Level Three. Granddad.

Level Three – Granddad.

By Michelle Lloyd.

Little Herbert watched as the door opened and his heart beat with anticipation for his visit to begin.  It was the long awaited afternoon.  The talked of trip.  The few minutes that he could be with his much loved but little seen granddad.

Granddad was not like all the grandpas and grandfathers that Little Herbert had noticed awaiting grandchildren at the school gates.  His granddad lived far away from them, he was a man who had a lot on or so Little Herbert suspected because whenever he asked if he could talk with him, the reply would be given that he was a busy man.

Busy was the explanation as for why Little Herbert had hardly seen his granddad lately.  The trip was one that had taken a lot of arranging, Little Herbert had kept on asking his dad and after persistence, patience and a whole lot of passion he had achieved what he had longed to have…a meet and greet with the infamous granddad.

It was not really a meet or greet for the first time because Little Herbert had seen his granddad when he had been verrrryyy little!  He could not remember it though and so he did not think of it as a true experience of a grandparent.

He had somehow after all the time of wanting to see him but not having the opportunity, thought of his granddad as a mystery member, a rarely remembered relative and in amongst all the fantastical thoughts, his image of him was of a kind of Superhero dashing about to do all these brave acts and they kept him busy that was why he could hardly see him.

A life of a Super Granddad must be busy…it was Little Herbert’s explanation as for his lack of visits with him and he was sticking to it.  Nothing prepared him for what he was about to see though, because as the door opened…he was confronted with a blue haired, neon yellow t shirt wearing person, at least Little Herbert assumed it was a someone behind all the streamers, balloons and brightly coloured tissues that burst out from behind the door.

Neither Little Herbert or his dad said a word.  Neither knew what to say.  A Super Granddad had taken all sorts of forms in Little Herbert’s mind but NEVER had he thought that it would be a blue haired, stripy short wearing door opener masquerading as his granddad.

Suspicion was written all over Little Herbert’s face as he was greeted and shown into the house with his dad.  He looked on with a clear sense of disapproval about this imposter who was trying to be a granddad all through the how are you, and the good to see you after so long speeches.  He let his dad take the lead and answer all the questions as he quickly tried to observe as much of the area as he could.  If all should go wrong, and when the real identity of this blue haired, shirt and short clad person was revealed he had to be prepared to get them out of there.  FAST.  His dad would need him and Little Herbert felt responsible for the task as it was him who had asked for this visit.

The blue haired one seemed interested in Little Herbert, he kept looking at him and asking all about his life.  Little Herbert answered nothing.  His dad did the talking.  Little Herbert did the looking.  It started to become a bit awkward when the granddad impersonator asked Little Herbert to give him a hug.  No one knew what to do.  It was when it was asked “Don’t you have a hug for your granddad?”  That Little Herbert felt he had to say.  “You don’t look like any of the granddads I’ve seen before!”

There was silence.  Little Herbert’s dad coughed, he tried to excuse his remark but it was hard because he had looked shocked by the man’s appearance himself.  It only convinced Little Herbert that he was correct and the granddad they were visiting was no granddad of his at all.  It was then that the granddad convincer actually laughed and held his hands up.  “I think I’ve gone and messed this all up.”

Laughter replaced doubt, worries were forgotten as granddad explained that he had been waiting for this visit with as much anticipation as Little Herbert had.  Granddad had been so upset about what Little Herbert would think about him that he had taken measures to ensure that he looked just as he thought he should.  Only nerves had got the better of him and a bit of a home hair dye dilemma had overtaken him at the last minute, he knew that his grandson was older this time and that everyone had told him that his impression of him would mean a lot more to him, it was these sayings that had meant he was left choosing between shorts, shirts and anything that would make him look appealing to the youth of today.  Only in all the haste his blond locks had turned blue and his appearance looked more rebel gone wrong than definitely a dude.

Little Herbert’s dad could not stop laughing and it made him feel much more at ease.  He even got enough confidence to go up to the granddad and look at him up close.  Little Herbert’s granddad was able to give him a hug for the first time in a long while and it was at that precise minute that the grandson confessed that on top of his shocking appearance he did not think he looked anything like a Superhero.

After a lot of wide smiles, granddad apologised for this and for his failed attempt to look younger than he was because all that mattered was that they could see each other for who they were on the inside and that they could get to know one another.  That was what was most important and granddad said it went to show you were never too old to learn something new.