COLUMNS

Outtakes: Wee Li'l Mia is growing up

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent

Part 2 of 2

There was a time when Mia cried almost to the point of screaming. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she'd seek the safety of others for protection. It would happen each time she saw me. Often she'd hide behind her mother's skirt and peek out from the side. She must have assumed that if she couldn't see me, then I wasn't able to see her. This went on from the time she was two or so until just a few years ago.

Frank Weaver Jr.

Needless to say, to see my li'l granddaughter reacting that way at the sight of my presence nearly broke this twice mended heart of mine.

Some would say it's my voice. They said it's a baritone/bass. Others disagreed. They'd argue that it's the deep, sometimes gravel, tone that sounds as if I'm a troll lurking beneath a bridge waiting to scare unsuspecting children crossing above. Others said I sound somewhat like the late radio news commentator, Paul Harvey . . . as in 'Paul Harvey . . . Good day!'

Fearing she could be on the verge of feeding an over-inflated ego, my wife, Peggy, disagrees with all that. She simply says I talk too loud and that if it is the deep baritone/bass tone my voice tends to emit, then I should just tone it down a bit.

My daughter, Wendy, said it was my beard. My son-in-law, Bobby, claimed it was my scary, chilling, buccaneer looks, as in Blackbeard, not Tampa Bay (rotten son-in-law).

“Just leave her alone,” I'd beg whenever they tried to push her my way. “She'll come to me whenever she's ready.” Their intentions were well founded, but whatever it was with me that scared poor Wee Li'l Mia, it was doing a good job.

On a drive to see her, I suggested to tell Wendy not to push Mia my way. She agreed. But then upon arriving, Mia was no where to be seen. In time I saw a nose slip out from behind a door. Slowly she emerged. When no one gave her much attention, she inched her way toward the car.

From behind her back she brought her right hand to the front. There, clasped among her fingers was a cookie. Along with the others, imagine my surprise as Wee Li'l Mia slowly moved her hand with the cookie in it toward me.

“Is this for Grandpa?” I asked her slowly and with a big smile on my face. “WOW!”

And then I licked my lips and took a small bite. Softly speaking, I started what I hoped would be a long conversation. “Mia, this is simply delicious. Did you make this?”

From one ear to the other, she smiled and then shook her head no. Suddenly she disappeared, running back into the house. Nevertheless, I, along with everyone standing there, beamed with pride knowing some progress had been made. And then, before you could whistle Dixie, Wee Li'l Mia emerged from the house with a box in her hand.

“Oh,” I said. “You got them out of a box? Did you buy them at the store?”

Shaking her head, No, she pointed to her mom.

In an attempt to see how far I could go, I asked if she'd like to sit on Grandpa's lap. Her smile quickly vanished and turned to a look of great fear. She was on the verge, once more of giving us a downpour when I backed off. After all, she had already made great strides.

Now, whenever she calls, it's “Grandma, can I talk with Grandpa.” Isn't grand-parenthood wonderful?

On Friday, Feb. 19, Wee Li'l Mia will no longer be so wee anymore. She'll be 10. Among her birthday presents is a T-shirt Peggy bought her.

On the front are the words, “I try to be good but i take after grandpa.”

On the back there's nothing. The front says it all.

Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com