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Over the River and through the Woods

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Soren and I made the trek across the desert to see my parents and grandma last weekend. Although it's only a four hour trip, I'm ashamed to say we don't make it often enough. Soren is a great little traveler. He slept a good long stretch before needing a break. We stopped at a small town dive for lunch where he ate some burger and fries plus applesauce that I had stuffed in my purse. That's right...I carry emergency applesauce in my purse now. I really enjoyed having lunch with him. I found myself wanting to whisk him off to spend some time together. He's suffering from a bit of seperation anxiety at the moment. It took him awhile to warm up to his grandparents and great grandma (G.G.). It perhaps hurt their feelings initially but it was short lived. He showed off his new stepping skills, danced to his Rock-with-Elmo radio, and played games with them. His grandparents showed him off to anyone willing to gush over him. His G.G. tickled his belly while making this tttsss ttsss sound. I do that to him all the time and until that moment I had no idea why I do it that way. I realized it is because that is the way she tickled me. gg.jpg It's funny how I find myself drawing from my own childhood experiences as a parent. I understand now the desire to share some of my childhood memories with Soren by recreating some of my favorite moments. I watched with embarrassment as Soren pulled the lid off his snacks with his teeth and then dumped the entire contents on G.G.'s floor. Then he stuffed some contaminated morsels in his mouth. She just laughed. Had that been me as a little girl I would have been in trouble. lilhat.jpg Poor baby barely had time for a nap with all the visiting and playing that needed to get done. Everyone was sorry to see him go. I stopped again for a break and just a little bit more quality time. Did you ever notice that fast food is not for babies? I mean what can a baby eat at McDonald's? We opted for Wendy's chili since my purse was all out of applesauce. I let Soren chew crackers, play with straws, and dump the salt. When I left I tried to clean the booth up as best I could when I realized that "Oh My God! I am one of those people with KIDS!" The ones who leave huge messes for others to clean up in fast food establishments. When did that happen? On the way home I contemplated what one family friend had said to me. "May God let you borrow him a very long time." Isn't that true of grandparents and parents as well?