Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FOLD (10/08/15)
- TITLE: The Grammie Map
By Marlene Bonney
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Not having the politically correct filters most children develop over time, Jonathan can come up with some real doozies. Like the day we had a play-date in his backyard while his mother ran some errands, when he said he wanted to read my face. He climbed up on my lap and began softly caressing the many bumps, age spots, freckles and creases.
“Grammie, why do old people have so many wrinkles? Did God make them that way?”
Oh, the innocence of children, I thought, while trying to explain the aging process to an autistic 10-yr. old.
“You see, honey, when we get worried or scared or happy or sad, our faces show it, and over a long time, these wrinkles appear. Each one tells its own story. But it doesn’t happen with children. Only to grown-ups,” envisioning him trying to use his school erasers to rub out invisible lines on his own face.
“What made this line?” stroking the first of several crinkles between my eyebrows.
A teacher caught in the headlights of a pupil’s question without an answer key, I improvised, “That was my first one—probably it was when I was very tired after your mama was born.”
“What was this next one from—when Uncle Tim got borned? And this one? Maybe because you got an ow-ie? Hey, I bet this one came from when you laughed at a knock-knock joke!”
Not waiting for another explanation, he continued,
“Why does it feel so bumpy? Do I have to take a detour?” a tiny Matchbox car having worked its way from his pocket to my face.
“This is Max and he’s going on a road trip—VAROOM!” the miniscule wheels giving me a facial massage to rival a spa treatment as they traveled from one crease to the next, “What’s the name of this road? And this one? And this highway over here?”
Entering into his game, I played along, giving each fold of my loosening skin the names of Jonathan’s relatives and friends. Shutting one eye as Max got too close for comfort created another furrow to investigate.
“Hey, do that again, Mimi; Max likes obstacle courses!”
Now really into it, I scrunched up my forehead and then lifted my brow to make more hills and valleys, which caused Jonathan to giggle. I smiled, enjoying his pleasure, which apparently caused deep laugh lines to appear.
“I’m a famous explorer and I’m going to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” the sun’s reflecting off the garden globe across my face.
“Hey, your flaps jiggle when you laugh,” Max tickling a floppy neck chord.
Then, as quick as a flashing moonbeam, Jonathan was distracted from my contorting face, sliding off my lap down to my bare feet. Max skidded down my shin in the process. My grandson then became fixated on the veins and knobby knuckles and hammer toes.
“Mimi, your toes have folds like your fingers,” delighted as I curled and uncurled the digits.
“Hmm. I guess I never noticed that before, honey. How observant you are!” weakly smiling at his reasoning, “Sweetie, I think Max is running out of gas,” hoping the road trip was ending and leery of more upcoming curiosity about my remaining skin folds. A grandmother can only take so much.
“Oh, that’s alright, Grammie. Max runs on solar power,” my eyes following his gaze up at the bright noonday sun blazing overhead.
Not to be out maneuvered, I calmly countered with,
“Jonathan, Max wants to check out the dirt between your garden rows.”
“Yea! Mom doesn’t usually let me play in the dirt,” flitting away like a meandering butterfly.
(Ordinarily, that might have stopped me, but this was an emergency that was threatening my dignity.)
My overflowing eyes watered down my furrowed face as I watched my young retreating grandson, his young, flawless flesh glistening in the sun.
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