Our 5-year-old granddaughter, Sarah, had hip surgery eight weeks ago. She was born with an unformed hip joint, and after using other less-aggressive treatments, the doctor recommended surgery to construct a proper hip.
Yesterday she got her cast off, and last night we went to see her. She was exuberant in her freedom, although she can’t put any weight on her leg for at least six weeks, which means her wheelchair will still be her daytime home for a bit longer. But what was a hard seat is now a soft one. And that’s enough for right now.
As we walked in the door she held out her arms, and I couldn’t get there fast enough. Her smile said it all. Her body quivered with the delight of restriction taken away. And after all the girls caught me up on what’s happening in their worlds, Sarah was placed carefully on my lap by our son.
We read a book together, her reading the words she could and me filling in the ones she couldn’t. She showed me how far she could bend her knee, and pointed out her scar at least a dozen times.
Then she settled down to the business of dead skin – the removal of it, that is. As she rubbed her legs, a cloud rose up, the size of which was directly proportional to the enthusiasm of the rubbing. And it settled on my jeans.
As my jeans gradually turned white, Alyssa noticed.
“Sarah, don’t rub your legs. All that stuff is going on Grammy’s jeans!”
“I don’t care!” I said.
When it was time for bed, Sarah circled her arms around my neck and held on. “Come on Sarah, time for bed.” Jon said. “And Grammy has to go home and clean off her jeans.”
“It’s okay, Dad! Grammy doesn’t care!”
Suddenly I was transported back to my childhood, to my grandmother who lived with us. It was a hot summer day in Phoenix, the sun searing us as only a Phoenix sun can do. We had a yellow inflatable wading pool, and I was soaked. Grass floated on top of it, and stuck to our skin as we jumped and splashed. But somehow a goathead had gotten in, and I stepped on it.
“OUCH!” I yelled, and jumped onto my grandmother’s lap. My mom said, “Tracy! You’re getting Momo all wet!”
“I don’t care,” Momo said.
Ah – full circle.