This is not a story about grandchildren. You'll have to write that one yourself. And may I suggest "Green Eggs and Ham I Am" if you’re looking for background material. This is a tale of growing and learning; it's about enlarging horizons and eye popping firsts. It's the unbelievable wonderment of discovering what's over the next hill. And I'm not talking about the grandkids growth….
We've had the “troops” from one son or the other down here for going on two weeks now. You talk about a rise in the noise level. And the intensity level. And the alert level……and, most especially, the fun level!
I noticed the crayon scribbling on the bathroom wall right off. I started to say something but decided against it. I had a pretty good idea from the height of the blue lines who the culprit was. The long flowing indigo scrawls apparently represented the sky. And the red marks could have been a forest fire. I'm not sure about the orange and black...unless she was angling for a Halloween motif. It was a little too abstract for my taste but the talent was obvious.
"DADDY, you would have killed us if we had done that!"
Probably. But this is a different day. I was thinking "a dark oak frame around the scribbling would accent the priceless drawing". It was just a bathroom wall for goodness sakes! We don't exactly entertain a steady stream of dignitaries over at the house. If someone doesn't like my decorations...they can go outside.
I've been a large horse. A bucking horse. A runaway horse. A talking horse. A one eyed-horse. And a sick horse. I lost every race. Didn't buck off one soul. Got my broken hind leg splinted and taped up a dozen times. And ate at least that many apples.
I've climbed Pikes Peak so many times my fingernails are worn to a nub. I've fallen into-and been pulled out of- the Cascade River so often gills are growing into my cheeks. I've chased Rumblestilskin and Bad Louie from Marshal Dillon’s jail in El Paso to Big Nose Kate's Hotel and Eatery in Deadwood City so many times the Butterfield Overland Stage Company is giving me frequent flyer miles.
Here's one you'd'a never made me believe until I saw it for myself. I have four granddaughters ranging from age three to six. That "sugar and spice and everything nice" is a piece of bunk! Completely false! An exaggerated figment of someone's idyllic imagination! My sweet, very polite and extremely mild mannered wife has aptly renamed the twins "seek" and "destroy".
If one of the little darlings picks something up and the other one wants it—watch out! The pulling contest is on! They will bash and bang till someone is crying. I have solved the problem by buying two, or three, of everything.
I haven’t seen a baseball game in two weeks. But I have yelled “O Toooooodles” a thousand times. I can distinguish at a glance Princess Ariel from Princess Tiana. I’ve listened to talking frogs, dogs, worms, dinosaurs, trees and M & M looking characters. I’ve hunted for buried treasure with “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”. And my grandchildren have introduced me to “River Monsters” and the “Turtle Man”.
I’ve combed dolls’ hair. And held their bottle. And helped them get over the chicken pox.
The broken bed was an accident. We were running for our lives! The dreaded Galactic Star Ship from Allitrunda was almost upon us! Our only chance was the magic flying carpet in the bedroom. We leaped for safety a little too hard. It was only the headboard and a couple of slats…..
“DADDY, you would have killed us if we had done that!”
Probably. But I’m getting almighty tired of my sons reminding me of what I might have done. They need to loosen up a little. Life gets shorter as you get older. It’s not always about order and propriety, proper decorum and good sense. Those things are important and no one is saying they don’t have a place. But let’s not go overboard! Plus, that is their job, not mine.
When the dust settled from the falling bed thudding to a roaring stop and their big eyes realized no one was about to be whipped, timed-out or even admonished…..the laughter pealed out from deep inside those precious little souls. “Let’s do it again, KK. Let’s do it again!”
We soon had a game going of who could climb up the crooked bed the fastest.
Growing older doesn’t hold many highlights. You have to take them where you can find them. Not many people grab me by the ears anymore, hold me close and say, “Where did all those wrinkles come from?” You ought to see them light up when I fall down on the floor on all fours and declare, “Who’s riding Tornado first this morning?” What’s a little mark on the wall or some spilt chocolate milk on the sofa. I’ve seen a blue zillion baseball games.
One afternoon we broke out the old Lincoln Logs and built a fort that would have made Davy Crockett proud.
And long after they have gone home. When things are quiet and calm…..and dull. I plop down on the magic flying carpet and drift off to sleep with “Let’s do it again K. K., Let’s do it again.” ringing in my ears.”
Somebody still needs me.