I’m sitting in the backseat as we slowly back down the driveway, all the while waving and blowing kisses with Grandpa following alongside us until we feel the bump…bump of four tires over the curb. We drive off down the street toward home, waving to the rearview mirror. He cements himself until we cannot see him anymore, but I’m sure he’s standing there until we come again. It’s the same every time. Grandpa sees us off in the best way possible. It’s like we’re all holding on to each other until the next visit, even if it’s just for a bit.
Maddie from her perch in the backseat says, “I love that Grandpa follows us to the end. Every. Single. Time.” Those three words punctuated with both hands like she’s drumming on a set of bongos.
I’m forced to pull myself away from my memory and be back in the front seat, present day. This is a different Grandpa, from the side of the family I found when I married Brian. But the feeling is the same. Exactly the same. It’s a moment, unlike many others, when I know exactly what is going on inside the heart and mind of my five-year old. Although spread across the continuum of time, her mommy has been there and felt it too.
I find myself savoring it and for a brief second I can see a small snippet of a moment that Maddie might be sharing with her little ones as Brian, slightly gray around the corners makes the trek down our long driveway, cementing himself until they come again.