Norm’s Notes                             11-20-19

Grandparent’s Day with a three year old the day before her 4th birthday.
Linda and I take all the grandkids out to dinner and shopping for each birthday. One day last week it was 3/4 year old Nora’s time. We were scheduled to arrive at 11:30. Nora was at the window with her coat and pink mittens on and eagerly awaiting our arrival. She had asked her mom, “Is this the tall grandpa or the fat grandpa who is coming to pick me up?” (I am the tall one – glad I got that label!) I think this observant 4 year old has labeled us grandpas for the rest of our lives. 
We asked Nora where she wanted to go for lunch. She immediately said Culvers. We got her car seat in the car and off we went. She asked for her favorite movie to be put in the DVD player in the car – Care Bears. I have heard the first ten minutes of Care Bears at least 50 times. All the grandkids in this family want the Care Bears movie.  We got to Culvers and she knew exactly what she wanted – kid’s cheeseburger meal with fries and white milk. She ordered it herself, she didn’t need our help.
After lunch we asked where we were going to shop. Barnes and Noble she said. We got there and she knew right where the kids books were. She looked at five or six and chose the one she wanted rather quickly. Next was the Disney Store. We weren’t sure which way to go to the Disney Store but she knew right where to go. The only thing she wanted there was to be sure the toy castle was still playing music. 
“Where to next?” She wants to ride the cars. She knew right where they were. Grandpa got sticker shock here. These things are four quarters each, a dollar for a 30 second ride. Grandma had a bunch of quarters in a small container just for this occasion. Nora needed to ride them all. Then we went to the far end of the mall to ride all of them there. Then we were on the way back to Culvers to get ice cream. This time it was cookie dough flavor. Then we headed home. Grandpa decided to take a different way home than the normal route from the mall. Sitting there in her car seat she said, “Grandpa, this isn’t the way home. Where are we going?” We assured her we were headed home, Grandpa just took a different way. 
Just as we pulled in to her subdivision she fell asleep. We got to her house and I gently got her out of the car seat and carried her into the house. Her mom put her on the couch to sleep where she stayed for about five minutes and was ready to go do what four year olds do – have fun. This tall grandpa went into another room and covered up with a blanket on the couch and slept for 45 minutes. Wow, I was worn out. As grandpa and grandma got ready to leave her house she asked if she could have all the left over quarters. We asked what she was going to do with them. “Put them in my piggy bank.” She knows what it is to save even at four years old. 
Nora is the youngest of our seven grandchildren. She is the only one who still wants to hold my hand when we walk somewhere and she is the only one I can still pick up and hold tight and still the only one anxiously looking out the window waiting for grandparents to arrive and the only one to call me the tall grandpa. I treasure these times as all grandparents do. As I was vacuuming out the car the next morning I noticed two little dirty shoe prints on the back of my seat. I almost left them there to remind me of my day with a 4 year old. 
That is one of the people God brought into my life to love. Who has God given to you to love? I am one very thankful grandpa.
See you Sunday!
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