My father wants me to give the baby a pickle. Inside my head, where he lives now, I can hear his voice. He’s been pestering me since we passed the pickle aisle. He’s a little insulted, frankly, that the baby hasn’t already been indoctrinated to these and other vinegary delights (he’s also a big fan of pickled eggs, pickled yellow beans…pretty much anything pickled, really).
All babies love pickles! he advises. Sure they do, Dad.
My father was passionate about sharing his homemade pickles with anyone who would take a jar home but the young and defenseless were his favorite targets. Leave him alone with your baby for more than a minute and you would return to a bewildered, screwed up little face, pickle juice running down her chin, while my father hummed innocently nearby, big grin on his face. If you left your baby with Grandpa, that baby was getting a pickle.
While pondering 20 different strains of organically grown, hand crushed, breast fed coffee beans, It occurs to me that I am the grand parent now. That I could be the innocent hummer, the grinning prankster, the sharer of pickles. I make my way back to aisle four.
Somewhere in my head, the baton passed, my father relaxes back into his La-Z-boy, puts his feet up, pops a top, and reaches for the remote.