As I approach the age of 70 and seem to creak just a little bit more every day, I feel so fortunate to be able to share precious time with our active and growing family and good friends. I also get a real kick out of strolling around the neighbourhood or playgrounds and watching the little children frolic and play with such an amazing and carefree spirit of sheer joy and energy.
Although as grandparents it is getting a little bit harder for us to keep up with them anymore, we will always share their love and enthusiasm, as well as try to be there for them to celebrate the successes, as well as in times of need. Isn’t it a special pleasure to push the grandkids in a stroller, to treat them to the biggest ice cream cone and then having to eat most of it ourselves, while hoping that we will eventually wear them out enough so that we can grab an afternoon nap?
If you are having a bad day, the greatest pick-me-up is to dig out those tattered old photo albums or home movies and bring back those cherished chapters of raising our family, and keeping them together as one, no matter what. You can’t help but chuckle when you chat with the younger generation on the phone, trying to agree with their wild ideas, and really look forward to visiting them, if only for a little while. The most cherished times come when we have a chance to babysit, hoping that the weather is good so that we can get them outside, then watching the same movie four times, eating what they eat, and reminding them before they go home of the sign that appears in our living room.... “What happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandma’s!”
There are so many wild and wonderful reasons why our children are so precious, so special, and have always been such an important part of our lives. It all started with their joyous arrival, then on into those challenging school and teen years, through the stressful but magic milestones of dating, driving, graduation, marriage, and their first job, then finally into the adult stage, where they would eventually discover and appreciate how much fun we have had trying to keep them in line.
• It never ceases to amaze me how those little duffers can climb up a playground slide 17 times in a half an hour, will stop crying three seconds after they get a Band-Aid and a treat from mom, and can remember names and dates a whole lot better than Grandpa. We really enjoy pushing them on the swing and playing quiet games, but the days of piggy-back rides and jumping on the trampoline have just about come to a painful end. We have also given up trying to convince these little duffers that veggies are better than rice crackers and that dessert is the reward for eating your meat and potatoes.
• August is a special time of the year for young children, because they are still on summer holidays, but they are getting ready to head back to school. Even though they would like to sleep in and stay up late all year round, as soon as they start seeing those new fancy clothes and shiny new supplies they get all excited, and can’t wait to step into the noisy but hallowed halls of learning. If we are helping them with the shopping, we will likely be looking back at our first days in class, comparing, and realizing how much it may have changed, but will always be the best days of our young lives, both then and now.
• Over the years we have always been amazed with the totally honest, innocent, and off-the-wall answers and statements that come from the mouths of youngsters on any given question or subject! The late Art Linkletter made a fortune with his famous and hilarious television show, Kids Say the Darndest Things, and here are a few of those verbal gems from out of the mouths of babes.
• What is the first thing a fireman does when the bell goes for a four alarm fire? Five-year-old answers, “He pulls up his pants.”
• Their oldest son was only nine when his baby brother was born, and when his mother finally went into labour he rushed over to the neighbours and proudly stated, “My mom is having contraptions!”
• When the children were asked what they knew about angels the little girl in the corner explained that she only knew two, and their names were Hark and Harold.
• The teacher asked little Johnny why his handwriting was so terrible. “If it was any better you would find out how bad a speller I am.”
• When Art asked the little girl if she had any brothers and sisters, she sadly replied, “No, I am the lonely child!”
In the meantime just keep enjoying the rest of the summer, pray for a great harvest, and have a great week, all of you!