Playgrounds and Passages

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Playground

About twenty-five years ago, my mom described a dinner she hosted in Baltimore for Cousin Jim, visiting from Canada.

“Your brother’s children (two and three at the time) didn’t behave very well.” She paused and then said, “I think Jim is glad his own kids are grown.”

Zam! Mom’s comment really struck me (and for some reason has stayed with me).

Having grown children means you’re old (or at least it did to my thirty-year-old self).

Who wants to be old? Wouldn’t you rather deal with pesty kids than be old?

Jump back to now.

I’m walking in Gold Park on a steamy, soupy August morning. I pass the playground.

“Dad, Parker is being mean.”

“Then just play your own way,” says Parker’s dad from the bench. “Be imaginative.”

More whining.

“Colin, Parker doesn’t own the playground,” says the dad. “Go play on another piece of equipment.”

Whining encore.

“You boys just need to play separately.”

Then like a see-saw slamming to the ground, I get it.

Been there, done that.

I’m my mom. I’m Cousin Jim.

“See ya, Parker and Colin,” I say to myself as I head across the bridge for home. “I’ve invited grownups  for a beer tasting. Got to bake some cheese straws.”

 

Bridge

Old has  some advantages!

What about you? Would you like to be thirty, raising Parker and Colin, or are you content with the age you are?

Mom’s Cheese Straws

Two cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

One cup very sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Six tablespoons butter, slightly softened

Eight or so tablespoons cold water

Blend dry ingredients. Add the cheese. Slowly add water and cut in like you’re making pie crust. Roll the dough pie crust thin. Cut into strips 1/4 inch wide with a sharp knife or pastry wheel. Bake on greased cookie sheets until golden brown. These keep well.

Cheese Straws

 Disclaimer: My brother’s children turned out wonderfully, and I’m sure Parker and Colin will too!

14 responses »

  1. Someone once told me that there are advantages to all ages. I sure don’t miss the whining but I do miss palling around with my girls when they were being fun!

  2. I enjoyed every age that they were (except maybe for a year or two of high school!) but I also love having adult children and now the fun of grandkids. We took the two grands (3 and 1) to a wonderful playground on Lake Michigan beach last weekend and got to introduce them to their first carrosel. It was great but exhausting and so I was glad to return them to their parents. Spending a week on the beach with them next week and I know it will be wonderful but just as nice when we stay on for a week on our own after. The joys of grandparenting sure help you appreciate this new stage of being old.

  3. We are enjoying empty nest and the “passage” but sure would love to go back in time, sometimes, for the FUN parts with my kids. Just the other day we saw parents fussing at their screaming toddlers and we hurried past them, grateful to not be in that world anymore!

  4. MY GRADCHILDREN USED TO LOVE THE PLAYGROUND NAR WHERE MY PSRENTS LIVED. THEY CALLED IT GRSSNDPS JOE’s PARK. MY BROTHER THOUGHT THE PLAYGROUND WAS TERRIBLE BECAUSETHEY CLOED UP THE SAND BOXES. GUESS THEY LIKED THE PLAYGROUND BECAUSE GRANDPA JOE WAS THERE. BY THR WAY THOSE CHEESE STRAWS LOOKED DELICIOUD!

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