Down Home: Down on the rug, catching plastic fish

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Well, at least I know my place.

On a trip to San Antonio, I stopped over in Buda—just south of Austin—to spend the night with our older daughter, Lindsay; her husband, Aaron; and their little boy and my only grandchild, Ezra.

Lindsay greeted me at the door with a big hug and told me she was happy I came to visit.

When I walked into the living room, almost-3-year-old Ezra looked up and asked, “The dog?”

So, I may be the grandfather, toy-player, song-singer and book-reader. But if I want to be really special, I bring my dog.

“No, buddy, Topanga couldn’t come this time,” I answered. He knelt down on the rug and played with his newest toy. It’s a magnetic ring with plastic fish, which you can catch when they spin around and open and close their mouths.

Fishing buddies

A second later, Ezra ran across the room, gave me a hug and a kiss, grabbed me by the hand and led me back over to help him catch fish.

One of the great benefits of being a grandparent of an almost-3-year-old is getting lost in the wonder of a child’s imagination. Sure, his fishing game plays an annoying version of “Three Little Fishies”  and features purple, red, yellow and green plastic fish. But for a little while, we camped at our favorite fishing hole, pulling whoppers out of the water.

Another fascinating aspect of being a grandparent of an almost-3-year-old is playing with a brand-new child every time we’re together. Ezra and his mama visited our house just a couple of weeks earlier, and he communicated one of this great passions this way: “Bird game.” But on this visit, he told me, “Play the bird game on iPhone.” Sure, he still gets confused about exactly how to slide his finger so he can launch the Angry Birds on my phone. But at least he knows how to talk about it now.

He also knows how to communicate his preference for one of his favorite restaurants. “Chuy’s!” he declares, and you can see the gleam of chips and salsa in his little eyes.

New generation off to a great start

Well, I got to spend a Sunday evening and about an hour of a Monday morning playing with Ezra. We entertained each other, and his parents just let us play.

My time with Ezra reminded me how much I enjoyed those days when his mama and Auntie M ran around on our carpet and amused their mother and me day after day. That was long ago, but now a new generation of our family is off to a great start.

We’re guaranteed to laugh and play for years to come.

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