Because I was using a cane? Because I wasn't spending quality time with him?
Whatever the reason, it bothered me.
"Nate, I'm not Grandma. Who am I?"
"I don't know."
Something had to be done. He needed to be reminded that I am fun – a contender for "Best Auntie in the World." Weren't we the weekend before the stroke hurtling down a snow-covered mountain together on an inner tube? Was all the bonding we had done pre-stroke for naught? Unacceptable.
I racked my brains: Where could we go for a play date that would be manageable, fun and safe?
I decided on a nearby miniature golf course with a low-traffic parking lot. When we arrived, I left my cane in the car and took Nate's hand.
"Grandma, you're walking really good."
"Nate, I'm not Grandma. I'm Auntie. I know I seem old to you, but I'm not that old, I'm just sick. I'm Auntie."
We had a great time on the course and I even managed to work in a little hand therapy – gripping the club in my left hand and using my right to lower the club head to the tee. I actually made some good putts and sunk a few. I probably would have made more but Nate kept "helping" by picking up my ball and dropping it in the hole.
We had a heckuva time buckling him back into his car seat – but working together we succeeded and returned home in one piece.
The following week when I saw my nephew he shouted, "Hello, Auntie Celle!"
Yes! Whole in one.