When I'm not blogging, I work for an agency that helps old people stay in their own homes. I have a number of clients I see every week, and on Thursday afternoon, I go see C, and her husband B. (I've mentioned them before ☺). She's 88, he's 91, and they're alten Deutschen (old Germans). They grew up much like my parents did--farmers, but in Stearns Co, and learning German first, English later. Their minds are sharp, their bodies wearing out. Neither is tall or physically imposing (hmm, maybe that's why they EVER listen to me, cuz I am...lol)
C in particular knows her own mind and doesn't suffer fools gladly. I met her after the stroke that mixes her words up, but we always seem to find a way to understand what she means.
What I bring to them is the practicality they admire and dad's kind of humor--not the boisterous kind, but the subtle, affectionate teasing that'll make us laugh. It's humor used softly, and only after knowing each other for quite a while.
One day as she got out of the shower I dried her back and made some sorta 'smart remark' as she sat down on the stool. It made us both smile, and as a reward, she gave me a firm 'thunk' on the arm. I said "C! Did you just putsch me?!" and she laughed out loud--neither of us had thought of that word in years--and admitted it ☺. (A putsch is like an elbow nudge, only done with the hand, gentle but firm. There's never malice in a putsch--it's more of an understanding, like saying "that was a good one!").
C is the type of German who would never say she loves you, but you know she does. You just know.
Now, when I hug her goodbye as I'm leaving, she'll hug back, and then putsch me as if to say "don't get too comfortable with this affection crap, kid!"
Ya know, it feels like approval directly from mom.