(Back in the writing saddle again! Hoping to post daily and hope to see you here!)
When our daughter used to play on an excellent teenage softball team, our favorite fellow fan was the grandfather of the beautiful, long-legged young woman who played first base. Each player’s rooting section kind of bonded as an overall family during the dozens of games this team played. The most memorable was Callie’s grandfather, a people person if there ever was one.
Ironically, on my kitchen counter right now is a baby gift for Callie’s first child, a little boy. I literally had just addressed the package to send it to her when I looked at Facebook — and found out that her beloved grandfather had just died in a freak accident out on his property. While I don’t know the details, I want his family to know how much we liked and admired him, and how tenderly we will always remember him.
It’s because of the fuzzy puppet he brought to the games . . . to entertain our youngest daughter, Maddy.
Everyone could see that the 4-year-old was antsy. She had nothing much to do, all those hours and hours at softball complexes. It was fun and exciting for the players, but not always such a joy for the siblings. I couldn’t let Maddy out of my sight, so I missed a lot of the softball action chasing her hither, thither and yon. I tried, and often failed, to keep her reasonably quiet so that other fans could enjoy the games.
The team reached the championship series of one important tournament. It was their chance to go to Nationals. Of course I wanted to come to all of the games of that tournament. But having Maddy in tow was going to be tough.
Callie’s grandfather to the rescue! He surprised Maddy with a cute and engaging puppet. I think it was a beaver or maybe a groundhog. All I know is, all of a sudden, she suddenly went quiet, then giggled. I looked over to see Callie’s grandfather with the puppet, his hand concealed, doing antics and movements which, to a 4-year-old, looked absolutely real. She went over to sit by him and interact with the puppet.
As the innings passed, all of us fans got to enjoy the game undistracted, and the fan with the biggest smile was Callie’s grandfather.
Here’s to the people persons — the problem-solvers — the adults who see and hear somebody else’s slightly out-of-control 4-year-old and don’t just grumble and dismiss her as a bratty kid. This man thought of a way to surprise her, delight her, entertain her. They both had fun. And we all appreciated it.
Here’s to Callie’s grandfather, may he rest in peace. The Lord has a special crown waiting in heaven for people who love people, especially children. And I think Callie’s grandfather’s crown may be made out of beaver fur!
Be of the same mind one toward another.
Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.
— Romans 12:16a
By Susan Darst Williams | TheDailySusan.com | 7-26-17 | © 2017
For more stories like this, get my book,
Radiant Beams, in paperback, Kindle or Nook!