Growing up, I didn’t have aunts, uncles, or first cousins. I had great aunts, great uncles, and second cousins. So most of the family I spent any time with was way older than me. So it was the case with my great uncle, Charlie Holley, my granddaddy’s brother.
For a few years, also, I was an only child. I got all the attention and that suited me just fine. I had a little red tricycle that I must have rode a million miles on. I went all over the yard with it, up and down the driveway, and even up and down the road if I thought I could get away with it.
When Uncle Charlie would come visit, I tried to be good and sit like a little lady and behave while grownups talked. But that was too hard and no fun. Uncle Charlie noticed and asked me if I wanted to go play. I said I did, but as long as he played too.
So we broke out the tricycle and up and down the hallway and around the house go, him pushing and me hanging on. He wouldn’t let me pedal much. I guess he wanted to spoil me a little. On good days, we took the fun outside too. Up and down the driveway. Uncle Charlie in my ear, telling me I could let go and trust him that I wouldn’t fall.
I did. I loved it.
That happened often until he got sick and couldn’t come play anymore. But I will always remember in my heart how safe and secure I felt on my little red tricycle with Uncle Charlie huffing and pushing along behind me.