Jacob visits grandpa’s tractor/farm

A couple summer ago, my brother was laid up after a double compound fracture of his ankle. His favorite visitor was his baby grandson Jacob. Jacob was quite content to sit, play and otherwise entertain his grandpa when he came to visit.

By the time Jacob was walking, so was his grandpa. Jacob loves his grandpa, but he really likes grandpa’s garden tractor.
For 2-year-old Jacob, a visit to grandpa and grandma is a chance to play on the garden tractor parked in their garage. Every time the little tike visits, his grandma pus the garden tractor keys up out of his sight and reach.

Every visit, he trudges off to the garage, marches over to the yard tractor and climbs up to the riding seat where he sits, twisting the steering wheel, bouncing back and forth on the seat.

Gifts for Christmas and birthday this year were easy: Anything that had something to do with tractors: a T-shirt with a tractor picture, models of tractors to fit his chubby fist and equipment to hook-up and drag behind as he pushed the tractor along the floor making tractor noises.

Recently his mother dressed him in his tractor T-shirt, blue jeans and tiny farm boots saying, “We are going to visit great-grandpa today.; He lives on a farm with tractors.”
At the farm, Jacob looked at the door, “Go outside?”
The door opened and Jacob, with his adult escort trailing behind, went outside, walked around the house and headed straight for the garage. Jacob knew where grandpas kept tractors: In the garage. He wanted to play with great-grandpa’s tractor.
Once inside the garage, the 2-year-old looked around for the expected tractor. He walked around the car and truck parked in the garage and did not find a single tractor. Something was wrong with this grandpa’s garage. Grandpas kept tractors in their garages. At 2 years-old, he knew that as a fact of life.
Suddenly his great-grandpa swooped down and scooped up the little fellow.

“You looking for a tractor? I’ll show you my tractor.”
He hoisted the child up to his shoulder, walked over to the barn doors and shoved back the huge sliding door to reveal a farm tractor with wheels towering far over Jacob’s head.
Jacob’s eyes opened wide with astonishment. Then great-grandpa lifted him up to the tractor’s steering wheel, straddled the seat and settled the child on the seat between his legs. Jacob froze as his great-grandpa stepped on the clutch, turned the key in the ignition and slowly drove out of the building into the barnyard.

Jacob never moved. He sat motionless, his little farm boots dangling over the edge of the tractor seat. He was overwhelmed at a reality larger than the garden tractor in his grandpa’s garage. He clung to the security of his great-grandpa’s arms during his first encounter with a tractor bigger and more powerful than he had ever imagined: a child discovering tractors and life from the sheltered safety of great-grandpa’s arms.