Sunday, April 25, 2010
We often hear that the best thing about “our children’s children” is that we can enjoy them. And then when we are finished, we can send them home. But at our house, I don’t remember a time when we were thrilled or even happy to see them leave and go back to their homes. Our youngsters have not only brought us a large measure of joy and happiness, but have done their part in helping keep Grandma and Grandpa young.
I don’t remember seeing a lot of grandparents holding children on their laps or spending a lot of time with them back when I was a child. But today, in stores, restaurants, and various other public places it is common to see the old and the young together. And enjoying it. In a lot of homes these days both parents are working. And the grandparents are retired, mobile, and still young enough to enjoy the interrelationship with small ones. And what better babysitters could be found?
While putting together a collection of children’s poems recently I decided that I lacked a real “Grandpa-type poem.” So I wrote one. And we may as well try it out here.
ME AND GRANDPA
Grandpa likes to tell me stories
Of the days of long ago,
Although Daddy says he sometimes
Makes up parts he doesn’t know.
Grandpa likes us kids around him
When he’s finished with his nap.
Some of our best times are when we
Are on his well-padded lap.
Grandpa doesn’t move real swiftly
His thin hair is silvery gray,
And he spends a lot of time in
His rocking chair every day.
He likes telling tales about times
Back when he was just a lad.
To hear him, he minded his folks
And was almost never bad.
Each morning he got up early
To help his dad with the chores.
When he wasn’t busy working,
He played, mostly out of doors.
Some of his tales are exciting,
Yarns about the old Wild West
Of all the things he tells us, I
Like those cowboy stories best.
I like hiking with my Grandpa
Through the woods and by the streams.
He says, “Nature is conducive
To dreaming up worthwhile dreams.”
Down by the pond he explains how
Water floats a heavy ship.
When he throws a flat stone “sidearm”
He can really make it skip.
Grandpa says when I’ve grown larger,
But before I get real big,
He’ll teach me to make a whistle
From a smooth green willow twig.
He says one day he will teach me
How to make a baseball curve,
and to face a fastball pitcher
And not ever lose my nerve.
I’ve asked Grandpa about football.
He said, “That game’s rough and tough.”
But he will teach me to play when
I am big and old enough.
He’ll teach me to throw a spiral
And we’ll study all the rules.
Before long I’ll kick long field goals
Like they do in the big schools.
Today I’ll wear my green sweatshirt
And my Green Bay Packers cap.
We’ll go out and play as soon as
Grandpa finishes his nap.