Finally Showed Them The Walk to Grandparents’ House
December 26, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
The time was wrong on the microwave clock this morning. I had forgotten to reset the clock when the power went out on Christmas Eve. The children were fast asleep, and it was really just Mr. Plastic Picker and I that noticed since his HMO computer thingamajiggy was beeping. It was very brief just a minute or so, and things were reset and we went back to sleep.
We didn’t mention it to the children when we awoke on our slow and peaceful Christmas Day. There are so many of those moments in life that even when you are together in the same household, like the power going out on the in-between time of Christmas Eve finishing and Christmas Morning beginning, that you don’t share because the others did not notice. It happened, but really only two people experienced it.
This weekend was filled with those moments that we all shared. We all noticed. We were together. One set of grandparents are up in Utah, making memories with another set of grandchildren. And my two children, after a wonderful day filled with the smell of my daughter’s homemade cinnamon rolls filling the house and our bellies (in appropriate portion sizes of course), agreed to walk up with me on my most favorite walking path from our house to their maternal grandparents’ house.
Sometimes I wonder how that became the walk to the grandparents’ house, but it literally is the walk – that hugs along the Pacific Coast along one of the most scenic and biodiverse areas in the world. And we did that walk, and saw them before they head back to their new home away from us and their old lives.
It was such a beautiful and memorable walk. Just 45 minutes really. I showed them the sandstone cliffs that are often on my Instagram feed, and the rocks that I balance on as I’m cleaning the ocean. We went to deliver some medical things I had purchased for them at the HMO company store, and for our daughter to show them the actual print out of her report card which she can explain in pretty good Vietnamese that they are all As and A+s in honors classes. I’m most proud of her for knowing that phrase well. And we sat on the couch that is on the beautiful balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
It’s real life but it’s also a metaphor. I saw with my father for a few long moments, and we talked about their 50th wedding anniversary next year and how they want to celebrate. We talked about Hawaii and San Diego, the weather and their happiness in their new home. We talked about memories and health, and we talked about death. At some point, we found my mother as she was furiously trying to clean the outside of a house that she is passing on to my brother. She doesn’t need to clean it anymore, but she can’t stop herself when she is in San Diego. At some point, we got her to sit down and enjoy the view and the quiet. We talked about the big 50th anniversary coming up again. Mr. Plastic Picker didn’t come on the walk with us, but he did arrive shortly afterwards to pick us up since we had made it to the grandparents’ house just before dark. He chatted with my brother and laughing with our son. Through the clear balcony doors that are so much cleaner than mine, my father commented at how handsome our son is. That he didn’t get into his early decision school doesn’t really bother us now, because he’s going to do well no matter where he ends up and we have a lot of resources and I admit privilege to be able to support him along his journey. We talked about the other equally wonderful schools that he is applying to. And I’m very much like my father, I’d rather our son be good-looking then anything. This is why my father and I are very much alike. Good-looking and a good person.
And then the princess walked in, our princess at least. Our daughter walked in and hugged her grandparents and she kissed them. She’s the embodiment (like all the other grandchildren) of the love of many generations. She’s the embodiment of the love of my parents who survived war and displacement, racism and macroagressions. She’s the embodiment of the hope of my family. I quietly told my father our plans, about college and law school and how she can be molded to be an activist as well.
But as she walked away to join the others in the kitchen, we commented and thinking the same thing. Gosh, she’s good looking and she’s ours.
Afterwards our daughter was laughing much of the night, about how funny her grandparents are. They are like most grandparents on this earth of ours. Marveling at the miracle of how love and beauty can be passed on to the next generation.