Just last month we heard about some of the new words that were added to the dictionary for 2014. "Selfie" and "Hashtag" were among them.
I can only wonder what "buzz words" will make it in 2015. Personally, even though it's still rather early in the year, I've got a few candidates. While not exactly new, I can tell you now, they are definitely going to be some of my favorite words of the entire year.
In order to put this story into perspective I need to explain some relationship dynamics between my granddaughter and her "Nana" & "PawPaw". (that's what she calls us).
When Aria comes to visit she looks to both Paula and me for very specific activities and actions.
Paula is her I-pad buddy. She loves to sit in Paula's lap and play various games with her on the Apple tablet.
Also, during most visits Aria likes to take Paula and some of her toys, books, and her special pillows into our bedroom. Then they climb on our bed and watch cartoon videos on Netflix. It's during this time that Aria snuggles with and does fun "girly" things, like brushing hair or putting in hair clips, with her Nana.
To sum it up, Paula is Aria's choice for, what I call, "close up" fun.
Her Paw Paw, on the other hand, is the one she turns to for really fun toys. The majority of Aria's toys at our house are kept in our storage room. They are brought out and spread all over our living room floor each visit.
Then there are the toys that are kept in the drawer of Paw Paw's end table. These are some of her favorites and include: a trio yo-yos (which she doesn't quite know how to use yet), a pair of rubber balls, Silly Putty and the classic "Barrel of Monkeys". You know the plastic ones that hook together to make a chain.
Yes, my role with my granddaughter is being her playmate. I'm also the "go to" guy when it comes to acting silly.
She never wants to just sit on my lap and hang out. She'd rather have me down on the floor helping her with her Duplo blocks, playing our ukuleles together, or just chasing her around so I can catch her and tickler her.
I used to get her to sit on my lap when she was younger. But that was only when we shared a chocolate coated vanilla ice cream treat.
At the beginning of 2014 she started holding the ice cream on a stick on her own,. I was no longer a means to a delicious end. Those special moments were a thing of the past. As someone who loves his granddaughter as much as a grandparent can that really bothered me.
But after this weekend I'm hoping perhaps things between Aria and me have changed.
Now you are up to speed I can tell you the story of my first favorite words of the year.
Last Saturday night, Paula and I were invited to go out to dinner with James, Brandi, & Aria. We went to Smokey Bones on Scottsville Road.
Because it was a restaurant in Bowling Green on a Saturday night there was a bit of a wait for a table. We stood in the front of the restaurant waiting for our names to be called.
Although she had smiled at me and let me pick her up to hug her, Aria was all about Paula while we were waiting. Eventually, she coaxed my wife to get her Iphone out of her purse and let her play some games on it.
When some seats in the waiting area opened up. Paula and I sat down. Aria was still attached to Paula because of her phone.
I got out my phone and showed her some pictures of a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer toy figure she had become fascinated with over the Christmas holidays.
I was pleased that I got some of her attention but she went right back to Paula's phone.
It was then that those wonderful words came from my granddaughter that took me totally by surprise.
"Pawpaw will you hold me?", she asked. For just a second I was a bit taken back. But when I realized what she had requested it sent a heart warming feeling all through me.
Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity I quickly took her from Paula's knee and sat her on mine.
Paula's phone came along with her so we sat there looking at the screen trying to find the game she had accidentally closed.
I was just starting to interact with her when we were called to be seated. The moment had passed but the echo of that special request remained in my mind and I smiled.
During dinner, I entertained Aria by reciting the "Here's The Church" rhyme and and demonstrating with my hands. She liked it and kept asking me to do it again.
Also, when she wanted someone to "sing Elsa" (aka any song from the movie "Frozen) while she drummed on the side of our booth, I stepped up to the plate again.
Dinner was delicious and we all had a good time. The last thing Aria said to us before we said "good-bye" expressed her desire to come back to our house for a visit.
"Go to your house", she told us, "I'll be right there."
An unexpected but memorable night with my granddaughter. The first of what I hope will be many this year. If I don't remember anything else about it though I will never forget my favorite first five words of 2015.