Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Imagine you're a grandfather my age and your daughter takes an afternoon off to visit some friends for the first time in a long while, and on the same afternoon your wife goes off for a few appointed hours to practice yoga, leaving you alone on a hot August day in a mountainside house with no car and three granddaughters aged 7, 4 and 4 years whose every request must be honored, in order that it may cease.

While you're at it, imagine also that you have a large editing job to complete by tomorrow morning and that every now and then, while the three are engrossed for the few minutes possible - for example in energetically drawing large, bright images with colored felt-tipped pens on small pages atop your unmarked oak floor - you sneak upstairs to do some quiet typing until before too long a small shadow comes creeping upward to stand beside you and ask, "What are you doing? Can I use the bubble gun?"

Then it's out on the deck (more fun than typing) refereeing turns with the bubble gun, which soon runs out of bubble juice, so you try to make some more over the kitchen sink from dish detergent etc. with six small arms hanging from your own so as to help you finish faster, then back out and one girl blows bubbles while the other two chase the rainbow orbs into the garden, where the girls begin sampling herbs and trying out the garden hose, it works very well, wets the firewood, the girls and an upstairs room nicely, so you go into the garden to supervise, then they get thirsty, then hungry, and a full half-hour has passed already, only 4 or more hours to go.

At some point in the long blur, one of the 4-year-olds points to your midriff and says "Is there a baby in there?" referring to those few pounds you've only just begun enjoying as the first small bit of fat on your body in all your life, the look on her face perhaps implying that this non-stop exercise is just what you need. Yet through all this, somewhere inside you, in a place not quite accessible at the moment, you love every relentless minute of it. Ah, how we discover new reaches of the heart. Imagine.


Mary Lou said...

Yep, You really do love it! Too bad you never admit it! ;)

Chancy said...


Last week I kept my four grand children.

It is indeed a giddy whirlwind, even though mine are older than your girls but a busy time nevertheless.

And I too love every minute of it but this week I am recuperating by napping and I suggest a nap for you as well.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Yep, I'm imagining every glorious moment...and I can even see the grin on your face Robert. That's one way to keep you young...the best way, I think.

Trace said...

Wonderful Robert! I just knew the last couple lines were going in that particular direction...

joared said...

Hard to resist those moments as they are so fleeting in the whole scheme. What happy bubble memories all will have in the years ahead.

Chancy said...

Bubble moments
To treasure
Before they burst.