They’ve always had the best backyard. It was meant for running around and getting sweaty in.
My parents had just married and I had the best shoes ever. White with pastel inlays of geometric shapes. My big sister and I were spending a long weekend with my grandparents and we were very excited. Our grandparents were (are) amazing.
Reme with her “Bless your heart!” and Pappy with his gadgets and caterpillar eyebrows that so easily knitted together when he laughed.
My white shoes were completely grass stained since I wouldn’t take them off even though Reme had implored me to. Mom had called us to check in as soon as they had reached their B&B in Vermont. We were fine, nothing to worry about.
“Does anyone here like ice cream?” Pappy asked with a grin. He knew the answer of course, we were 5 and 8.
It was a small ice cream stand specific to the summer months not even 5 miles from their house and big backyard. I shyly asked for the bubblegum flavor in a cone. My five year old self lacked the ice cream eating prowess to keep up with the melting and soon I was a sticky yet happy mess. Everyone else was done before me. Reme was eager to get us home and into bed since it had been such a long day.
We loaded up into their new Oldsmobile, me and my ice cream included. By the time we parked in the driveway I had done it. My ice cream was gone. The bubblegum bits were in my hair, on my shorts and mashed into the blue upholstery of the new car.
I started to cry when my Reme came around to help me out of the car. My Pappy started to laugh. He was excited to use Goo-Gone, something new he had picked up on base. Reme tittered and worried about it bothering my sensitive skin.
She hoisted me up on the bathroom sink and tested out the citrusy scented liquid on my knee, no reaction occurred. 15 minutes later I was in the tub, gum remnants that the Goo-Gone didn’t dissolve and grass stains washed down the drain, no haircut required.
I inquired about the interior of the car, my head on the pillow, sister asleep beside me. “It’s fine sweetheart.” He leaned in and kissed my forehead. “Thanks for giving me a reason to try that stuff out.” He chuckled, clicking off the light.