“I’m Sorry, BaPa”

About ten years ago, Karen, our then four year old grandson, Aron, and I were getting ready to go to the movies, and I suddenly remembered that I needed to check the water in our little Christmas tree.  

I’d just checked it each day for the past couple days, and it was always just about still full, but now it was way, way low.  So I hurried and poured some more water into the fill gateway at the back of the tree stand for our beautifully decorated four foot tree that was up off the ground on top of an old octagonal piece of furniture, and in my haste, I sloshed a lot of water down onto some presents and onto the tile floor within a few inches of an extension cord with a lamp plugged into it.  

I didn’t yell or cuss in keeping with a new leaf I was then trying to turn in my life, but I did push four year old Aron, who’d been watching me over my shoulder, back away with my hand to keep him from the water on the ground with the electric cord that was too close near the puddle, and I called out for some towels to John who was in the kitchen and to Karen who was in a back bedroom.  

John came in with some paper towels which I took and then soon called out for cloth ones.  Karen came in from having been changing, somewhat slightly annoyed with me.  No one was yelling, but we were speaking somewhat frantically and, probably, a little bit harshly.  Karen put Aron up on the couch and told him to stay there.  I kept mopping up my mess with the towels John brought me while John went back to the kitchen and Karen went back to finish getting ready for the movies.

After a bit, I turned and looked at Aron who was behind me, still obediently sitting on the couch while watching me with a sadness and tears.  

“You made me cry, BaPa,” Aron said softly.  

“I’m so sorry, Aron.” I said as I continued doing what I needed to do so that no one got electrocuted.  “Please forgive me, Aron.”  

I paused and asked Aron,  “Do you forgive BaPa?”  Aron softly shook his head, “Yes.”   Later when the mess was all cleaned up we gave each other a big hug.

On the way to the movies, I felt so bad that somehow I’d caused an upset again when we were just trying to do something fun together.  

What was this, the one billionth time I’d done so since Karen and I first fell in love, raised our own children, and now were being grandparents to our first grandchild?  

This wasn’t even in the same league with some of the past ugly, loud, profane upsets I’d authored in my time, but this one hurt as bad as any and, maybe, a little bit worse for some reason . . . probably because of the sad look on Aron’s face when he said, “You made me cry, Bapa.”

But soon all that was in the past, if not entirely forgotten, as we went up the overpass above the train tracks and we sang together, “All aboard the choo choo train!  All aboard the choo choo train! All aboard the choo choo train!  All aboard!  All aboard!  ChooooooWooooooo!”  This is the theme song from one of Aron’s favorite Disney channel shows, “Choo Choo Soul!”  

Then at the mall, we watched “Arthur Christmas” and ate a ton of popcorn, enjoyed ourselves immensely, and left the theatre glad to be in each other’s company.  

Aron wanted to sit on some high metal chairs at a metal table outside one of the little restaurants at the mall.  I forget now what we were talking about as Aron ate some more popcorn out of the bag we got refilled to take home because you used to get free refills of the overpriced popcorn at the movies.  

At one point, Aron said, “I’m sorry, BaPa.”  I don’t remember why I assumed that Aron was apologizing for the earlier upset, but I assured him that he’d done nothing wrong.  I said, “You don’t have to be sorry, Aron.  Grandpa is the one that got everyone upset.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.”  

Aron looked me steadily in the eyes and he said, “I’m sorry about you, BaPa.”  

I said, “OK.  I’m sorry about me too!” I looked at Karen who was covering her mouth with her hand so that she didn’t laugh out loud.  

I then said to my wife of thirty some years, “Well that’s the way we can apologize to each other from now on.  I’ll say, ‘I’m sorry,’ and you can tell me back, ‘I’m sorry about you.’  Then we’ll both have said we’re sorry!”  

Karen liked my suggestion and readily agreed.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: