One evening with the grandson
A few weeks ago, one of my grandchildren was helping me put the plates in the machine after dinner. On my way back from the dining room, with the rest of the bowls and stuff. I noticed he had put my favorite coffee cup on the top shelf right in the corner. I really wanted to get it out but I didn’t. Most likely it would be fine so I decided not worry about it, what could go wrong.
I told myself, I would look silly in front of him and this was the first time his dad had let him sleep over. Most evenings it was just me and Maw enjoying the sunset in our rocking chairs on the back porch. But tonight, was special, we had a grandson over for the first time.
After the machine finished and the bell went off, he and I went in to finish drying them up and put em back in the cupboard. When we open it up as you have expected the cup was broken. Like normal an old fart like me, yelled at the young boy and he ran off crying. I tossed down my dish cloth and turned around to meet Maw standing right behind me. She was mad, her face was red hot and without even thinking, she slapped me. I recon as hard as I ever been slapped, then she hurried off to check on the boy.
I guess I better come clean, that sorry didn’t happen two weeks ago, I guess it’s been over 30 years now since that night. That young boy, is a man now and has 3 of his own children. I’m not allowed to see his family, we weren’t invited to his wedding, He never came back and has no intentions to ever visit us. How many years have been lost, how many fishing trips missed. All the memories, they just didn’t happen, in a flash of stupidity it was all gone. I don’t think anyone can ever fully understand that kind of loss, and for what a stupid coffee cup.
You Know, that’s one way that story could have ended, but it didn’t.
What really happened was, I carefully took the cup out and when he asks why I was being so careful with that one cup, I told him the story I just told you. I also pointed out the need to take the very best care of something that’s really important to you. But more importantly, the difference how an immature man might run his mouth and destroy his own world. A real man knows every second spent with his family is special.
He hugged my neck and ask, if that was why you take such good care of Grandmother, I answered yes. Then he ran out the back door to go play. When I turned around Maw kissed my cheek and told me to get out of her kitchen there was a whole cupboard full of that same stupid coffee cup and she would do the kitchen work by herself. With a smile, I told her a real man knows how to get out of doing dishes, so he can play swords and stuff with his grandson. I think, I might have heard Maw saying something about being back by dark, as I headed for the door. I better grab a couple of flash lights; the fireflies will be putting on a show tonight.
That’s how a grandson and a grandfather start their path in life.
The Old Man
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