She comes to the side door to pick him up. A rhythmed knock followed by a high-pitched, “YOO-HOO!!!”
He dashes about the house, throwing clothes on and shouting, “Suzan’s here!” He runs out, greets her giant Buster dog, and takes off down the drive with a quick good-bye wave of his hand, no looking back.
She’s his Suzan. His other grandma. His best friend & partner in crime.
They go on walks when it’s warm. They jump in puddles and examine oak leaves. They collect rocks and gather acorns. They smell flowers and chase dogs.
They play at her house when it’s cold. He’s got a toothbrush with his name on it. He eats her pretzels, drinks her cocoa, washes her dishes. He vacuums her rug and feeds the bird, does puzzles on her carpeted floor.
He is gone for hours on end, and when we pick him up, he begs to go back. How can so much love be poured out in an afternoon of fun?
Though we may not understand it, Eliot does. Their love spreads across the neighborhood, from William’s front door to Anita’s terra cotta pots, and on to Margaret’s for more cocoa. They are inseparable, and it’s a reciprocated joy.
Suzan, retired from teaching, and Eliot, the most curious little toddler on the block.
When we talk about moving, we can’t look at each other. When we talk future, we talk about airplane rides and weekend visits and blown-up air mattresses.
Because, it seems that Suzan has adopted a 2-year old, and it seems that a 2-year old has adopted Suzan.
And that team can never really be split apart, not when telephone cords stretch so far.
For more posts from the Snapshots series, click here.