Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Grandchildren: Retirement According to Ethan!

You really had to know Ethan when he was a little boy. His imaginary friend was God. He was three and in trouble with me when he said that he loved his Grandma Darlene (the other grandma) best. It seems like he played with Lego's before he could talk. That may not be true though. His favorite Lego toy was a pulley with strings. The string was always tangled but he didn't mind. Ethan loved things that were hard and needed to be fixed.

He worried a lot about Grandpa and Grandma. No job you know! He tried to figure out if we were too young to work, had gotten ourselves fired or if we were just plain useless. Every sentence about his mom and dad began with "my mom/dad had to go to work but when they come home we will...."

Grandpa, Ethan and me, 9 years ago
He gave our situation a lot of thought and he finally decided that Grandma and Grandpa were looking for a job. He would say things like, "When you get a job Grandma, you won't have time to do this." He thought maybe grandpa could get a job golfing because he certainly had a lot of experience. But Grandma was another thing. What could she do?

Then one day we were sitting on the floor with Lego's all around us. That pulley thing was a mass of knots intertwined with more Lego's and other assorted toys. It really did look impossible to fix. We talked about getting the scissors and I told E-man that it might be hopeless. I did not know if I could untangle it.

But the time passed while we were talking and the strings seemed to magically come apart. As I was winding the string back on the pulley, Ethan looked me in the eye. "You know what Grandma? When you grow up I bet you could get a job at the untangling store." My worth in his eyes had gone up a lot in those few minutes.  In the years after that we took apart the vacuum cleaner and repaired it, fixed toys and did school projects together that required my art skills. I was his go-to un-tangler. I wish I could have done more of that sort of thing.

I gave him a dollar once to buy something at the Dollar Store. He bought a package of 3 rolls of electrical tape.  He made things out of that tape for weeks to come. The garage at his parents house was always full of things in the process of being taped together and made into what they were not.

Now, when we need an extra pair of hands, Ethan will come and help us. He loves his Grandpa a lot. He went hunting for the first time this fall so they have more to talk about now.  He has worked as a aid for his disabled cousin for six month. I think his heart is full of help and fixing things. I don't know if he knows that yet.

It was true about him loving his Grandma Darlene best, which was a wonderful thing. She passed away this last summer so it was only right. When she was alive she always needed him the most.

Ethan was 5-6 when we fixed the Lego. He will be 20 next spring and is going into the Marines in March. Time has flown by. That young man gave me things to think about. I suppose he always will. We did not have an easy time with each other. Sometimes the really smart ones are the ones that try us the most. But the bond is so tight and, well, tangled that no one will ever undo the knots. Ethan is like that.

Oh, and I might add, I am very grateful that his parents let me spend so much time with Ethan and his sister. I loved that a lot.

Have a wonderful day.



  1. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles.Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. Issaccomber,

    I did not know you were reading! Thank you for stopping by. It is always a pleasure.


  3. Thank for this interesting post and sharing with us.


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