Since moving to Mountain View, I've been surprised by how many grandparents I've met who play an active role in caring for their grandchildren. Some watch their grandchildren on a regular basis. Some visit from faraway places. But all seem to make the most of their precious time together.
I was particularly impressed the other day at a park when I watched a meek looking grandfather that had to be 80 lift a very large, happy baby out of his stroller and carry him to the slide. The grandmother wasn't too far behind and both of them shuffled in unison while their chubby grandson smiled out over his grandfather's lean shoulder.
When they arrived at the slide, the grandmother pulled a wadded up tissue from her sleeve. I assumed she was going to wipe her eyes - that's what my grandmother did with the tissues in her sleeves.
But this Mountain View grandmother used the tissue to wipe down the slide from top to bottom. She even wiped the sides of the slide just in case her precious grandson happened to place his chubby hand over the edge while he slid down.
I watched the grandfather lift his grandchild over and over to the top of the slide, Josie and Owen interrupted my observations and told me they wanted to go on the swings. I groaned and arched my back as I stood up from the bench and slowly followed Josie and Owen to the swings.
I thought about stopping to ask the grandparents near the slide how they had so much energy to play with their grandchild. Maybe, I thought, it's just a better understanding of how quickly the time goes. I started to run towards the swings and promised to push Josie and Owen for as long as they wanted.