Friday, August 11, 2006

conversation, child to great-grandfather

We went to a Chinese restaurant with my grandfather last night. Grandpa is 92, and though his eyes are watery and his back is hunched, his mind is sharp. He's a living wonder, and a truly good man.

As we ate, Ben decided to speak with his great-grandfather.


Grandpa, being slightly hard of hearing, continued to munch his stir-fry vegetables and rice.

"GRANDPA!", Ben shouted.

Grandpa looked up, and turned his head slowly, to see who was bellowing his name.

"Yes, Ben?"

"I can't see your smile", Ben explained.

Grandpa looked puzzled, and turned to me. I reiterated what Ben had said, unsure if Grandpa had failed to hear Ben's comment, or if Grandpa had heard and was understandably perplexed.

"Can't see it for the rice, hey?" Grandpa grinned, as he chewed and chewed.

"It's because you're so old", Ben pronounced, and resumed his meal. I widened my eyes across the table at my half-brother, and we smirked, embarrassed. Grandpa either failed to hear the comment, or wisely chose to ignore it.

Grandpa and Ben sat chewing together. I pulled out a scrap of paper and wrote down their conversation, verbatim. It seemed important to remember.


Remiman said...

Those are truly the moments to cherish!

Franny said...

Ha ha ha, kids are pretty funny when they are honest...he is blessed to have such a lovely family.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Kids are so honest with their observations and it's always a delight to listen to them. Well most of the time anyway...sometimes they can say something that will really embarrass you out in public...but it's still worth noting.

Motherkitty said...

You are lucky your grandfather can get out and enjoy Chinese food with the family. Your Ben is the guru of the young -- out of the mouths of babes.

TUFFENUF said...

Very cute, Ben certainly is not shy! I think sometimes grandpas don't use hearing aids for a reason! That's a cute story.

shellyC said...

Truly Precious!!

John Cowart said...

I find that one of the few advantages to getting old (not as old as your grandfather but old enough to qualify as a senior) is that I don't have to hear things I don't want to.

I'm glad you made notes, this was an important conversation. Sometime soon you may want to sit down with your grandfather and a tape recorder and capture some of his memories for Ben to hear when he is older.

Kerri said...

Your little story is giving me a wonderful mental picture. I'm trying to imagine what Grandpa must've looked like from Ben's perpective...
This really is precious :)

susan said...

Grandpa should have taken out his teeth and showed him his smile!

It is good you can laugh at these moments, next time take your camera!

Mimi said...

Nice story. Old folks need the young ones and the young folks need the old ones. They are like the alpha and the omega they go together well and form the circle of life.