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Monday, October 24, 2011

#214 - WE TOOK ORLANDO BY STORM.

This coming Sunday (October 30th) is my grandson, Gene's birthday.  He will be 16.

This kid is a real cutie pie.

                              
Was then... ...

                                           
...is now!

One memory I have of him was when he was about two and a half.  I was sleeping in on that particular Saturday morning and my son, Gene showed up with the kids.  Gene William (I call him GW) came on back to my apartment at the back of my parent's house.  I could hear his little feet thumping on the kitchen floor as he ran.  I was laying there waiting for him but, as he walked into my bedroom and began to scowl.  He looked me up and down as I lay there with a pillow between my pajama clad knees and, like a little old man, said,  "Ahhhh, a contour knee pillow.  Memaw, do you have back pain?"  I burst out laughing, grabbed him up in my arms and tickled him as he squealed with delight.

My VERY favorite picture
He loved hats.
One of the many things I loved about him as a little kid was that he was always sunny and laughing .  He was playful and had such a sparkle of mischievousness in his eyes.  He loved to put things on his head.  This started when he was still in diapers.

He, also, is a very loving and giving child.
GW was (and still is) as smart as a whip (I know, all grandma's say that but it's true).  When he was around four, the kid computer he received as a present stopped working correctly.  He would move the mouse but, nothing happened.  So he took the ball out, stuck his little finger up inside and manipulated the contacts inside AND THE DARNED THING WORKED!

Also, GW and I would play word games whenever we drove anywhere in the car.  He surprised me regularly with his vocabulary.  He could beat me at checkers at age five and by six was teaching me chess (and really tromping me soundly by age seven).  GW loved to play board games and if he played the game once or twice he would show no mercy and soundly thrash me .  He eventually started playing a serious board came at a local store (Star Wars Miniatures) and was winning against much older kids (including adults).  He tried to teach me that game (and I USED to be real smart) but as hard as I tried I couldn't get the hang of it.

I can remember meeting his Kindergarten teacher one year and asking her how GW was doing.  She had some very nice things to say about him and then added, "And, he is VERY funny."  I responded, "Oh, No, he's not the class clown, is he?"  She replied, "No, he is just, very funny."

As a kid he was a real cut up.  He liked to grab things and pretend they were microphones then he would sing his heart out and camp it up.  At one of his sister's intramural basketball games my son noticed that a lot of the spectators were not watching the game, but something on the stage.  Even the girls on the court were starting to watch the stage. People were laughing, pointing, and making comments to each other.  When my son, Gene, looked up at the stage, there was my grandson doing a mock performance on the stage.   He had the unplugged microphone in his hands was rocking his hips and knees as well as twirling his left arm around like a propeller.  When he leaned the mike over everyone laughed.  It was obvious that Elvis was in the building (at least in spirit)




I have already written about  what he did to his older sister.
http://outofmymindbykt.blogspot.com
 
Unfortunately, I didn't know that I was going to be writing a blog or I would have recorded the scores of funny episode in this boy's young life.

YOUNG GENE HAD DIFFICULTY FINDING HIS NITCH!
He was ambivalent about
basketball.
He definitely didn't like
baseball

                     

                     

But, he loves the big drum
                     
He was not too thrilled with the
Cymbals either.





               















