#49 I, Isabel Scheherazade, am alone with Mimi and Pop in the courthouse where I have a Way-Back-Seat memory and Mimi and Pop tell me something important before the scolding starts.
When my parents got married, they had Dad’s dog, Dusty. Dusty was part beagle and part barker. At the end—he was 17–and this happened when I was four, so I remember it pretty well–at the end, he had this neck problem, and his head was always hanging. I had to lie on the floor to talk to him. I loved that dog. Well, anyway, right now, in the courthouse with Mimi and Pop, I’m Doing the Dusty as Mom used to call it.
I’m ashamed. That’s the word for it. I am really, really ashamed.
And worried. Worried that Mimi and Pop won’t trust me.
Or love me.
So, what happens next, you ask.
Do I get grounded? Punished? Sent to the Home for Little Wanderers?
First off: They hug me.
They hug me, and Pop says, Before we get started on the scolding and such, Isabel, we need to tell you that we’ll always love you.
No matter, adds Mimi. No matter what.
I believe them–Olivia’s already told me it’s called unconditional love–but my throat feels tight, so I don’t say anything back. I don’t think they expect me to anyway.
One time Olivia said that Mimi and Pop weren’t ready to start asking me lots of questions. Like I’m still too new to them, even though they’ve known me all my life. Olivia said that they were in Phase One of Adjusting to Life with Kids Again. (She’s studying up on this topic. She watches the instructional youtubes on grandparents who have to rear abandoned grandkids.)
If she’s right, then this is the start of Phase Two.
–Isabel Scheherazade who’s doing the Dusty, ashamed, but maybe not remorseful?