Updated: November 14, 2013 6:41AM
It is a lovely puzzle that I do not expect to solve. I won’t be here long enough and I won’t pass this way again.
The fun and reward is in watching for clues — they appear too swiftly for a grandfather like me. Am I supposed to understand a sixth-grade granddaughter who is 80 years younger than I? See the challenge?
I think that she is too busy exploring her world to understand me, but she knows I am part of her world. I am glad.
She is precocious child, but maybe that is a relative thing. No matter. A few years ago she rushed into her house and announced “I am going to be sad.” But she was sad only briefly, a lesson we adults should learn, hard as it is sometimes.
We old folks don’t have a stuffed animal to cuddle — we should find one, or two. We can cuddle a memory. If we can’t do that, we have missed a big piece of life’s puzzle.
When this girl was 4, we took a walk in her neighborhood — well, I wanted to walk, but she flitted around like a restless butterfly, pulling up dandelions, talking to birds, greeting friendly dogs. To me, those were distractions, but to her they were bits of discovery about our world. I should have known.
It was a memorable experience for me. She may not remember that walk, but her mind is like a sponge, so she might. Years ago her mom and I walked in a Canadian woods looking at big trees and big clouds in a big friendly sky. We both remember that.
We should walk with people we love, with friends, with granddaughters who flit about touching and wondering about the world we live in. We should just stop, look and listen. Maybe we cannot do this physically, but we can dream and remember if we turn on the radios of our minds.
This child is a dancer, a reader, a computer lover, on and on. She does not care about the Cubs or sports in general. I don’t know the significance of that, but I don’t worry about it.
I don’t know much about our schools, but in this girl’s Alexandria, Ind., school there is time for fun poetry.
Her reading teacher finds fun poems and she is supposed to read them to someone — she chooses her grandparents for this fun on the phone.
Here is a sample:
“...I tried on the dancer’s shoes; a little too loose.
Not the kind you could use for walkin.’
Didn’t feel right in ’em, kicked them off.
I tried on the summer sun. Felt good.
Nice and warm — knew they would.
Tried the grass beneath bare feet, felt neat.
Finally felt well dressed. Nature’s clothes fit me best.”
Fun poetry. Good medicine for kids and their grandparents. I give her reading teacher an “A.” Even old kids like me, who can’t tweet, twitter or text, need it, too.