Yesterday I led the Bible discussion for “The Gathering Place” at LLUC. The topic was the book of Proverbs, so I began with a recently familiar line from the radio: A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots is the wish of Barney and Ben. Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk is the hope of Janice and Jen. And Mom and Dad (and Grandma and Grandpa) can hardly wait for school to start again!
Lisa and I were very blessed to have both daughters visit during the holidays, along with two sons-in-law and four grandkids, three of whom are the irrepressible age of three. Two great verities of grandparenting are: 1) it is wonderful when the cherubs are all here; 2) it is equally a blessing when they return home.
It is always one of my household chores to do the dishes, a task exponentially heightened this past month. I spent most of December endlessly clearing tables, rinsing, loading dishwashers, then putting the stacks away. I once muttered to Lisa, “Are all these dishes ours? Are we taking in housework from our neighbors for extra income?” Then, for some reason, Santa Claus brings three-year-olds the sorts of presents that have HUNDREDS of small parts, which are eternally strewn all over the carpets. Some misguided elf gave Katrina a thousand-piece pink-and-purple tea set; I spent the holidays stepping around tiny cups and misplaced saucers.
Little Audrey, whom I adore and appreciate more than life itself, wandered past my laptop and randomly hit a few keys beginning with Control-Alt-Delete. Amazingly, she managed the exact combination which switched the alignment of the entire screen; everything I had on there was suddenly running horizontal rather than vertical. I couldn’t have accomplished such malfeasance with five years and a Windows handbook. I almost had to call the Best Buy Geek Squad for a house call, but after tinkering with it for half an hour (and holding my head sideways in order to read the HELP menu,) I was able to right the ship. I almost believe the North Koreans’ protestations of innocence regarding the Sony hack attack; it’s possible my own pre-K grandkid put that scheme together. She knows I don’t generally approve of Seth Rogan movies.
Just one thing more. With so many visitors coming, Lisa and I volunteered to give up our master bedroom and go downstairs to sleep in what is known as the “cat room.” Now, I assumed that when we moved in, our two cats would move out and sleep in the attic or behind the piano. After all, humans are of a higher created order than cats. But no. The four of us cohabitated during the Christmas holidays. Annabelle and Mathilda (they’re my wife’s cats, not mine) celebrated by repeatedly jumping up on the bed, then traversing from one side to the other, not missing any spots as they searched for the warmest places to temporarily settle down. They repeated this routine punctually every half hour; I still have paw marks on my cheeks and forehead.
Having said all this, Grandpa still misses his four treasures! But I admit I will be glad to watch the Cowboys this afternoon instead of “Shark Tale” again. And speaking of Solomon’s wisdom, I appreciate and embrace Proverbs 5:18. I fully intend to spend the next several weeks delighting just in the wife of my youth.