One of the things I miss most about GW getting older is we don't go to the movies together as much.  I miss listening to him laugh and make smart comments at whatever we were watching.  I miss discussing his take on the movie and the whole experience of just spending a evening with him.  One particular night, several years ago, he was feeling a little curious.  For some reason he decided to see just how far he could stick his arm into the round opening in the arm of his seat.  He had to be in about the 4th-5th grade at the time.  I had gone to the concession stand to load up on our favorite goodies and as I walked down the isle I noticed that he kept looking around, leaning strangely to his left, and had a funny look on his face.  When I got there I could see the problem immediately.  When I started to laugh he shushed me and mouthed H E L P !  I sat down beside him and surveyed the situation and, yes, his arm was stuck tight.  Since the previews had already started I whispered,  "You twit!  (snicker) I'll be right back".  As I headed toward the bathroom to get some liquid soap I paused momentarily to consider if I could run home and get the camera.  Then I realized just how embarrassed he would be so I got the soap and a wet paper towel instead.  In a few minutes we managed to extricate his arm and I heard his heave a big sigh of relief.  Like me he has a good imagination and I am sure he was thinking about how it would look if the fire department had to use the jaws of life to unpin his fettered arm.  He made me promise not to tell anyone (a promise I did not break until much later - after getting his permission).  


My favorite memory is our trip to Orlando during the summer of 2007.  I took his sister to Alaska the summer after she graduated grade school.  So, when GW graduated to middle school I decided take him to Orlando.  We didn't go to Disney World because he had already been there with his parents, but we did go to EVERYTHING else.

If you asked my Grandson about his favorite memory of that trip he would probably say that it was watching his grandmother trip several times and fall flat on my face.  We went to a wonderful dinner theater where we ate and watched pirates take over this hugh ship (surrounded by water) in the middle of the arena.  GW even got to participate in the show.  When we got up to leave I held onto a post while I walked down the steps and the darned thing gave away, throwing me and the post onto the floor.  I did a fantastic pratt fall and GW was probably thinking, "Way to go, Grandma."

Here we are outside the theater area,
 making memories.
They had all kinds of fun and exciting things to do at the Wonder Works attraction. It took us most of the day to experience it all.  The two pictures below were taken at that fantastic place.  That evening we went to a hilarious magic show at the and ate way too much pizza.  I tried to get him to volunteer to go up to the stage, but the chicken wouldn't do it!










 We went to Universal Studios, Sea World, the Kennedy Space Center and the beach.
Can you tell he was already
tired of me taking pictures.


In a better mood for pics (it was after
lunch!
).


At universal he refused to go on one of the rides.  When I asked me why he showed me the brochure and pointed to the red heart by the photo of the ride.  I responded, "So?"  He replied "The heart means that a person can have a heart attack while riding that!"

What a kid!  Looking out for his old grandmother.  However, the only possible danger was to the people  around me when I spewed my lunch.
This was probably the best part for him.

       
We were REAL close!


At the Kennedy Space Center I was so
busy looking up at the hugh space shuttle
that I failed to notice a curb in front of me,
tripped and (you guessed it) fell flat on my
face.....AGAIN!

I didn't go into the water, just watched him
cavorting around.  He loves the ocean.

I THINK I WORE HIM OUT!
(by the way he's gonna kill me when he sees that I posted this picture).

One of the things that cracked him up about me (besides falling on my face 4 times) is how I got lost three times trying to find the airport the night before we were supposed to leave.  I wanted to make sure that I could find it the next morning.  Well, it took me several wrong turns, several cuss words, and over an hour (for a 20 minute trip) to try to find the darned place.  He was counting the number of cuss words I said and laughing his head off.

I can't begin to tell you just how much fun we had in Orlando.  It is a wonderful place to vacation. I took dozens of pictures, walked until I thought my feet would fall off, and ate like a pig.  Also, I didn't get to tell you about how I got him to the front of the line to feed the dolphins.  I am saving that story for another blog.  Let me just say there were 50 people ahead of us and only enough fish for 5 more.  I made sure that my grandson got his fish (and pissed hacked a few people off in the process).

Happy Birthday Gene William.  
I am exceedingly rich with fantastic memories of the fun we have had together over the years.  You never cease to amaze me with your intelligence and wit.  Your smile brightens my day, your hugs nourish me and your sense of humor delights me.  You have a gentle soul and a big heart.  You are always kind to others and especially to me.  There is never a day that goes by that I don't thank God that you are a part of my life.  


I love you,
Grandma (aka Memaw)


kt 9/19/11