Grandchildren Visiting for the Weekend

JANUARY. SATURDAY AFTERNOON. 9 degrees. Sunshine. Grandchildren visiting for the weekend. The tallest hill anywhere around. With about 3 dozen kids between the ages of 6 and 18 traipsing up the slope and careening down, laughing and screaming all the way. My two grandchildren, of course, did the most aesthetic and athletic runs of all—every time, hitting the little homemade ramp halfway down the slope perfectly and ‘catching lots of air.’

I, the grandfather, “Opa,” did not attempt the jump. At all. Nor did I follow protocol and climb up the hill 48 times. I went up once and down once, and played cheerleader the rest of the time. And enjoyed the scene—especially the sound of kids laughing. Lots of kids. Lots of laughter. And a fine but too-rare feeling of things being just right, like they oughtta be. Blue sky, sunshine, kids, snow and sleds. Just like when my kids were kids. When I was a kid. When my dad was a kid. And his dad before him. Some things, thankfully, don’t change—just circle back around in the same, blessed form.
Except for the plastic sleds, of course.

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