Monday, April 18, 2011
Grandchildren! Who Needs Them?
Well, maybe I should say I do, I need to remember the good ol'days. I also need to be reminded that life is not always about me.
I took a little vacation from blogging. I didn't go anywhere but my grandson came to visit me. Oh, but wait, before I tell you how that went, I have to tell you how it started.
See, he's only six and he had never been on a plane. His school was on some kind of break and his mother had to work. So his mother and I decided to put him on a plane by himself. OH LORD! His other grandparents had a fit. They said we were nuts and crazy and everything in between. We had to endure a multitude of stories about child predators and the slave trade. I don't know, but I think they called Children & Family Services to get our rights revoked.
In my daughters last conversation with her mother-in-law, she heard the big "SLAM CLICK" and the silence. Her mother-in-law couldn't stand the pain, she hung up, and didn't say goodbye.
Okay, for those that don't know it, an unaccompanied child is escorted to the plane's gate (not the curb outside of the airport) by their parent. The child is escorted to their seat and chaperoned on the flight. Papers are signed on both ends of the flight that designates who can retrieve the child. When the child departs the plane(on the other end), they are passed only to the waiting adult who's name is on hand carried documents. Those same documents are also in the computor.
I feel safer putting them on a plane than taking them to the mall.
Anyway, he made it here and now he's back home, so here's the rest of the story.
My grandson is a southern boy, which means no snow. Boy, do I remember the fun I've had playing in snow. Not only as a kid, but with my wife and our children. One winter I broke my wrist while sled riding. I was laying down on the sled and my wife and daughter were on my back. We were riding down a hill called DOUBLE DUTCH! It was steep and fast. I think the added weight increased our speed. Well, we overshot the slow-down area and headed straight for a parked car. My wife and daughter, who were fraught with fear, refused to roll off... BAM!!! ... car dent, wrist broke.
This past week, my grandson and I hit the town. In one of our many journeys we went tubing. That's a form of sledding without sleds. See, large round inner tubes, like those from semi-truck tires, are the weapons of choice. Yep, long steep hills and inner tubes. And, we go at night.
When you go up north you gotta make a snow man!
Wow, I look pretty good in that picture. It appears as if I lost a few pounds and a few years. Okay, that's not my grandson but it is me. The little boy is actually my son and that picture was taken 20 years ago. But, look at the size of that snowman. I'll call that snowman pre-2011. Well, over the years I've gained a few pounds and I've lost a few muscles, so these days I have to rethink the size of the snowman that I get involved with. Check it out. Snowman 2010! We found an open field in our neighborhood and went to work.
That sled riding ain't free. Nope, it's akin to taking a family to see a 3D movie. Plus, it gets pretty cold outside. So after I shot my bankroll, we decided to have a little indoor fun. There's no better place to take children than the warm free confines of McDonalds. Come on now, grandchildren don't know it's free, and filled with grimy little germs. Well, free says it's for me and it does stinks in those tunnels, but they don't care.
And hey, who said you have to go to a club to find a hot chick.
Now, what real black man has never been to a black barber shop? I stop by my barbershop even when I am not getting a haircut. But see, my daughter is in the haircare business, so my grandson doesn't get the full blast of a group of men sitting around telling a bunch of lies. He has managed to learn a few cuss words (don't point your finger at me) but I think every black child needs to know how to cuss in case they ever need to sound tuff. So, it was off to the barbershop. But on this day the language was very clean. Check out the older fella. Well, that's my uncle, he's not the barber. Other people know him as Pastor Johnson. He was there to get his hair cut, so no cussing on that day, but big black men telling big white lies were a constant.
We had to visit his great-grandmother. I told him that if it wasn't for her, he wouldn't be having so much fun. He didn't get it, but later I told him about the birds and the bees.
Oh, my grandson is one of those middleclass suburban black kids. Well, his mother keeps him sort of sheltered. So, like any good grandfather, I took him to the hood for a little cultural diversity. Look at the kid in the bottom right corner. My grandson is in the back, on the left, on the floor. WEST SIDE BABY!
Oh, remember the picture of the little girl that my grandson met in the tunnel of love? Well, she was with her grandmother. Come to find out, the grandmother had never made a snowman or rode on a sled. Now, I can't imagine a person going through life without ever making a snowman. So I solved that problem. Last week, she kicked off her 4 inch hills and put on her long underwear. She never completed her snowman but she had a blast. I don't think she really wanted to build a snowman. I think she was trying to catch a man.
Children & grandchildren, what would we do without them?
Would you put your young son or daughter on a plane by themselves?
Do you have any snow stories?