Just returned from a 4.6 mile bicycle ride via Airport Road. This route takes me past our local Municipal Airport for small aircraft. In the field nearest the road, there is a tall white tower with red lights on top. I’m not sure what exactly it is called, but believe it to be some sort of navigational tool for the pilots. The red lights can always be seen in the distance even through the fog. I have gone past this tower many, many times walking the dog, jogging, cycling and of course driving. When my GBs (Grandchildren) were younger, I would always point the tower out as a landmark. Over the years it became known as “The Red Eyed Monster”. Riding slowly by, smiling, excited little voices echoed in my head:
“We walked with Gramie to “The Red Eyed Monster” said Ethan and Ashtyn to cousin Aila.
“No you didn’t! It’s to far!” Aila retorted.
“Gramie? Can we go see “The Red Eyed Monster?” Malachi would ask.
“Look! We’re passing “The Red Eyed Monster” that means we’re almost to your house Gramie!”
“Mama! I walked all the way to “The Red Eyed Monster” with Gramie today”! shared Aila.
Yesterday, I was driving my GB, four year old Rouge, home from school for a Gramie afternoon. As we were approaching Airport Road I was telling her about “The Red Eyed Monster”. Rouge is one of my GBs who hadn’t been privy to the monster stories. She gave me a real live illustration of how perspectives are completely individual and personal to the one perceiving the information.
“Rouge, watch! We’re almost to “The Red Eyed Monster! We’re getting closer!” I said.
“A monster?? I don’t want to see a monster Gramie!” Rouge quietly answered, anxiously peering out the window.
“Oh, honey,” I told her. “It’s not a real monster! We just pretend it’s a monster.”
“Yeah, a pretend Monster”, She said, “Yeah, pretend.” She repeated.
I explained that the red lights helped the planes to see in the dark. That it was a tower and the lights looked like eyes. “Your cousins all decided it looked like a monster so that’s how it got the name.
“Look Rouge! There it is”, I exclaimed, pointing towards the white tower.
“Oh Gramie, is that the monster?” she inquired. We were now directly in front of it.
“It’s scary Gramie! Can it walk? Can it come get us?” she calmly asked me, as if she were formulating her “take” on the vision before her.
“No honey it can’t walk and it’s just make believe, remember? It’s just a tower for the planes not really a monster.” I told her, easing her mind. Satisified with my explanation, she looked back at the white tower as the truck cruised past towards Wild Creek Road.
“That’s “The Red Eyed Monster, right Gramie” ? she asked solidifying her perspective.
“Yep Rougie, that’s “The Red Eyed Monster”! I happily agreed.
“Yeah! “The Red Eyed Monster”!
Snapping this picture today, I caught a glimpse of just how easily Rouge’s perspective could view the tower as a monster.
Having never seen the tower, and hearing the account of a “Red Eyed Monster” had her imagination conjuring up the worst. Then looking at the tower, one could almost imagine it coming to life and walking towards you.
Getting back on my bike smiling, I silently thanked Rouge and all of my GBs for every precious lesson they bring to life.