My grandfather – my mom’s dad – was an incredible character. Beyond his verve and caring and warmth and charm, he was a big, stocky, imposing guy who as an adult was an amazing man to know, but as a kid I was scared out of my mind of him. He was loud, and direct, and he yelled unintelligible things at us. When he wanted us to get out of his way, he yelled something that sounded like “Huss Kai Oh La Wah!” which in later years we learned may mean “Merry Christmas” in some Scandanavian language but as kids we were sure meant something like “I’m going to impale you with a hot rod!”. To get us to hurry, he’d yell “Hunda hunda hunda!” which I’m not sure has any sort of translation but still made us eager to hustle as kids. Both phrases entered our family’s common vernacular, and I find myself often yelling them at my kids in a lighthearted sort of manner, and doing so always makes me think of my grandpa and smile.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Jake and I are going into the house from taking Lane to preschool and I’m walking behind him as we make our way to the door. Suddenly he loops around trying to get behind me. I’m a little befuddled and turn to figure out what he’s doing, but he grins at me and gives me a little push and says, “Go, Mommy!” so I turn to keep walking forward. Then I hear from behind me in his cute little Jake voice, “Hunda hunda hunda!”