It was a very early morning, 5:00 a.m., and I went across the street to our daughter’s house to watch the supposedly sleeping children while she drove her husband to the airport for a business trip. I was about halfway through my morning coffee, so I was fairly ‘armed’, but nothing quite prepares you for the onslaught that is Gavin.
Remember my Rachel Stories? Well, Gavin is her son. (You know where this is going, right?) When Rach was little I secretly prayed that she would somehow come to a realization of all she put us through with her incessant talking. When I was little my mother had that same prayer. I was often made to stand by the dishwasher in the kitchen at dinnertime, so I would stop talking to everyone at the dining room table and eat my food. I made Rachel play a game to see if she could be quiet for 5 minutes, usually while I was preparing dinner. I would set the timer. She never could do it. Gavin is asked to stop talking on a daily, almost hourly, basis. Evidently, the need to express ourselves verbally is generational and very strong.
Of our 7 grandchildren, only the first one is a girl. The other 6 are all boys. Gavin is number 5 in the line up, with 2 more boys following. He is a “little man”. At 9 years old, he is the average size of most kindergartners.
As far as quirkiness, all of our grandchildren are quirky and adorable in their own way; but none is quite so quirky or talkative as Gav.
And so he came out of his room at approximately 5:05 a.m., a.k.a. as soon as his mother left, still somewhat bleary-eyed, and began his diatribe which he obviously woke up thinking about. (FYI, this is written in one ongoing sentence because that is the way it was related to me, quickly, all in one breath, non-stop, pure Gavin.)
“You know what Disney movie I wish was never made (This was to be my greeting.) the Hunchback of Notre Dame I wish they never made it I don’t like that Quasimodo can never leave and I don’t like when Esmeralda dances it’s inappropriate and then when Quasimodo goes out they tie him up and throw fruit at him that’s not nice and you know what in Hunchback the voice of one of the fruit guys is the voice of Patrick in Sponge Bob and when he’s a baby they call him a demon Frollo gets what he deserves I don’t know this but I think there’s a Bible story where Jesus was tied up and he broke out and broke down the building (That was Samson, but in Gav’s defense, it was still early and he doesn’t drink coffee. He goes on.) in the classic version ending Nana I think Esmeralda is already dead also in the classic version Quasimodo I think is deaf and he has prickles all over his face.”
It’s okay, I couldn’t keep up with it either. But, you get the main idea. He doesn’t like The Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney cartoon.
Lately, Gavin has been very loving. Hugging me, pretty much, whenever he sees me. This has not always been the case. Just last year, Gavin and I had the following chat. Obviously, I caught him on a bad day.
“Gavin, can I have a hug?” A simple request from a grandmother. One that would normally be greeted positively, I thought.
He responded with a quiet sound of dismay. “What day is this, Nana?”
“It’s Tuesday, Gav.”
“No. Not today, Nana. Maybe Thursday. On Thursday you can have a hug.”
And so I waited.
When Thursday came, I had to remind him. He was reluctant, but he is a man of his word. I got my hug. Kind of. I kneeled down and opened my arms. He leaned in to me, arms limp at his sides, and allowed me to hug him. I did. Some days you just take what you can get. By the way, this picture was not taken on Halloween. This is just a typical day for Gavin.
As you can see, Gavin does his own “thing” regardless of the thoughts of those around him. He has no agenda, he just lives life to its fullest like every 9 year old should. I think like most 9 year olds, he knows that this life is pretty much not that big a deal.