I just returned from meeting my daughter and son-in-law at the airport. They were returning from a quick five day kid free vacation and we were returning their prodigy. Where had the kids been you ask? Why with us for their own five day staycation with Mimi and Opa.
It became obvious early on that we would be camp directors. Events were planned, clearly not enough of them. Activities were put in the schedule, not always their idea of fun. And sleeping arrangements were made, not to be followed. For the next five days, I swam in our pool more than I had in the last five years. I watched My Little Pony, two entire seasons! My co-director and I took turns reading every Berenstain Bears book, just praying it would put them to sleep, it didn’t. And we learned that strawberry milk and ice cream actually can be breakfast foods, like we were going to do battle over proper dietary intake, though we did broach the subject once only to surrender our entire force at the first sign of trouble. I leave it to their parents to reestablish any semblance of control, in my opinion, an appropriate lesson for sending us all those pictures of them hiking by beautiful mountain lakes while we manned the castle walls.
During my grandpa sitting adventure, I ignored the forty plus emails in my inbox. I shirked my volunteer duties completely. I pushed every request for my attention aside with “I am tied up for the next five days” as my all too literal excuse. I skipped meetings, rearranged appointments, and in general shut out the outside world. In other words, sheer stress free bliss.
For the past five days, I played, laughed, wrestled, made up games, and learned more than I ever thought I could about Minecraft and building robots. For long hours each day, I was a kid again. At one point, to negotiate one child who wanted to fish while the other wanted to swim, we wound up fishing in our swimming pool. No I didn’t stock the pool, just removed the hook, tied on a washer, and two of us would play the role of fish, mermaid in Adela’s case, while the third member of our fishing excursion would cast the line and reel us in. I can hear you laughing and I know what you are thinking and I am here to tell you, yeah it looked that silly, but the sheer pleasure of the game and the laughter of my two grandchildren was worth it even if my wife someday posts the video on Facebook.
If I had a wish, I would want everyone to at least once in a while have the chance to play with a grandchild. To experience the complete release that not having a work schedule, not worrying about what anyone thinks of them, not sweating the little things, actually feels like. To have the chance to just be a kid, if even for a little while.
I leave you with this thought, The Cat’s in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon! Don’t miss the message imbedded in the song.