Sunday, June 16 2024 - 2:45 PM
adult and child holding hands
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A Penny for Your Thoughts

It is my privilege, once in a while, to take my four-year-old granddaughter for a walk. Penelope Rose is the adopted Down Syndrome child of my eldest daughter and her husband. Penny enjoys walking after school because the teacher’s instructions can get burdensome. We do not venture far.

She needs a little help descending the two steps of her front porch, as the steps are significant. She smiles, knowing what’s ahead, and pauses to wait for her friend, Shadow. When Shadow is spotted, Penny begins to run. Penny and Shadow have the same bouncy ponytail, and Penny has such fun watching it fly in the wind.

Suddenly, a big black dog barks loudly, and we run to the daisies. Penny bends down for a sniff where they sit in a brightly colored garden.

The large tree near the fence is highly anticipated. The leaves crunch loudly under tiny sneakers. Shadow always gets lost under the tree, so it is necessary to go back and get her.

When we arrive at the light pole, we must both touch it, or the walk will not continue. Shadow must touch the pole as well; Penny sees to it.

A Hill to Climb

Halfway through our journey, there is the “hill” to climb. Another large tree has buckled the sidewalk, and a three-inch rise in the cement poses quite a challenge for Penny. She recognizes the spot and begins her trudge up the mound while groans and puffs of air escape her lips. My first reaction is to help, but a hymn invades my mind, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” I decide not to assist but watch instead. She is not at all frustrated but seems to enjoy the hard work. Shadow, of course, drags along at Penny’s feet.

“O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way. . .” I sing as Penny doggedly takes the hill.

Penny descends with a very self-satisfied smile but with a stroke of her hand, and a loud “Eh” orders me to leave. I turn, and she takes off like a shot crossing the big street all by herself. Never far behind, I swoop in, catch her with one arm at her waist and run to the other side. She giggles as I place her down, and she merrily continues along the path.

“What have I to dread, what have I to fear”. . .  I continue.

We arrive at our next challenge, the sawed-off tree stump. Penny is delighted. She bends down, places her tiny hands on each base side, and climbs to the “top” for the victory dance.

“O how bright the path grows from day to day . . .” the hymn continues.

A run through the green grass takes us to her yard.

We are tired and thirsty. Penny and I have some milk and cookies. Shadow must stay outside.

And now you also have Penny in your thoughts and, like me, a bit of happiness for your soul.

If you liked this, you might also like Grandchildren Are a Delight 

Sharon J Wible writes from Southern California.

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About Sharon Wible

Sharon Wible

writes from Southern California.

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