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A Grandparents day at the park
by James Snyder
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Fun is a relative quantity. One person's fun may be somebody else's drudgery and pain. I know someone, and her name shall remain anonymous, whose idea of fun is rooting through thrift stores all day long. That concept of fun has never darkened the shadowy corridors of my mind.

The idea of spending time in the park has to be amended to include one very important ingredient. On my own, I probably would not even think of going to the park. Not that I do not like the park, I just would not come up with the idea all by myself.

Then, the important equation of fun is a little granddaughter.

A day at the park by myself does not equal to very much fun. After all, I have talked to myself and I am rather boring. I have heard all my stories before and by the time, I tell myself the story for the 19th time it is no longer funny.

A day at the park with the granddaughter does equal fun.

I think grandchildren are God's way of reminding grandfathers how much energy we do not have and, for that matter, never had.

The date was set and my wife and I set off to take our little granddaughter to the park. On the main features of this park was a merry-go-round. I am rather certain they had merry-go-round when I was a child but for the life of me, I cannot remember the last time I took a spin.

As we set out for our destination in the park, I nonchalantly told the little granddaughter that there was a merry-go-round in the park. That was the end of my talk for the trip. The whole way there, all she could talk about was the merry-go-round and how fast it went in how many ponies there were. By the time we got to the merry-go-round I had learned about all there is to know about a merry-go-round from a six-year-old's viewpoint.

According to her, the merry-go-round is about the most fun you could ever have in the whole wide world. And, she emphasized, "I'm serious."

We rounded the corner, before us was the park and in the middle of the park was this mysterious, mystical merry-go-round. It elicited a deep heartfelt "Wow," from the younger member of our walking troop.

She immediately began running and pulling me along to the point where I had to walk a little faster than I normally walk. I mean, at my age running is completely out of the question. And so, she ran, I shuffled enthusiastically and before long we were in front of the merry-go-round.

"Isn't it beautiful, grandpa," she almost whispered.

We did not stand long admiring the merry-go-round. She let out a squeal and said, "Come on, grandpa. Let's go ride the merry-go-round."

My plans were very simple. I would let her get on the merry-go-round, pay for the ticket, sit down on the bench and watch her go round and round and round. Well, that was my plan. She, on the other hand, had other plans.

With almost superhuman force she drug me pass the admission gate, I hardly had enough time to pay for the ride and to the pony she was going to ride.

"This is my pony, grandpa. Where's yours?"

I quickly searched my plans and could nowhere find any notation about riding a pony on a merry-go-round on this particular day. Instead, I helped her up on her pony and I stood by her and said, "We'll do this one together." She was too excited about riding the merry-go-round that she did not respond.

I grabbed hold of one part of the pony, right next to us was another pony and I held onto that.

"Are we ready to go, grandpa?"

No sooner had she said that until the bell rang and the merry-go-round began going round. And round. And round.

Not only that, the pony she was on, went up and down and the pony next to her that I was hanging onto went down and up. It was as if I was in perpetual motion. It seemed as if that merry-go-round ride lasted 17 hours. Eventually, with my head spinning and my stomach doing whatever stomachs do, we came to the end of our merry-go-round.

Being grateful that we have finished our ride, I proceeded to disengage her from the pony. However, that was not her plan.

"Oh, grandpa, just one more time."

The problem with grandfathers is that nowhere in their vocabulary lurks in any fashion any sound resembling "no." Consequently, we went round on the merry-go-round "just one more time."

I learned a deep lesson that afternoon. When a little granddaughter says "just one more time," it is not in any literal sense of the word that they say it. I'm not prepared to say how many times we went on that merry-go-round, needless to say, by the end of the afternoon I was in a complete whirl not knowing whither I was coming or whither I was going.

As we walked over to get our ice cream treat, I remembered what the apostle Paul said about Timothy. "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15( KJV ).

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Member Comments
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veronica cressey  02 Apr 2012
I just HAVE to comment on this article, James! I've had a similar experience with our grandsons and believe you me,it did NOT include a merry go round. Whenever they sleep over, my name is called CONSTANTLY until my head is spinning! One child is here on the computer, calling and calling me! I am 30 feet away in the kitchen. The other child is asking me to change channels on his bedroom t.v.Another long walk down the hallway to his room. By the time they've gone home, my husband is now in another world altogether-he can watch his sport on t.v. and I am ready for a well- earned sleep! But would we swap them ? NO WAY!


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