Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Conversations With Ashley

I'm not a trouble-maker on purpose. When I talk to my granddaughter Ashley, it's just really easy to forget that she isn't even three yet, although she's closing in on it now. Her conversational skills are just so sharp that you never know what's coming up next with her.

About a month ago we were talking on the phone. Since they live in The Netherlands, that's the only way to stay close. Grandma gets lonesome. Grandma picks up the phone. I did remember to say hello to Ruth, my daughter-in-law, first. Grandpa doesn't always remember to do that. Then I asked if Ashley was available to talk. That's when I sometimes get in a bit of trouble—or cause it.

While we were talking, I casually mentioned that "when we go on the big cruise ship together, we should send your Mama and Daddy off on a date together, so you and Kate and Grandpa and I can play together on the ship by ourselves for awhile. Would you like that?" I had it in mind to give Ben and Ruth the opportunity to go on one of the more difficult off-ship excursions, like the Frasissi Caves off the port of Ancona, Italy.

Ashley thought it was such a fine idea that a couple of weeks later Ruth told me that she had to explain daily to Ashley that, no, they hadn't forgotten to get on the cruise ship with Grandma and Grandpa yet. That wouldn't be happening until May 1st. "Every day!" she said to me. "Buy her a calendar," I told her.

I think I did it again today. We were talking, Ashley and I, and she was very excited about having made a sleeping bag out of a blanket. I let her know that Grandma also has a sleeping bag.

"You do, Grandma?"
"I sure do. It's blue and green."
"It is?"
"Yes, and it's very silky soft."
"Where is it?"
"It's rolled up in it's own little bag in the garage."
"You keep it in the garage?"
"Yes, on a shelf."
"Okay. Tomorrow I'll come see your sleeping bag."
"Oh, Ashley. I wish you could, but I live very very far away. It would take a really long time on the airplane to get here."
"That's okay, Grandma. I like long days on the airplane. I'll come tomorrow."

I don't think Ruth hates me. She never acts like she does, but I know she's a very patient woman, raised to act with Christian forbearance. She probably knows that I don't (usually) mean to cause trouble. I'm just a fun kind of person. She could always call my bluff. Stick Ashley on the plane... I'd meet her in Denver. Well, maybe we should wait until she gets Ashley potty trained, now that I think of it.

I can hardly wait until Kate's old enough to have a turn on the phone with Grandma...

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