Child’s Play

I grew up in Brookhaven, MS, about two hours south of where my maternal grandparents lived in Winona and about four hours south of where my paternal grandparents lived near Memphis. Christmas day at our house began REALLY early, with my sister waking first (always), sending me into the living room to see if Santa had been there, then both of us charging into our parents’ room to bring them the glad tidings that loot abounded down the hall! (Mother told me years later that, often, she and Dad had just gotten back into bed when they would hear our feet hit the floor.) After playing with our new treasures and having a little breakfast, we would pack up into the car heading for Mamaw and Papaw’s first, then to Nannie and Pop’s. Each of us were allowed to bring one new toy for the trip.

red-tricycleFor my second or third Christmas, I got a red tricycle. It was fabulous and it was the obvious choice to make the trip north. It stayed in the car for our stop at Mamaw’s, but, because we spent several days with Nannie and Pop, it came out of the car at their farm. (It had been a farm when they bought the place; so, even though they didn’t grow crops or raise livestock, it remained The Farm.) Anyway, although this shiny new three-wheeler came out of the car, Mother said that I was not allowed to ride it inside the converted barn that was my grandparents’ house.

However, in our family, like all families, there was a hierarchy where grandfathers trump mothers. And Pop said I could ride it in the house. I still remember Mother fussing at me and me taking her to Pop so that she could hear for herself that he had given the green light to my ankle-biter grand prix.

Oh! The glory of being able to ride my tricycle inside! In spite of having Pop’s permission, I felt like I was getting away with something.

Fast forward 47 years and I have my first cast. For at least a month I will be sporting this giant pink thing on my left foot. My first days on crutches were just miserable. I flailed around. I fell. And they hurt my ribs. I was miserable and not reluctant to say so. My cousin Jeanna recommended that I get a knee scooter. She said that it had made all the difference when her son Drew was recovering from ankle surgery. So, I rented one.

Oh! The glory of being able to ride my scooter inside!

I took it with me to run some errands and, in no time, I was zipping around Home Depot, Kroger, the library, and Lowe’s, where a man told me to be sure to obey the speed limit and where (like the consummate adult that I am) I stuck my tongue out at a jealous toddler.

Of course, I would rather have a healthy foot and, if the doctor is right, in a few weeks I will have one; but, for now, I have choices to make. Am I irritated because I have a 47 pound cast or am I grateful that I’m not in constant pain? Am I angry that I cannot work or do I take this time of forced inactivity to learn something new? Am I annoyed that getting around is much more difficult than usual or do I find ways to enjoy being able to get around at all?

Naturally, I’m doing my usual Pollyanna Glad Game thing! I’m thrilled that I’m not in constant pain and I’m learning how to make Excel do some neat things that I need it to do. I’m generally healthy. I have a good job and, truly, I have nothing to complain about. So, I’m going to take these weeks to do some self-improvement.

But first, I’m going to take my scooter back to Lowe’s and take a spin around the plumbing department!






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