Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Grahamcracker and Chocobit
Aeron and Grandmother Sue have become inseparable during this long road trip. They sit together in the center passenger seat of the van as we travel, Aeron chattering endlessly and my mother occasionally attempting to stem the tide with a comment, pat or imprecation. At camp, they read side-by-side on a park table, work together cleaning dishes, or wander off to brush their teeth. When DrC, Jaime, Mera and I head out to tackle strenuous hikes into the Grand Canyon or scale Zion's cliffs, the “buddies” strike off on their own. They meander down river trails or share a hamburger in the lodge.
It's an odd friendship, really. My daughter so nimble and full of energy hand in hand with my loving but endlessly clutsy mother. Mom wasn't encouraged to athleticism in her youth, only discovering the pleasures of walking, hiking, and exercise in her forties. The unfortunate result for that entire generation of women is that their health and active interest in seeing the world is not backed up by spry, coordinated bodies. She is strong, but she'll strip over her feet on a paved trail with hand rails. Aeron, on the other hand, is a wild boat child absent boundaries and a blessed with a bottomless storehouse of energy. She can dance across a wet deck in choppy three foot seas bearing hot cocoa and a book. Yet here, with her beloved Grahamcracker, Aeron pleads fatigue when the hike goes too long. She tells us solemnly that she's afraid of heights and not strong enough to tackle hikes beyond a limit she has divined will challenge my mother but not stress her unduly.
It is memories these two are building. In the evenings by the light of the campfire, DrC and I quietly reminisce about our childhood camping trips while Grahamcracker and Chocobit giggle softly in the dark licking melted chocolate off their fingers and arguing about where they last saw the toothbrushes.