Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Name Game

Whew.  Brady P. and I just returned to Copper Harbor from almost two weeks on the road.  This past weekend I white-knuckled my life to the Twin Cities of Minnesota to take IMBA's mountain bike Instructor Certification Program.  I passed!  Need a lesson in mountain bike fundamentals?  Look me up when you're in da Harbor.

Brady P. was safe and sound at Grammy and Grampy Rogers house in Northwest Wisconsin while I was away.  Their house is more in the boonies than Copper Harbor.  I always feel so relaxed there, and he loves to be there, too.

Though he shudders each time their rooster crows (the rooster attacked Grammy while she was holding Brady P. one time), he will run around and chase the chickens on their property.  They also have two cats and a dog.  The female black lab will lick him incessantly if we don't shout, "May!  That's enough!"  He tries to push her away, too.  She is a non-stop lover.

With the cats, Braeden will stick out both his hands, put one on their shoulders, one on their hip area, then push them to the ground.  I think he really likes to exert his will and change the physical position of others (especially something smaller than himself).  He sure likes to "push" people off the couch!  I'm just glad the cats allowed him to do this without inserting any of their sharp appendages into his flesh.

Grammy and Grampy Rogers live along a gravel road.  Braeden knows just where it starts off their driveway, and he loves to go for walks.  Just like in Copper Harbor, he will sit for breaks, but I think he is building up his stamina.  To keep things moving forward, Grampy Roy made up the hat game.  Grampy throws his hat like a frisbee down the road, then Braeden races him to the hat.  Whoever makes it there first gets to throw it next.  They go on and on down the road, giggling all the way.

He got to play at a couple different parks while he was visiting.  The swing is usually his favorite at each park.  He runs right up to the little kid safety swings, points and says, "Eh!"  But he has tried the big kid swing when that wasn't an option.  Hanging on for dear life, he did pretty well.

Brady P. also got to visit a farm.  At this farm, he saw dogs,  chickens, horses, cows, pigs and ducks.  He was pretty cantankerous when we were there, so I don't think he spent as much time enjoying their presence as he otherwise would have.  But he pointed and waved to all the animals anyway.

Speaking of pointing and waving -- oh, my.  This last story takes place in a clinic waiting room (Grammy was getting her eyes checked for an hour).  This experience illustrates the essence of how my life will continue to evolve with Brady P. by my side.

We were in the waiting room which nearly wrapped around the whole third floor of the facility.  I started by plopping him on a little kid chair, and he immediately picked up a book from the table.  This one made animal sounds, and the elephant was his favorite that day.  Probably because it was the most abrasive to everyone else around.

You know how people come and go in a waiting room? They sit down as far from the next people as they are comfortable, and usually start checking their phone.  Brady P. let no phone checking happen that day.

He went up to every single person, tapped their knee, looked up and them and smiled as if to say, "Remember me?  I'm Braeden!  What's your name?"  Luckily, 99 out of 100 people are charmed by his sincerity and curiosity.  

When he points to their face, I have to ask the person what their name is because that means he wants to know it.  They will tell us, so I can repeat their name as he points to them, me and himself.  This is another of his favorite games.  I guess we could call it the name game.  He absolutely has to know what someone's name is.  Then when I quiz him by asking, "Where is Jan? (the lady we just met)  Where is Braeden?  Where is Mama?"  He points to the right person each time.  Sharp little tack.

Without getting too long-winded with this experience, let me summarize that we met every single person in the hall that day.  He approached every person who sat down.  He hugged the legs of each person who walked by.  He pointed until they said their name.  He made a few friends that would probably remember him if they ever saw him again.

By default, I met a lot of people too.  I can sense how my life is opening up as we encounter these scenarios.  Good thing I already know that Brady P. and I are going to help save the world.  It will be helpful to know everybody's name. 

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