A fun but surreal moment:
I took my seven-year old grandson to Mickey D’s yesterday. It’s kind of a tradition for us. Cold, damp late February days mean that the indoor playground is the hottest ticket in town. There wasn’t an empty table in the joint. Gabriel and I stood in the center of the room for a moment, he chomping at the bit to hit the slide, me hoping that someone was about to vacate a seat.
“Hey, you can sit here if you want.” The man moved the empty wrappers and cups of pop over to one side and nodded at the vacant spots he created. “I know what it’s like to try to find a seat in here at this time of day.”
“Thanks so much,” I said. Gabriel snarfed a few Chicken McPellets, and then ran to join the thundering herd of running, jumping, climbing kids. The man who’d offered us a seat asked what grade Gabriel was in, and we chatted a bit about the weather.
One of his kids ran up and breathlessly complained about the rude behavior of another kid in the video game area. “Just ignore him, son. Find something else to do for a while.”
The man asked me what school my son went to, and I said, “Oh, he’s my grandson.”
“What?” He did a double-take. “You’re a grandmother?”
“How old are you?” The question tumbled out of his mouth before he had a chance to think, and he turned red as he realized that he’d just asked a perfect stranger her age. “Oh…I’m sorry…that was rude…”
“No problem,” I grinned. “I’m fifty-one.”
His red face blanched white. “You’re fifty-one?”
“Yep. I’m kind of a young grandma, but it just means that I have the energy to do stuff like this. I actually have two grandsons…”
He paused for a second, trying to make sense of this data before he said, “Your grandson over there is the same age as my son,” he said.
“That’s cool,” I said.
“Yeah. But I’m fifty-three,” he said. “You’re fifty-one? And you’re a grandmother?”
There was an awkward pause as the fact registered that though we are contemporaries, our children are a generation removed from one another. My grandson is the same age as his second-grade son.
Time folded on itself for a moment as the surreal nature of these out-of-sync life cycles intersected for just a moment.
Have you ever had an experience like this?