|Claire, Lila, Henry, Luke|
I savored the hug and kiss, put her down and said, “Thanks, but I do have a Mommy, you know.”
“No you don’t,” said Lila.
“Ma’s not your mommy,” said Lila.
“She is my mommy,” I said, “and she gives me hugs and kisses. But I like to get them from you too.”
Claire was observing and listening to all this in her typical, quiet way, and it seemed a good time to teach about family relationships. “Ma is my mother and I’m her son,” I began.
Lila still looked skeptical.
“I’m your Mommy’s father,” I continued, going over to Ann and hugging her.
“Grampy is my Dada,” Ann said.
“Ann is my daughter,” I said with my arm around her. “You are my granddaughter.”
|Lila and Claire|
“I’m not your granddaughter,” said Lila.
“Okay,” I said. “What are you then?”
She paused for a second, looked at me and and said: “I’m your Barnabas.”
“My Barnabas?” I said, wondering where in the world that came from. “I never had a Barnabas before. Hmm.” A few months before she told me she had a rhinoceros and a hippopotamus in her little pink backpack - real ones.
“Okay. Enough lessons for today,” I said. We went outside to roll over logs and look for salamanders in the woods.
Those scents, too, took me back to my own childhood.