Monday, April 07, 2008

A Weekend With Chloe

One of the things I wanted to do over the weekend was go see the new Martin Scorsese film of the Rolling Stones playing at the famous Beacon Theater in New York City. Well, that never happened. I did make it to the movies, however, but it was with Chloe. When we got out of the car and were walking into the cinema, Chloe looked at me and said "It's a beautiful day, Pa Paw"! I was happy that she was appreciating the moment. At the movies we saw "Horton Hears a Who" by Dr Seuss. It was very good and Chloe was totally into it. I doubt if she would have enjoyed watching skinny 60 year old senior citizens playing rock in roll on an Imax screen even if it was Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Watching "Horton Hears a Who" she was transported to the jungle and Whoville while she drank Coca Cola and ate popcorn and cotton candy. It was equally exciting to watch the movie previews and discover there is a new Madagascar and a new Ice Age movie coming out. When I was a boy I went to double features at the local movie house for 50 cents. This little trip with Chloe cost my wife and me $40! After the movie we took Chloe to the nursing home to see the "old" Pa Paw. I thought Chloe might be a little frightened of all the old people sitting around slumped over in their wheelchairs. It is sometimes depressing to me. It didn't seem to faze her. At first the nursing home cat and dog caught her attention and she spent some time petting them. Later she started playing peekaboo with a man and a woman who live in the home. She was laughing hysterically and the sound of a child's laughter seem to perk up some of the residents. My dad and many of the other patients were sitting in the common area where there is a fish aquarium and a television. Dad was talkative but sometimes drifted off to the unknown. I think for Dad there is only the moment. He seems to have little memory and no concept of time. He asked my wife what date it was. He was surprised when she told him it was April. He thought it was February. When I was driving home I realized that February was when he left home for the hospital. He hasn't been home since. Chloe was spending the night so the rest of my Saturday evening was spent watching Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie" and the movie version of "Garfield".

I'm sitting here in my room at home typing these thoughts. All is quiet except for the swishing of the washing machine and my new Peter Gabriel CD. It is warm outside, nearly 70 degrees, and there is no breeze whatsoever coming in my window. Chloe and her parents left a little while ago. It's been a very long day. Chloe got me up early as she always does whenever she stays the night. How can I resist her sweet voice when she wakes me up and says, "I want to make your coffee, Pa Paw". I slowly got out of the bed and we headed downstairs. After the coffee making ritual we started round two of the "Bee Movie" followed by "Over the Hedge". I know all of the dialogue for Chloe's entire movie collection. One thing I have re-learned with Chloe, and she's like every other child in this regard, is that soon or later if you spend a whole day together there will be a battle of wills. Now I love Chloe more than anything but sometimes we go head to head. She is a formidable opponent. At times my 57 year old will is no match for her willful persistence. I try to not always give in to her but after almost 34 years of having similar tug of wars with her grandmother, I have little will of my own. We all know women really rule the world. Another thing I have noticed about children is that if they have any sense that you are comfortable, they will immediately demand that you get on the floor and leave whatever comfortable chair you were in. You must either sit cross legged on the floor or "act like an animal" and let them ride on you. By the time I have spend 24 hours non stop with Chloe, I am wasted. That's why I am typing these notes now. I needed to write these thoughts before I pass out. Of course, whenever she is not around I miss her and look forward to her next visit. The truth is that she is my biggest fan and I am hers.

Famous actor, Charlton Heston, died over the weekend. He is perhaps most famous as Moses in the "Ten Commandments" but he also played Ben-Hur, Michelangelo, John the Baptist, and El-Cid. However, I would like to remember him with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies.

"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape"!
-Charlton Heston as Taylor in "Planet of the Apes".

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