This weekend my son, with the help of a friend and my 3.5 year old grandson, came over to pick up a huge dresser and a nightstand from my home to take to my son's home... Now before I tell you what I witnessed, I need to point out that while I get to see my grandson and son quite a bit, I don't get to see them "together" that often...
So anyway... My son and his friend start the arduous process of moving the huge dresser out and I hear my son say, "Son, why don't you stand over there so I don't step on you?" I thought to myself what a nice way of phrasing "get out of the way" so I start to pay attention to what else is being said between the two of them.
"OK, Daddy", my grandson says. "I'll get the door for you Daddy."
"Thanks Son. I appreciate it," my son grunts as he hefts his end of the dresser.
"Boy! You are doing a good job Daddy! I'm so proud of you!"
"Daddy, watch your step. I don't want to see you fall."
"OK, Son. I'll try."
The dresser is now loaded and my son comes back for the nightstand. He picks it up without taking the drawer out and sure enough, the drawer falls to the floor. My grandson rushes to pick it up.
"I'll carry this for you Daddy 'cause I'm a good helper."
You can hear the smile in my son's voice as he replies, "Yes you are Son." My grandson beams with pride as he marches behind my son carrying a drawer almost as large as he is.
The nightstand loaded, my son turns to take the drawer from my grandson, "Thanks for the help Son." After the drawer is placed back into the nightstand my son picks up my grandson, gives him a big hug, and a kiss on the cheek - which my grandson laughingly wiped away. They grin at each other.
After the goodbye hugs and kisses and the obligatory "drive safely", I came back inside and couldn't help but think about what I had witnessed; about how proud I was of my own son and the way in which he dealt with my grandson.
As I sit here writing this, I'm wondering if my son is parroting what he heard at my knee all those years ago just as his son was parroting what has been said to him. The years have dimmed my memory and all that remains are the highlights, the special occasions, the glimmer of times past when mother and son worked side by side on all sorts of projects. The everyday sort of conversations are long since forgotten but maybe, just maybe, what I overheard this weekend is the echo of them. I certainly hope so.