My granddaughter handed me a slip of paper and a plastic card. It looked like a credit card but was a promotional piece of some sort. â€śYouâ€™ll need these, Paw Paw Dave,â€ť she said.
â€śWhat do I need them for?â€ť
She looked at me like I was silly or, perhaps, an idiot. â€śTo get into your room.â€ť
I set them aside as I was busy doing something else. But an hour or so later, I went to the bedroom. There was a slip of paper with a number on it taped to the door. I looked around and no one was in the room in which I was standing. The door doesnâ€™t have a lock on it. I could just walk right in. After all, itâ€™s my room.
But I went back to the dining room where I had set my pretend key card and picked it up. I went back to the bedroom door and dutifully pretended to unlock the door. We were playing â€śhotel,â€ť apparently, and I knew that Kelsey would be asking me later whether I had used my key.
Kelsey just turned 10 and is more imaginative than ever. My wife keeps any gimmick that looks like a credit card because she knows Kelsey can use them when playing â€śstoreâ€ť or some other game.
Kelsey can make a game out of anything. At a restaurant, she picked up the menu and declared, â€śIâ€™m thinking of a word thatâ€™s on the menu and you have to try to figure out what the word is.â€ť
The â€śhotelâ€ť game was intermittent. Sheâ€™d lose interest and start on something else; then, someone new would come over and sheâ€™d issue him a card key. It wasn't a game with winners and losers. It was more like an alternate reality.
Normally, I would go nuts over seeing tape on the doors as it can lift up paint or varnish and leave an unsightly mark. Itâ€™s funny what grandkids can get away with that your kids never could.
Halfway into the weekend, I was wishing weâ€™d had more kids just so we could have more grandkids. But by the end of the weekend, I was glad that we didnâ€™t. They can wear you out. The next time wonâ€™t come soon enough, though. Maybe weâ€™ll play â€śhotelâ€ť again. I have no doubt that the room numbers will still be taped to the doors. Itâ€™s our way of triggering a happy memory every time we open the door.
Â©Copyright 2012 by David Porter who can be reached atÂ [email protected]. I didnâ€™t mind the number affixed to the door so much; it was when she charged me $80 to sleep in my own bedroom that I demanded to see a manager.