Michael's Message: Thankful For Grandkids
Dear Shipley Center Members and Friends,
November brings thoughts of Thanksgiving to many of us. Allow me to share about two little reasons I have to be especially thankful.
To Lexie, 7, and Keira, 6, I am “Pa” and my wife is “Nana”. These are the grandparent monikers we chose for ourselves, based on:
- Names not already taken by their other grandparents, or great-grandparents, and
- Names that would be short and easy to spell. (Although “Pa” on a t-shirt given to me, “World’s Best PA” confuses some people, who think I am claiming to be the ‘world’s best “Port Angeles” or perhaps from Pennsylvania, but I digress …
Our daughter, Lindsay and her husband Brian, asked us to babysit so they could go out for the day. Within five minutes of our arrival, before their parents could even get out the door, little hands started bringing the board games to us. It was raining outside, so we spent much time around the dining room table, advancing little plastic pieces around various colorful game boards.
First up was Candyland and I got the chocolate and white swirl on it, advancing me far past all the other players – such exhiliration!
Next was Trouble where I did not fare so well. The little bubble you click to roll the dice wasn’t poppin’ my way, and I fell very far behind. I expressed discouragement on being in last place, and one of the girls offered encouragement: “It’s okay Pa” and then, “it’s OK if you lose.”
What wonderful kids! They like assuring people that all will be fine. Socked feet slide on the floor, sending one sprawling – “I’m OK!” she shouts, as she gets up. When she brings out the doctor kit. I hear “It will be OK” as Dr. Keira gives me a “shot”, while Dr. Lexie checks my heart with a smile.
We then played Greedy Granny which I would not recommend for the faint of heart or those offended easily by aging stereotypes. “Granny” naps in her plastic toy recliner with a tray of goodies. Each player is to take things from her tray, because she reportedly won’t share. She may ‘wake up’ suddenly and jolt upright, tossing her dentures and treats all over the table. The box challenges you, asking “Will you risk it for the biscuit?”
We were going to play Operation next, but their game box with “Cavity Sam” was missing of what the instructions call his “funatomy” parts, and the kids didn’t want to play with less than a full patient. After all, the box said to “Hang on to your funatomy parts!” and – who can argue with the importance of that advice?
A 60-piece puzzle of two horses then entertained for us about 5 minutes – those kids are FAST! The day went by like that, in a blur: lunch, snack, and then making a cake for their Mommy for her birthday, with one saying, “Let’s put sprinkles on the cake. Sprinkles make Mommy happy.”
We have so much to be thankful for!
It is my wish that you will get to spend the holidays with sweet little people (or big people) who remind you of basic truths about 1) Everything turning out OK; 2) Doing what we can to encourage each other; and 3) Going the extra mile to make someone happy with sprinkles or whatever they really like or need that you can provide.