There was this little girl sitting across from me. I estimated her age to be around three or four years old. Her grandmother was sitting next to her, and the little girl kept repeating grandma this and grandma that about every ten seconds or so. Hey grandma look over there, grandma I wanna do this, grandma can I have some more now, grandma I am thirsty again, hey I am hungry grandma, no grandma not there but here, and on and on and on. The grandma was amazingly patient, and for each request and/or question she gave a casual, relaxed and respectful response to the little three year old. Very very patient with a loving tone of voice. This was pretty impressive, especially since it was obvious that this had been going on the whole day during the quaint visit of this truly "adorable" granddaughter. Maybe she had even spent the night before at grandma's house. No no grandma, yes yes I mean no grandma. Grandma, gran-nan-an-ma-maa (the little girl started singing quite loudly and somewhat falsely but that does not matter). That little girl was a non-stop bundle of energy and noise and movement. She would mumble to herself, get really loud, and then mumble again looking out the window. Why did this scene seem so appropriate at the time that I now feel an urge to record it here? Well, recently I have felt very relieved that my own four wild-and-crazy children are now old enough that they no longer require such unending attention. Just listening to this energetic little girl was driving me (completely) wacko, so I could imagine what a strain that would be on an older mind beyond the sixty years mark. Some day I too would turn sixty years. By watching this scene and thinking about it, I realized that I had not yet completely escaped the throes of childhood stuff. You see, some day (hopefully) my children would have their own children, and then sooner or later I would be sitting next to my own version of a grandchild listening and being patient. Just like the scene right across from me. At least I hoped. If my children had children, if I lived that long, if they didn't end up leaving and never seeing me again, say moving away to Australia or America. Life as a grandparent would be fun, but less demanding than being an actual direct-parent. I could be patient and respectful and not worry how this child of my child was, because my new role would be a happy-go-lucky type of grandpa, a type of meta-parent. Much much better. That would be fun some day.
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Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.
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First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.