“You know what?” is my six year-old granddaughter’s frequent question. When I respond, “No. What?” I am usually regaled with any number of astonishing facts (some are even based in reality). I love that Charlise is so full of fun and energy with a heart so big it fills up the room. Every new experience and adventure is met with the same never-ending enthusiam and joy. She just loves life! And she loves to learn new things. Which comes in handy when you’re a kindergartener and you’re expected to learn something new every day. What makes the “you know what?” so much fun for me is the fact that Charlise is genuinely fastinated with each new discovery and is usually just bubbling over with the need to share her newfound wisdom.
I can’t remember the last time that I was that happy to learn something new. What would it take to get me that excited? When did I stop wanting to know more? When did my brain get full??? I’m not sure but I think that I’ve lost my desire to learn new things. I don’t really believe it’s true that you “can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. I just think that most old dogs like me would rather not be bothered. I suppose I’m sort of at that “lay in the sun and scratch” phase of my life – let the puppies play fetch.
But being with Charlise renews my soul. She gets me excited about learning. Her zeal is contagious and I want to take part in her knowledge quest. So we’re learning some things together. And she’s teaching me some new things, too. And occasionally I even teach her one of my old tricks.
But with all this learning she’s losing some of her wide-eyed innocence. She’s a big girl now but it seems like only yesterday that I held her in my arms for the first time. And there’s a little bit of me that needs that baby girl back in my arms. I love her so much!
“But you know what?” She’s also learned that sometimes Pawpaw needs to hold his girl and she allows me that sweet pleasure. She also humors me with games that she’s outgrown (because she’s so smart). We still “hunt” for wild chihuahuas up on the terrace even though now she knows that there really are no such things; she just can’t break my heart, so she still plays along. And that’s what REALLY breaks my heart – that she pretends because she thinks I still want to hunt for wild chihuahuas (and I do). Which lets me know that she loves me, too.
“And you know what?” This growing up stuff is hard work – especially for sappy Pawpaws. But I’m learning more and more each day. For instance, I was informed that I looked very patriotic on Memorial Day with my blue shorts, red shirt and white hair – who knew?