LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
I’d been a bit worried that Izzy would be shy and standoffish because she certainly wasn’t old enough for me to have made much of an impression during only the handful of times we’d connected when she was an infant. But apparently her mom and brothers have made sure that she’s seen pictures and they have made me enough of a subject in conversation that she knew exactly who I was the instant she saw me. And it has been a long, long time since anything has touched me so deeply.
I’m sure the boys had told her, “there stands Grandpa,” because I was impatiently waiting in the yard as they drove up. Or maybe it’s just plain ole chemistry that I’ve always had with the little girls in the family. Both Genny and Jennifer were like the ultimate Daddy’s Girls when they were growing up. All I know for sure is that Izzy-ka-dizzy-ka-do was either in my lap, hanging onto my pant leg or holding my hand for at least half the time my Texans were here. She spent a little time riding my shoulders with her legs wrapped around my neck but not as much as she might have if I wasn’t coping with Mr. Parkinson 24-7.
Izzy’s Mom, Dad and big brothers don’t do baby talk nor does her Spanish speaking day care provider. And all five of them dote on her. She speaks in complete sentences and she’s growing up with two languages. Genny whispered to me, “ask Izzy if she can count to 10. So I did and she immediately did just that — in Spanish.
In the early afternoon before they got ready to hit the road, we all went for a walk. Loretta had us posing here and there for photos as we trooped the three-quarter mile loop of Charlie Brown Road and Old Railroad Grade.