They go round and round…

My first reaction was mild irritation.  Why couldn’t i have cleared the oncoming school bus before the red flashing lights came on, forcing me to stop?  Since i was returning to the office following a mid-afternoon appointment, i decided I wasn’t really in a hurry, and went back to sorting the ‘to-do’ list in my head.
 
An older man stood patiently at the end of the driveway, waiting for the bus to dispatch a child.  Slightly rounded of spine, he was maybe in his mid- to late-sixties.  i looked again to see if it was a “special needs” bus for disabled students – wondering just how long i’d be sitting there if the wheelchair ramp had to deploy.  Relieved as the emerging child bounded down the bus steps.  He was a gangly thing, somewhere around 10 years old.
 
My irritation was soon replaced  by amusement.
 
As soon as the boy hopped from the last step, the old man turned and sprinted toward the front door – a foot race!  The kid went full out, cutting Grandpa no slack.  But Grandpa showed game, using his height advantage and stretching to full stride.  They were neck-and-neck, as the bus pulled away from the curb, blocking my view of the finish line.  i rolled onwards. 
 
For the remainder of the drive, my ‘to-do’ list was nowhere to be found – replaced by a flood of memories. 
 
The way it felt to step off the bus on a sunny spring day and race down a driveway that seemed to be miles long.  Watching my son and his friends execute games with complex rules only they understood in little-boy war games.  Putzing around the house, seeing my daughter spend hours at her “art table”, humming tunes to herself as she made magic with glitter, glue and odd piles of colored paper.  In the backyard, my Dad patiently teaching me how to throw a football in a perfect spiral.  The endless feel of a summer afternoon, floating on a raft in Lake Erie while my son tried out his new swim gear – perfecting the art of blowing snorkel-water on his old lady.  Squeals from the family room at midnight, as my daughter and her friends giggled their way through a sleep-over party.
 
Memories of my childhood.  Memories of their childhood.  Swirled together – the same way i still mush up my cake and ice cream at birthday parties.
 
Simply from a glimpse into the daily ritual of a man and his grandson…  i was uncharacteristically cheerful all afternoon.