2010 is nearly over and a little reflection is in order. I recently answered the question "What one word would you use to describe 2010?", my word was "Complicated". There were many ups and downs and confusing things that took place, but as always God was(is) still God and I learned a lot. But I want to take a moment and reflect on some of the high moments.
Special experiences - for Christmas 2009 my wife and I wanted to give some different to our grandchildren. So we added an "experience" for each of the 4 oldest. We chose a special experience for each of them that we believed fit their interests and age. It began in January with a night at Chuck E Cheese (or however you spell it). I picked up my 7 year old grandson and we headed out for a special night. When he and I got there we loaded up on tokens and headed to the games. The smile on his face never went away for the rest of the evening. He played a lot, I played a little and loved watching him have fun. We ordered our pizza and went back to the games. We paused long enough for him to devour most of our pizza then back to the games. All along we had some good conversation, lots of laughs and a special memory for me to be sure. When we ran out of tokens, he cashed them in ,we boxed up what was left of the pizza and headed home. The smile still stuck on his little face. It was a night to remember and I hope one of those lifetime memories for both of us.
Later in the year my wife picked up our 5 year old granddaughter as they headed out for an evening of shopping and dinner. They shopped, they sang songs, they ate, they laughed and shared some very special moments. The whole time my wife was recounting the experience to me she was either smiling from ear to ear or laughing.
Then I picked up my oldest grandson, he was 12 at the time. We went for a round of golf. This wasn't minature golf or even the par 3 course, it was a regular course. It was great. The longer we played the better he did and seeing him improve and make some really nice shots was very cool. He was putting for par on a couple of holes. We had some nice conversation as we rode from shot to shot. I don't honestly remember how I played but I do remember that played with a young man that I am very proud of. I then gave him his choice of places to eat, he claimed not to care where we went until I mentioned Buffalo Wild Wings, then his eyes lit up and he said that was the place. (A kid after his grandpa's heart for sure.) We had a great time eating, and playing trivia. I am smiling as I type this remembering him concentrating on the trivia questions and trying to get the correct answer before me.
Then I picked up my 9 year old grandson then next morning and we headed out to go fishing. We stopped to buy some bait and get me an out of state fishing license.Finding a place to fish was quite an experience, we had a some adventures just getting to the lake. When we finally settled on a spot we began throwing bait at the fish. It took a little while and we moved to a few spots around the lake before we found our spot. The big ones were avoiding us, but we caught quite few before we finished. A few times I think the bait was bigger than the fish we pulled in. I took an early lead in catching fish but he came on strong and I believe he beat me by one by the time we finished. Come to think of it, maybe that is why he said he was ready to go. I then gave him his choice of places to eat and he didn't hesitate he knew where he wanted to go. To a Pizza Hut with a big buffet. Smart kid. We had a great time fishing, talking and even eating. I learned a lot about my grandson, about the family and even about myself.
My wife and I enjoyed the experiences so much we gave something similar again this Christmas. This time we gave them a couple of options to choose from and we added our youngest grandson to the mix this time, he is a little shy of turning 4. I have a feeling this gift idea will continue for a while. I can truly say that these gifts were a real joy to give.
How is this for some hightlights?