My five year old grandson came into the kitchen where I was washing up the lunch dishes. He had been entertaining himself happily on our wooden deck in the back.
“Baba,” he moaned, “The Broncos football is stuck under the steps. I can’t get it.”
“Let me see where it is,” I reassured him.
We walked happily out the sliding glass door together, turned to the left, and he led me to the source of his predicament.
“It’s under there,” he said, pointing to a set of three steps that connects differing levels of our deck. I got down on my hands and knees and peered into a place that I had never had any reason to explore before. Fortunately, the decking was solid under there and his foam football was just trapped at the back corner. I had feared that it might have dropped below to ground level. If that was the case, I had no idea how we would recover it.
“Not a problem,” I exclaimed confidently. “We just need a long-handled broom.”
Enthusiastically he responded, “We have one of those! The black one!” We both bounced back up the steps and back into the kitchen to retrieve the broom.
Back at the site of the difficulty, he asked, “Can I try to get it?"
“Sure. Go ahead,” I replied, passing him the broom.
He crouched down and stuck the bristle end of the broom under the stairs. A couple of jabs and he turned to me, “I can’t do it.”
“Okay, let me try.” I knelt down again and tried to get the broom behind the ball, so that I could ease it toward me. Not quite sure how I managed it, but before I knew what had happened, I had pushed it further under the steps. The ball was now out of sight, and I knew it was wedged under the lowest step and a support stringer. I tried a couple of times to move it, but no luck.
Desperate to see it, I lay on my belly and stuck my head into the small opening under the stairs. I inched forward. Not happening. I could not move in far enough to see exactly where it was. Suddenly, I had a better idea. Backing out, I turned to my grandson, “You might just be the right size for this job. See if you can put your head in here.”
So he copied what I had just done.
“Can you see the ball?”
“Okay. Scootch in a little further. Can you see it now?”
“Great. Can you reach it?”
“Well then, go in a little further,” as I wrapped my hands gently around his little ankles just to be sure I didn’t loose him.
“I got it!”
He inched his way backwards and I pulled him slowly along by the feet. He emerged, triumphant smile on his face, and favorite football clutched to his chest.
As I gazed at him, I felt such pride for this little guy. “You were just the right size for that job! Nobody else in this family could have done that.”
In 2019, I retired from teaching kindergarten for over 30 years. I started this blog while still in the classroom, and have decided that it's time to revive it. Even in this new stage of life, the title of the blog still fits. Hoping to share musings and new learning.