What has age got to do with living joyfully and doing ridiculous things?
I was baby-sitting my friend’s granddaughter earlier this evening. I had taken this bundle of energy; all of four years old, to our local park’s children’s play area. There are two different sized slides, a pair of swings, a number of jungle jims etc, and it is usually quite crowded with a lot of youngsters and their caretakers.
My ward, wanted to climb up the ladder and slide down from the bigger slide. I was quite prepared to let her, as I was able to stand below to catch her, if she slipped.
She did this a few times and suddenly decided that it was time for me to do the same! No amount of my persuading her that the slide would not accommodate my bulk would convince her.
There were two other small children watching this exchange. One accompanied by her young mother in jeans and a t-shirt smiling at my discomfort. The other one was accompanied by a wisp of an old lady, possibly around 75 years old or so, in traditional Indian dress, who too was obviously enjoying my discomfort.
The young mother tried to persuade me to climb up and slide down too, and I was appalled at the very suggestion. The old lady’s ward, another four/five year old, suggested that her grandmother show me how to do it! This suggestion was very well received by the other two children and, the much-amused young mother.
Before I knew what was happening, the old lady had climbed up the ladder and slid down the chute. She had the brightest grin that I have ever seen, and a pair of twinkling eyes that was simply out of this world.
That was enough for the chorus to start all over again, and except for the watchman of the garden coming at that precise moment, I would have had no choice but to perform the feat performed by this astonishing old lady. With the help of the watchman, I was able to convince the children that the slide would collapse with my weight if I climbed on it, I escaped.
I bowed deep down before the old lady and expressed my admiration for her spirit. She smiled at me and said that I should have tried too!
Was it ridiculous? Would you have done what the old lady did if you were a grand mother?