Tag Archives: grandchildren

A Walk on the Beach

The two youngest grandchildren, 8 and 10, are with us at the beach (this time, thankfully, with their parents). Both were eager to begin the week with something that has become a ritual–a half-mile walk down the beach to the Inn and across the lobby to the newspaper dispensers, where we buy the local papers before walking back.

The sun was hitting the ocean, the beach was pristine. Other walkers nodded and smiled. The kids ran in and out of the water’s edge. My grandson remarked that his dad had told him that he and his  2 brothers used to sleep in the room he and his sister were now occupying, and that one of them had to sleep on the floor. (Two beds, three boys.)  I laughed and said “I guess I had too many children,” to which he responded, seriously. “That must have been hard on you.”

There is something about family traditions that span generations. And since I am nerd to the core, I looked at my grandchildren and the beach and the ocean, and wondered if vacations like this one will be possible when they have grandchildren.

Will the climate change deniers–the dolts and the economically-motivated and the “we’re going to be Raptured anyway” believers–stop policymakers from taking the steps necessary to protect the planet from further environmental degradation? Is my generation so selfish that we won’t agree to some relatively minor inconveniences now in order to preserve mountains and beaches for the generations to come?

Corny as it is, I couldn’t help remembering a poem my own mother used to recite to me. The stanza I remember: “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime, and departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.”

Footprints, hell. I just hope we leave some sand.

See a Site, Drag Grandpa

There’s an old joke about the golfers who were on the 12th hole when one of their foursome suddenly died. One of the survivors was recounting the experience later to a friend who said sympathetically, “that must have been terrible.” “It was,” replied the golfer. “For the next six holes, it was awful–play a hole, drag Charlie, play a hole, drag Charlie…”

My husband and I are in Williamsburg, Virginia, with our two youngest grandchildren. We’re seeing the historical sites here, then going to Washington, D.C., where we’ll tour the White House and Capitol (thanks to Congressman Carson’s office!), and see still more history. Those of you who read this blog regularly will understand when I say that one of my goals is to ensure that my own grandchildren, at least, know there are three branches of government.

We aren’t as young as we used to be, however, and Grandpa has been limping. Hence the reference to Charlie and his foursome. We see a site, drag Grandpa…

Today, we took the grandkids to a short film about the days/events leading up to the American Revolution. I don’t know how much of the story line they really understood, but my ten-year-old grandson picked up on the slaves who were among the show’s background elements, and asked a question: How could people ever believe it was okay to own other people?

A pretty good question.

As I told him, sometimes we fail to see that things we take for granted are wrong. Sometimes, we’ve done something wrong for so long, we no longer question it. That’s why it is so important to think about the everyday things we do, to consider whether they are right or wrong.

When I get discouraged, I look at my grandchildren. Their friends are multi-colored and multi-cultural. Their friends’ parents are gay and straight, married and single. The children see people as nice or not nice–not as representatives of this or that (artificial) category of human.

And they can’t imagine thinking it was ever okay to own other people.

I think it’s been worth dragging Grandpa.