Interpreting Cali


Every Monday after preschool Cali and I head up to Salt Lake for occupational therapy with Krisanne. On one occasional, as we were leaving the session, Cali had a rather funny/embarrassing encounter. Here is how the story goes…

We made our way down the stairs and threw the doubles glass doors, or I did anyway. Cali was still trailing behind, so I stopped to hold one of the doors open. At the same time Cali made her way threw the door so did an older married couple. I didn’t think twice about this couple, but Cali on the other hand had both eyes wide open with the most inquisitive look directed at the two of them. Her focus shifted to the man and without hesitation said, “You are SO old.” Now my eyes were wider than hers and I quickly did that frantic hand motion to signal Cali to come with me. I looked to the man to apologize, but he hadn’t even heard Cali’s remark. Unfortunately Cali disregards my urgent hand motion and goes on to ask, “Why are you so old?” My eyes physically were not capable of widening anymore. Instead, an involuntary “oh my gosh” escaped my lips. I quickly moved towards Cali to explain that maybe asking for his name might be a more appropriate question.  But again, the man didn’t flinch. So rather than explain, I decided to help Cali move towards the car. Phew!!!! Free pass due to the older mans obvious hearing loss! Well…I guess only a temporary free pass. My teaching moment to Cali would have to come later, just not right there in front of the couple. My embarrasment (which would later turn to laughter) was already too much to handle!


The drive home made me think. Why was Cali so intrigued by these “old” people. She has seen dozens of elderly people, even spends time with her own great grandparents, yet she doesn’t mention or allude to their old age. Then it hit me. Cali was using the word old to replace another more appropriate word…ailing. The man, while yes old in age, was walking with a cane, hunched over, and walking rather decrepitly. The wife walked without a cane, but just as decrepitly. Cali was trying so hard to understand why this older couple seemed so much older than her own great grandparents or other elderly people she knows.


Do y’all remember the post about Cali’s feet being “dirty”? This scenario is the exact same as the “my feet are dirty” scenario. Cali is still trying to figure out how to explain her thoughts and ideas. Even though some days I become ultra frustrated at trying to interpret her explanations, other days it makes for some good laughs and memories down the road!


Oh Cali…





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  1. Absolute doll!!! It’s such an embarrassing thing for mom, yet I bet you’re so proud of her for trying to figure it out and for asking questions!!! I’m so proud of her too!! I love/get embarrassed a sometimes too and it’s a wonderful/nerve wrecking feeling! Haha ;)

  2. I love this story. Another example of trying to see through Cali’s eyes and then everything makes perfect sense! What a beautiful picture. I need this one!!!

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