While driving past a cemetery, my 5 year old grandson asked us, “Is this Heaven?”
When he said good-bye to his big sister for the summer, as she left for sleep-away camp, he asked his mommy, “Is this what sadness feels like?”
My granddaughter, Sydney, age 6, began to cry as her mommy (my daughter) left me to babysit her for the evening. My mind immediately flashed back to the time when my daughter was the same age and would cry as my ex dropped her off with me for the weekend. To reassure my daughter, I would say:” It’s okay to cry. Sometimes I miss my mommy too”. My daughter’s response was always one of relief: “Weerwy, daddy?”. Expecting a similar response from my granddaughter, some 30 years later, you can imagine my surprise when she said;” Yeah, but your mommy’s dead”. On a family visit, when she was age 3, she asked me if I wanted to play house. I said: “Ok”. Here’s the dialogue. She said that she was the mommy and I was the baby. “Now go to sleep”: she said. “But I’m not sleepy”: said I. Her reply: ” You’re a baby. Do babies talk–No. So go to sleep!” One another occasion, the family was seated around the kitchen table discussing our plans for her upcoming 4th birthday. When my ex asked her: ” When is your birthday?” Without missing a beat,she replied :”July 21st”. All our jaws dropped. July 21st was my mother’s birthday. She died four years before Sydney was born. Sydney’s birthday is January 30. This was at a time when Sydney didn’t know one month or date from another. Where did July 21st come from? If I hadn’t been there myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. I looked around the kitchen and said incredulously;” Ma, are you here?” This summer, my grandchildren said that they wanted to go fishing. While buying them kid-size rods, a Princess one for my granddaughter age 6, and a Super Hero one for my grandson, 3, I told them the story of the first time (and the last time) I took their mother (my daughter) fishing when she was 6 years old. She too wanted to fish; so I bought a fishin’ pole, we baited it and threw the line off the dock. I told her to wait until she felt a tug then reel it in and pull up the fish. She said:”Ok”; but when a fish finally took the bait, instead of reeling it in, she dropped the pole on the dock and ran away shouting:” It’s alive!” I suppose in her mind she was expecting something like the kids’ toy game where the ‘metal’ fish are thrown into the tub and are picked up with a magnetic fishing pole. There’s no tugging on the line. Well my daughter called to say that on their first fishing outing my granddaughter did the same thing when she felt a tug on the line. When my daughter reminded her of the story that I had told them, my granddaughter said: “We must tell Papa Rob”(That’s me). “Look at that” I said. “History does repeat itself after all!” But it’s more than that. It’s three generations of Peppers converging on the same psychic space at the same time, truly remarkable; and it made my day.
When my 3 year old grandson, CJ, heard that my daughter was hosting a baby shower, he was incredulous. He asked his mommy:” How are you going to find a shower big enough for all those people?”
CJ had an all out temper tantrum. He was so over-the-top his behavior agitated Sydney. She cried and said that her tummy hurt while she watched him through a fit. My daughter tried to calm her down, reassuring her that CJ is not allowed to hit anyone and that she (my daughter) would never hit him. Sydney replied:” Well, if you won’t hit him, can I?”