Smelling the Roses
Susan and I go to visit them out of town about 4 or 5 times a year. Each time, I try to incorporate going to their schools and having lunch with them in the school cafeteria. Since I have had 4 grandchildren so far in the same elementary school, I am pretty well known there by the teachers, caf staff and the principal. I get a good chance to get a progress report and on occasion with the little ones, I get to sit in and watch their lessons. A few times I have done a slide show of recent trips for the children in their respective classes, which is always well received.
I have a long standing tradition of joining them for lunch in school. I sit at their table with their classmates and provide our grands with baseball cards to hand out to the boys in their class and sea shells to the girls. I guess you would say I am known by their friends for doing so. Many times, as I walk into the cafeteria, these little darlings would run up and ask if I brought these treats with me. I help with learning their spelling words, lines in a play or the computer. I talk about when their Dad was young (they love the stories that he was a kid too), when I was young (you didn’t have a computer? Or an Ipod even?), when their great grandparents were young (they didn’t have a tv? they listened to radio outside of the car?) and what life was like in those days. I talk about what their lives can be like in the future, recall fondly the times I spent together at their house, on their rare visits to our house, and at our summer beach vacations together. I verify that what they value the most is not the gifts or toys but the times I spend together. I play pick up sticks, cards, open packs of baseball cards and play tea party and kitchen. You know, they think it is fun even if there are no electronics involved! I spot blue jays and robins and new buds on the trees. I explore for horseshoe crabs and broken shells on the beach during our summer walks. I go to book stores and read children’s books to each other and don’t have to buy anything.
I find that these are the best times in life and cannot get enough of them. It is part of the magic of having a second chance. Here’s hoping that starting this Spring you take the time to smell the roses (tulips, crocuses and daffodils too) and watch them grow.
Written by Attorney Irving Hymson, firstname.lastname@example.org
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