Let’s see what happens when you pick up a small stone – the flatter the better – hold it just right between your thumb and first finger. Flick your hand back and then forward real quick – releasing it across the lake’s surface…
So it skips.
At 6 years old, you already play with rocks that you collect and line up in long rows on the deck railing at home. Separating them by size and shape. Carefully. Methodically. Counting them is also part of the fun.
But here it is different.
You and your family are at the lake.
You watch your daddy and see how he gets those stones to bounce across the water.
It is summer vacation after all.
No phones. No TV. No work. No school.
Hours upon hours to play.
Or maybe you’re only 3 years old. Your grampa is visiting to celebrate his 70th birthday and you want to try out your new doctor kit. He is your Patient of the Day.
First you listen to his heart. He is very quiet while you check it out.
Then he rolls up his sleeve so you can give him a shot. Because after all he might need one. Ooooh.
Fifteen years ago we – my husband, daughter, son & I – attended a large family reunion in upstate New York. It included 18 of us – my parents, sisters, brother, spouses and all 7 cousins/grandchildren plus family friends. It was the first (and only) “away” reunion held at an all inclusive facility on Lake Teedysuskung in the Pocono Mountains. Reunions had been held at my parents’ or sister’s homes until that year.
My parents were the hosts (ie: paying for it) and were anxious for everyone to partake in all the activities…especially the 7 grandchildren.
Keeping everyone well fed, happy and engaged (ages ranging from almost 5 to 74) was no easy task.
As might be expected, there were some conflicts and misunderstandings along with the fun and camaraderie. Unbeknownst to all of us, it would be another 10 years before the 7 cousins were together again.
One image stands out in my memory from that special time together.
The kids laughing and jumping off the dock.
Where we went swimming, boating…and watched the sun set one evening.
A slight breeze gently skimming the surface…
A welcome sight after a long…busy…active…drama-filled day.
When I saw this week’s theme, one image instantly came to mind. A photograph I took several decades ago (35 mm)…but still remaining one of my favorites. This father and son inhabit the definition of play – the joy, the connection – and the give & take fun they are having playing together. Plunges into the lake, safely held tight and swooped up into the air. Over and over. At the age of almost 3 it doesn’t get much better than that.