There is an Octoberfest in the field across the street from my mother’s property. I decide it will be lovely to have my son-in-law drive up the mountain with my grandkids; Loch, who is 18 months old and Lexi who is 4 1/2 years old.
“The kids will love the Carnival,” I tell Charles, “and it will give you a break from watching them while Summer is out of town.”
What we think will be a small hike through my mother’s fields and across the paved road onto the Octoberfest grounds turns out to be a good long hike, as we soon find that we are fenced out of the Carnival.
Charles is pushing the stroller with Loch in it, breaking his way though the weeds and bouncing over the rough ground. I am holding Lexi’s hand while my Ex-boyfriend Bill is bringing up the rear.
We finally venture out onto the paved road; no side walks here, and we continue on toward another road rather far away, that will take us, eventually, where we want to go.
As we’re trudging along, suddenly a monstrously huge, bright red truck speeds towards us, a young kid at the wheel. The guy and the truck roar past us, blowing up our hair and swirling dirt and field burrs.
I say, incensed, “What an idiot! He’s driving too fast!”
Lexi tugs on my hand, looks up at me and seriously and reflectively says, “You know…my dad’s an idiot…..”
On finally reaching the grounds, we drink lemonade, go on the kiddie rides and eat lots of Funnel Cake, sprinkled liberally with white powdered sugar.
Lexi wheedles me out of several sticker books, gets her face painted with ghosts and Loch loses a red balloon to the gusty wind.
Bill buys my mother a funnel cake.
Finally, covered with grit, slivers of flying straw from the ground and a bit sun-burned, we make the long walk back to my mother’s house.
Later, we all sit at Mom’s table on her reliably unreliable chairs; the ones which have seats that can unexpectedly flip a person into the center of the room. This keeps all of our nerves revved up, alert and at attention.
Bill presents Mom with the funnel cake. She’s never has this kind a cake, she says. She admires it’s powdered sugar topping and says she loves the taste of the cake.
My grandson Loch, loves the cake, too.
“Gray Grandma” as Lexi calls her, and Loch eat quite a bit of the cake.
As we’re leaving Mom’s house, Mom thanks Bill profusely for the “Flannel” cake and remarks that “Log'” loved it, too.
Lexi looks at me, puzzled.
“Tomorrow,” I tell her, “Grandma will be getting her ears cleaned!”
On reflection, I realize that this has been a day of learning new words for Lexi! “Idiot”-“Flannel Cake” and her brother Loch’s new name: “Log”.
Well, every day has a theme. Some days they are big themes like love or confusion, heartache or money, perhaps, and some days they are smaller themes but no less important.
I am sure Lexi will be putting the word ‘Idiot’ to good use.