The Covid -19 problem prohibited me to see my two grandkids that are so dear to me. I had a feeling that they are growing up without me being witness to their growth.
I have two grandkids: a boy who is 10-year-old and a girl who is two years younger than her brother. My grand kids call me “Mazorg” which is a combination of Mother and Bozorg that in Persian means grand. To their Mazorg , they are the sweetest, most innocent and loving kids.
For the sake of this writing, I will address the boy “Pesarak” (in Persian means little boy) and the girl “Dokhtarak” (in Persian means little girl)
My son and Pesarak came to the airport to pick me up and take me home. When we get there, my daughter-in-law and my Dokhtarak were waiting for me outside of their house. They were standing by a big graphic on their driveway in the shape of rectangle that on its left side it was written with colored chalk “Welcome Mazorg” and on the right side there was a picture of me with some beautiful butterflies and colorful hearts and other pretty shapes.
Watching this writing and feeling this sweet and warm gesture made my eyes wet and my day much brighter.
In my short visit (just 5 days), I tried to place myself in my grandkids’ world and spend all my time with them and being in their disposal. Although, age wise, they are still considered children but, their common knowledge and their skill in English language are far beyond and above of mine, in a way, that if a few years ago, I would read to them to put them in sleep, in this trip, they read books to me in order to entertain me and make me happy.
One aspect that in this trip caught my attention was that despite my true belief that my daughter-in-law and my son who both are highly educated and professional trying their best to bring them up equally with no gender differences, the kids’ attitudes, behaviors, longings and talents were absolutely far apart from each other.
For example, Pesarak is into Star Wars, Hobbit, and Harry Potter while Dokhtarak is in the world of Hatchimals that basically are little robots that come inside plastic eggs. In order to play with these plush, furky-like creatures, you hatch the eggs. Once you do, you can teach them to walk and talk and play games. I noticed that all the Hatchimals’ belonging have come also in bright, colorful and happy colors that make them in sharp contrast with the dark, gloomy, violent, sorcerous world of Star Wars, Hobbit and the like.
In attitude and behavior, Pesarak is more thoughtful and more of a thinker. He talks in short and in depth. He is not very generous in showing his true feelings, whereas, Dokhtarak is talkative, outgoing, very skilled and generous in showing her feelings.
During Covid-19 , since I knew how much they enjoy reading books, for some occasion that I do not remember exactly, I sent them a few books of Shahnameh which were retold for kids in English. I was right and I was told that they enjoyed reading those books. So, when I visited them this time, Dokhtarak pulled all three Shahnameh books off the bookshelf and read the one that she likes the best for me. And that was the story of resistance of Gordafarid against Sohrab’s aggression. She read it so nicely, skillfully and enthusiastically that I asked her to read it again for me to tape it and keep it in our family archive. Even though, she has just finished the first grade, she sounded like a college student.
One day before my going back home, Dokhtarak took me to a huge Trampoline on their backyard. We went in and Dokhtarak started to jump on the trampoline and insisted me to follow her. I looked around and thought about my ability and realized that I cannot do that. But, to answer her request, I said, do you see that I am getting old and cannot jump and do what you are capable of doing. She was silent for a few seconds and then said, “Mazorg, I am very sad that you are getting old.” She caught me by surprise since I did not expect to hear what she said. But, in response, I said, do you know, being old is not that bad and I am happy with my age. Being old may have its benefits and advantages. By hearing my response, I sensed that she calmed down and the worrisome and sadness in her eyes towards me diminished.
On the last day of my visit, after playing all kinds of games with them, suddenly, she disappeared. I asked my son if he knew where she was and he said she was in the yard. When I got there, I found that she was completing the same graphic on the driveway. (You may see the graphic on the top of this writing) I noticed that she had crossed out the word “Welcome” and under it had written “Good Bye,” with my picture and a butterfly and other colorful and sweet heart shapes and flowers on the other side of the graphic.
This sweet, lovely, and thoughtful gesture of her made me so enthusiastically looking forward to our next meeting.
June 15 2021
The Persian language of this article was already posted in the Persian section of this site.