don't you go up and play in the attic?" asked Grandma Lea.
At the sound of her voice, Tito nearly jumped out of his skin.
He and Grandma Lea had been cooped up all morning in her library
reading various books. Except that during the last quarter of
an hour, Tito had managed to doze from sheer boredom while still
propped up over his book. He shot his grandmother a look of surprise.
"Go on, dear, it's time".
"Time?" he spluttered. He felt a bit of nap-time drool
in the corner of his mouth and thought he saw a tiny smile curving
the ends of Grandma Lea's lips.
She gestured out the window casually. The skies looked like a
gray sea and the rain fell in great splashes against the darkened
"The weather", she explained, "is not titillating
your little gray cells".
Tito twisted and swung his legs hurriedly to get out of his chair.
But he had to stop and rub a leg that was even more soundly asleep
than he had been. "Tittle what?" he wondered. Normally,
he wouldn't hesitate to look it up. But he didn't have time for
the dictionary just now.
Tito was escaping through the double doors leading from the library
to the hallway when he paused. Did Grandma really say the "attic"?
Tito shook his head. He must have been sleeping. "You're
Grandma Lea waved her hand again and then pushed her spectacles
up her nose. Tito was now certain that she was hiding a strange
little smile behind that hand but he decided not to take any
chances and bounded out the door with a loud, "Thanks, Grandma!"
Tito skidded to a stop and his heart sank. She had changed her
"Yes, Grandma, " he spoke softly, with just his head
wrapped around one of the double doors.
"If you decide to play make-believe, choose your clothes
wisely. Don't get hurt! I mean," her voice trailed off,
"Don't unduly damage any of the clothes and...". Grandma
Lea stared thoughtfully into empty space as Tito waited expectantly.
But she just smiled and murmured, "Have fun".
"I will". Tito sprinted for the staircase shouting,
"Thanks oodles, Grandma" and charged up the stairs
two at a time to get out of earshot as quickly as possible. He
stopped cold when he realized, however, that several valuable
pieces of furniture and rare objects were in danger of toppling
from his earth-shattering stampede. "Sorry, Grandma,"
he called over his shoulder, "I'll be more careful".
Every summer, Tito stayed with his Grandma Lea while his parents
traveled. Both of his parents were historians, just like nearly
everyone else in Tito's family. All of Tito's aunts, uncles,
and grandparents--everyone was an expert in some area of history.
During family gatherings, Tito felt like he was surrounded by
walking, talking televisions, all playing the History Channel.
None of his relatives included Tito in their conversations and
he was dreadfully bored.
During one such gathering he bravely approached the oldest of
all the historians present. "Grandpa Albert? Which came
first, the Roman soldiers or the cowboys?" Tito looked earnestly
into his grandpa's face, expecting a serious answer. Instead,
his grandpa erupted into roars of laughter.
Tito's Grandma Lea put a sympathetic hand on Tito's shoulder
but he didn't notice. He was much too embarrassed. "I'll
never ask another question about stupid history again,"
he silently vowed. Poor Tito was only four years old!
And being very stubborn, again like everyone in his family, Tito
had done his best to NOT learn any history. By age ten, the only
history that Tito knew well or cared about was film history.