It’s like ice cream with ALL the toppings.

I sometimes frustrate myself to no end which is exactly how I feel today, just two days after I spent the day with my delicious grandchildren. Frustrated because had I jotted down my thoughts two days ago I would have had something to talk about without trying to navigate through the musty cobwebs of memory.

I arrived at my daughter’s house to find my littlest one sitting up on the floor surrounded by some soft toys. How grown up he looked. I knew he was close to sitting on his own but to actually see him on the floor without anyone around to “catch” him should he topple over was such a delight. And he was so happy…even when his balance would falter and down he’d go onto the soft pillows Mommy had lovingly surrounded him with.

And, of course, there’s nothing better than to be greeted by your three-year-old excitedly and fast as he can, telling you all about everything new in his world, such as his sticker chart for good behavior.

The weekend had been gloomy with two full days of rain, something that rarely occurs in central Florida so I knew I wanted to get out on Monday. And our outing Monday reminded me again that you can have so much fun staying close to home and spending nothing. We hit a really nice playground—the one that’s only a few miles away but we never quite seem to get to.

Within seconds of arriving Konnor was soaked. Remember all that rain I mentioned? While I was getting Callan out of the car, Konnor was jumping and stomping in puddles and then bam! fell right onto his tushy. He didn’t mind a bit; neither did I.

Off to the playground – well, it’s two playgrounds really. One for little kids and one for older ones. The last time we were there Konnor could barely do the one for young children but this time he was all about the big boy area. I think the slides were the most fun simply because the bottoms of each had puddles of water on them.

And I was most proud of Konnor for two reasons. First because I got to watch him climb with great agility all over the various rope and metal ladders. He was fearless. And the second reason is how he stepped out of his comfort zone when two boys (just a little older than he) showed up. Konnor went right up and said “Hi. What’s your name?” He then added “I’m Konnor” and followed them right back to the slides.

He saw they had some cars so he also added “We can share.” And share they did. These three boys had a blast climbing to the top of the slides, then shooting the cars down them so they would jump off the ends, travelling great distances before they hit the sand. Konnor so loved the game that the first thing he did upon arriving home was to grab one of his own cars and head to the backyard to shoot them down his slide. Great ideas were meant for sharing and I have a feeling we’ll be bringing our own cars next time we go to the playground.

Walking paths, a place to view the freight trains that blow their horns as they pass by, picnic areas, gazebos, and even a fishing pavilion are also at the park so we walked, watched birds and squirrels, and then spent 45 minutes by the water looking for fish, turtles, and dragonflies. Konnor looked at the hundreds of lily pads and announced they were for the frogs. (How smart!) And he took great delight in watching the birds dive bomb for fish.

But the best part was watching a motor boat get closer and closer because as it turns out, he was pulling a “skeeter” as Konnor called her. He was enthralled with watching her let go of the rope, then seeing the boat slowly turn around and bring the rope back and begin to pick up speed. But he especially loved it when all of a sudden the “skeeter” would pop out of the water.

Callan? This little one was delighted with just sitting in his stroller watching the world go by. He ended up in the swing at one point but I don’t think it was quite as much fun as Konnor’s swing experience. He’s such a trooper to simply sit contentedly as his Mimi and brother explored all things wonderful at the playground. Next year at this time he’ll be toddling in the part for little ones and Konnor will no doubt be urging him on to climb here or slide down over there.

It’s amazing to me how much joy I get from my grandchildren, perhaps you feel the same. So much joy that at times I can hardly contain it. Perhaps that’s the reason why hearing my text message reminder makes me jump up and rush to the phone to see who wrote or more importantly if they sent a picture.

Our daughter-in-law is doing the best job keeping us up-to-date on our granddaughter. I get pictures throughout the week that bring smiles. Pictures of the baby the floor gym, pictures to say good morning, “just because” pictures. Each one makes my heart burst with love not just for her but for her precious parents as well.

It’s that full circle thing. We delight in raising our own children but get a second delight in watching them raise theirs. And that delight is both in them and in their little ones. It’s like ice cream with whipped cream, and all the toppings you could think of every single day of the week.

The version of the Bible called The Message states it this way (Psalm 127:3): “Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?”

I love that! And I quite agree.

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