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Shoelaces and Daisies
One day they'll figure it out.
Tara, Jack, and Tiny took their Grandpa for a walk in the park that afternoon at Grandma’s insistence. Jack was four, and Tara and Tiny were six-year-old twins. The park was within walking distance from the house but the playground was on the far side of the park, a good mile from home.
Between chasing the wildlife, throwing stones into the lake, and “race you to the tree” scrambles, the kids weren’t bored, and Grandpa was always short of breath. The kids had enough to keep them busy until they got to the playground where they would never get bored. Grandpa could then sit and observe on one of the metal benches the City so generously supplied to child caregivers.
Still, though, Grandpa needed to keep them in his sights and not falling into the lake lest one of the parents ask about a missing kid. He’d get an even larger third degree from Grandma if he showed up with one kid less than he started.
“Hey, you three, hold up. Grandpa’s gotta tie his shoes. My shoelaces came undone.”
“Grandpa,” Tiny said running back to his grandfather. “That’s the third time you did that today so far. Don’t you know how to tie your shoes right? Didn’t they teach you that in school?”
“Ya got me, Tiny, ya got me on that. Sometimes I just forget. You know, I’m getting’ old. Next time maybe you can come over and show me how you do it.”
“All right, Grandpa. That’s what we’re here for. We’ll teach you once but you can’t expect us to teach you three and four times. That’s what Daddy always says.”
Grandpa paused and took a few deep breaths.
“I’m sure if you teach me once, I’ll be a quick learner. Now go on over to the playground.”
Out of breath, Grandpa stopped in midspeech and dropped to his knees. “Oh look, daisies. I’ll be along in a second, Tiny. I’m just trying to smell these little daisies down here. I can tell they smell pretty already. Just don’t let Grandma know I was down here smelling flowers and tying my shoes all the time.”
“Okay,” said Tiny.
After Tiny reunited with the other two, he said, “Wave to Grandpa! He’s a little odd for smelling flowers like that but I guess that’s what happens when you get old.”