Age: Just a number?

Sherri Gardner HowellBlount, Farragut, Kitchen Table Talk, West Hills

If you happened to be in a certain Kroger last week while I was there shopping with grandson Gardner, you probably heard that “Gigi is 66.”

No, it’s not my birthday. I’ve been 66 for more than half-a-year now, but the actual number resonated with Gardner while he was here with his family for Christmas.

Evidently there are quite a few things about a Gigi that Gardner’s 4-year-old mind has some trouble reconciling. For some reason, finding out that I was 66 became the holy grail of understanding.

“Gardner, don’t let Sassy (the dog) out because I can’t chase her.”

“Because you’re 66, Gigi?”

“Let’s take a break from the playroom (and two hours of clashing light sabers with Darth Vader) and do a puzzle, okay, Gardner?”

“Oh-kay, Gigi, because you’re 66.”

Gardner and Darth Vader get ready for some light saber action.

“Let’s sing a song so you don’t fall asleep on the way home because I can’t carry you into the house.”

“I know, Gigi, because you’re 66.”

To take some pressure off, I told him Granddaddy was older than I am. “Is he 66?” he asked. “No, 68, two years older.”

“Okay Gigi, but you are 66 and like a baby kid.”

That one I take as a compliment. When the grandchildren are here, I play. My time is pretty much all for them.

But back to Kroger. Gardner was riding in one of those combo grocery cart/car shopping carts, and I was pushing. He was really getting into the whole car driving thing, and, of course, wanted me to go faster and to race the other carts.

When I said no, he said in an exasperated voice, “It’s because you are 66!”

For the rest of the trip up-and-down the aisles, he told all who were around, “Gigi can’t race. She’s 66.”

The good thing is that Gardner is so attached to Gigi being 66 that I can probably stay at this age for a few years. If age is just a number, I’ll milk 66 for a while.

If you decide to take your grandchild grocery shopping, I don’t recommend the car-carts. My back hurt for a whole day because those things are heavy and hard to maneuver.

At least they are if you are 66…

Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons.

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