A 5-year-old Muses

“Grandma, do you drive?”

“No, Love, not right now.?”

“But you can drive, right?  Do you have a license…actually, what is a license?”

“It’s a little piece of paper that says you’ve passed your driving test.”

SloaneSmirkWe’re snuggled into bed for the night, the second of a two-night sleepover.  She is five, and I am pretty sure this is a stall tactic.

“So, do they come to your house and ask you to drive to the store – is it like that?”

“Sort of.  There’s a special place where you have to go to be tested, and they have someone who goes in the car with you and tells you:  “Turn here; park there”, and so on, until they are sure you are okay to drive.

“I don’t have a license.  I’m too young.  So, why don’t you drive, Grandma?”

“Because of my illness.  Just like my muscles tire easily, so does my brain, and you need a healthy brain to drive.”

She ponders this for a moment, her head tucked into the curve of my arm, the sweetness of childhood filling my senses.

“Will you drive the truck when you move?”

“No, Grandpa will drive it.”

Something is niggling at her, I can tell.  Some puzzle, she’s trying to work out.

“Then will you drive the RV?”  This thought makes her sit up and look at me; her bright eyes flashing in the dim light.

I laugh, finally understanding the conundrum.

“No, Sweetie.  We attach the truck to the back of the bus and it pulls along behind us.  Grandpa does all the driving.”

I pull her back into my embrace and stroke her temple, willing her to quiet her mind.

“Cool”, she mutters and, her mind momentarily satisfied, drifts off to sleep.




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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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