My Day With Layla

by Duke Pasquini on January 1, 2014

800px-Training_of_young_gymnasts_(Angarsk,_Russia) I was thinking about my granddaughter, Layla, over Christmas and remembered a wonderful day she and I spent together last summer when I picked her up from Bible School.

 I didn’t pay enough attention to where in the church complex Wendy told me I was to pick her up, so went to the wrong building and was taken to the wrong room.  I was concerned when I didn’t see her.  A trip back down stairs brought more clarification when the lady looked on her sheet again, realized she made a mistake, and Layla was in the main church building.

            Soon I had her hand in my hand and headed to my truck.  Layla likes riding in my truck because she sits higher than in their van, which they’ve named VanGo.  Clever, right?

            We drove to Burger King, but Layla wanted to eat the lunch Wendy made for her.  I ordered a number one without pickle, drove under a tree behind the park located next to Our Lady of the SeaChurch, and ate lunch with Layla.  Time has passed and I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but she offered me some of her grapes and roll-ups and I offered her my French fries and a couple sips from my diet Coke.  We had a lot of trouble freeing the fruit from the backing of the roll-ups.  At some point, I wondered if you weren’t supposed to eat both.  But what I remember most is how content we both were sitting there in my truck in the shade talking.

            After lunch I drove around to the church side and spread a blanket on the grass under a tree where we talked about BiblesSchool, dancing, gymnastics, and piano lessons.  Layla needed something out of my truck and I gave her the key and instructions on how to get the door unlocked.  Her face reflected the excitement of doing something new.  I remained on the blanket and gave her instructions.  As it turned out, she couldn’t find what she was looking for, I got up and got it for her, and then showed her how to lock the truck.  She had to go back to the truck again and did everything by herself this time.

            There was a woman who sat by herself eating lunch in the sun and a man, who looked poor and maybe homeless, spread out on the lawn in the shade.  I’m not sure if it was appropriate, but I told her to never go with a stranger and to scream if they grabber her.  “Bite their hand if they put it over her mouth.”  She took it all in calmly as if she already knew what to do.

            Layla got up off the blanket, got on top of the picnic table, and started dancing.  She has a lot of talent and creativity.  When she was done, we took our shoes off and walked barefoot on the grass across the park to a tree at the other end of the park.  My fear was one of us might step on a bee, but it never happened.

            “Layla, do you want to climb the tree?  She nodded and moved toward the tree.  I wanted her to have a positive experience so helped her with the first few steps and then stood close as she slowly worked her way up a couple branches.  When she was ready to come down, a look of fear crossed her face.  I moved up, grabbed her, and brought her out of the tree.

            After her trip up the tree, she wanted to collect leaves from the tree to make designs for her dad for Father’s Day.  The leaves were too high for her to reach so I picked them as she pointed to them.  We spent the next half hour creating all kinds of creative designs.  Before we knew it, it was time to return to the Sea Bright House where Wendy would pick Layla up.

            It was a memorable afternoon for me and I hope it also was for Layla.  And the best part was that for the next few days until today, she still loves climbing trees.

 

This post was written by...

– who has written 110 posts on The Pasquini Family Blog.

The author is a retired teacher and principal. He is currently working as adjunct professor and an assessor of new teachers. He was a football and track coach and is currently writing fiction. His latest book is A Warrior’s Son which can be bought through him at http://deweypasquini.com or at a more expensive price at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Xlibris.

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