A true tale of Extraordinary ordinary moments…
#BlogHerWritingLab ~ Friday, April 29, 2016
End the month with a really good story. Tell us a tale on your blog.
Ask me what my favorite play is, and it will take less than measured time to say, Our Town by Thornton Wilder.
I taught this play to high school students year after year after year and not only never tired of it, but found each subsequent reading more and more and more consequential, important, transformational to my own life in its great theme of giving the familiar, the unimportant, the ordinary events of our lives the greatest human reverence.
So it’s not surprising to me that a string of simple moments this past Wednesday morning with 4 of my grandsons – 4 brothers, ages 7, 9, 10, 11 – who simply wanted their basketballs pumped up with air would become an extraordinary ordinary tale of my life.
I had come to my daughter Audrey’s and son-in-law Matt’s home very early, as in 5:00 am early to help with the kids’ morning routine of breakfast, packing lunches, teeth brushing, homework checking and getting on the school bus while their parents would be away. Then I’d be keeping 2-year old Sissy company until Daddy came home.
Until Alex asked me to help him pump up his basketball.
Well, the last time I pumped up something, I was 9 or 10 years old myself and it didn’t end well. It was my bicycle. An air pump at a little roadside store in New Hampshire where I had ridden my bike to buy a Ring Ding with the coins my Mom had given me. The ride home. Except on the ride home, while peddling up an enormous hill (I’d like to go back to that hill and see if my adult eyes see the same enormousness of that hill), my back tire exploded. EXPLODED.
I can still hear the LOUD POP and feel the instant imbalance and see the shredded tire as I came to a complete stop. On that enormous hill. I walked the rest of the way home, dragging my bike and seeing my Ring Ding melting in my little bike basket.
I told Alex that I’m not good at pumping up things.
He said, “Pop-up is! I’ll call Pop-up and maybe he can come over!”
Yes, Pop-up is, indeed, good at pumping up things, especially bike tires and basketballs. But Pop-up had morning meetings at work.
Alex was neither dissuaded nor discouraged. “I’ll Facetime him and he can give us directions!”
And he did.
Pop-up is always at the ready to help anyone, in any situation, most especially – most especially – our 11, soon-to-be 12, grandkids.
By now, all 4 boys had gathered their basketballs for this pumping up party.
While I panicked with thoughts of the destruction I was about to reign upon them and their balls. Ha!
I even noted several times that maybe they’d be better off waiting for their Dad to get home. But no! They each wanted to bring their basketballs to school, to play with their respective friends at recess.
Meantime, Pop-up was giving them a list of things they’d need: Pump, Pins.
Sounds easy, right? But yep, I had been there with a pump and pins. 55 years ago.
The boys scattered. They found the stuff. Now it was time for Pop-up to give directions from Facetime afar. And they asked me to help.
But this is when a string of simple moments became miraculous universal reverie of great joy, concentration, listening, discussing, laughing, making mistakes, re-doing, participating in Life.
This became a true tale of extraordinary ordinary moments, a tale none of us will ever forget…
Moments of Pop-up’s voice. Moments of photos to send to Pop-up to make sure all was going as directed. Moments of why isn’t this working? Moments of did you lock the pin into place? Is the rubber tube secure in the pump? Moments of teamwork. Moments of hoping the basketballs, one after another times 4, did not burst like my bike tire on that enormous hill 55 years ago.
Moments of the often unimportant moments transforming into an extraordinary morning tale…
A moment of redemption from my childhood pumping-up.
Moments of a Tale to Tell just because it was…
… and a moment of Sissy picking a Daffodil. But that’s really an entire string of simple moments strung together of its own.