Don’t tell my kids I busted into the Halloween candy I bought for next Monday’s trick or treaters while working from home today.
Those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were calling me, and well, I can too easily reach the stash on top of the refrigerator.
OK, I confess, the Whoppers tantalized me, too.
I witnessed plenty of sweetness this afternoon. I took Elijah on his first ever field trip to an assisted living community with his school mates. Charming costumed kids walked around a circle of seniors who sat in the common room and offered non-candy treats (Play-Doh, stickers, bat rings, and the like) that the parents had previously donated. It was a win-win for everyone.
Elijah was psyched that two of his teachers were pirates, like him.
Some of the elderly folks smiled broadly at the cute kids and invited us, almost pleadingly so, to visit again. Others fell asleep amidst the noise. One woman horded her bag of treats under a lap pillow.
This one didn’t seem to notice Elijah tracing his plastic dagger up and down the wooden edge of her chair. Another confession: I didn’t stop him.
The memory care floor was dignified but awkward, as they tend to be. The preschoolers walked tentatively from wheelchair to wheelchair waiting for the grown-ups to notice them and drop a treat into their baskets.
I thought about Ruthie, my beloved 97-year-old grandma who is living on a memory care floor much like the one we visited today. About a week ago, my gram somehow broke her femur at the hip socket getting out of bed. This is not good. The pain keeps her immobilized, she’s not eating much, and we’re worried about what happens when a person can’t get out of bed.
I think about how wild and free she was when I was small. My memories of the way she could always make the most of every moment starkly contrasts with her tragic situation today.
I am grateful Raphael and I took an east coast road trip with my best friend last August to visit Grandma Ruth. I needed her to meet my youngest. She cracked jokes and swore like a sailor. The next day, I’m not sure she knew who I was.
Today, I believe Elijah and his friends brightened up the seniors’ day singing about goblins and witches.
As we made our way to the door, an elderly gentleman pointed to my child and said, “Good looking, boy.”
“That’s my son,” I beamed.
“How old is he,” the man asked.
“Four!” he marveled with wide eyes and a genuine smile, and I could tell he was suddenly struck with wonder of what could be for my boy and of his own memories of boyhood.
In honor of Down syndrome awareness month, I am trying to post to this blog every day for 31 days (or at least 31 times in October) to increase awareness of Trisomy 21, the most common genetic condition that causes the syndrome.