to write about my nephews and my niece quite often when they were children. I’ll have to see if my nephew remembers this at all.