“Amma, I am going to the Mall along with my wife and daughter. Please take care of the house.”
“OK son. You go ahead. Already my legs are aching. I am not interested in coming to the mall. You go ahead.”
“Grandma, you should also come” insisted the grand daughter …
“Grandma cannot climb all those steps in the mall. She does not know how to use the escalator. As there are no temples there, Grandma will not be interested. She is interested only in going to temples,” said the daughter in law.
Though Grandma nodded in agreement the grand daughter was adamant. She refused to come to the mall if Grandma was not coming. Though Grandma repeated that she was not interested, she could not stand her ground against her dear ten year old granddaughter. She agreed to accompany them.
The granddaughter was very happy. Father asked everyone to get dressed up. Before her parents could get ready, the oldest and the youngest were ready. The youngster took her grandma to the front room. She drew two parallel lines, a foot apart. She told her grandmother that it was a game and the old lady had to pretend that she was a crane (the bird).
She had to keep one leg within the lines and raise the other leg by three inches.
” What is this my dear?” asked Grandma…
” This is the Crane game Grandma. I will show you how to play.” Both of them played a few times before the father could bring the car….Grandma became adept in the game.
They reached the mall and when they reached the escalator, the father and mother were wondering how the elderly lady would master that. The granddaughter took Grandma near the escalator and asked her to play the Crane game. Grandma raised her right foot and kept it on one of the moving steps and raised her left leg by three inches and could easily reach the next moving step. This way, she effortlessly used the escalator to reach the higher level, to the wonder of her son and daughter in law. With her successful debut, Grandma and the grand daughter moved up and down several times on the escalator and were enjoying the fun.
They then went to the theatre to see a movie. As it was cold inside, granddaughter took out a shawl from her bag and covered the old lady, with a mischievous smile. She had come prepared for this! After the movie, they went to a restaurant. When the son asked his mother what to order, his daughter took away the menu and thrust it in the hands of Grandma.
“You know how to read; better go through the menu and order whatever you want.” Grandma decided the items to be eaten.
Before leaving for home, Grandma went to use the toilet. Using that occasion, the father asked his daughter how she knew so much about his mother which as a son, he was not aware of.
Prompt came the response: “Dad, when a young child is brought out of the home, you make so many preparations – milk bottles, diapers, wipes etc. Your mother would have done all these things for you. Why not show the same consideration for your mother? Why did you presume that the elderly would be interested only in temples. They also have normal desires like going out and enjoying all the fun. Since they do not openly express it, we have to coax them to speak up.”
The father was speechless. However he was happy to learn a new lesson from his ten year old.
Aged parents need to be treated like kids. Respect them and love them unconditionally coz there is no replacement for them.