“Look at the water in my dress Grandma Suzy!” Gray, 5
Well, the last two days I had my annual “Grandma Suzy’s sleepout on the Deck.” We had a ball as usual with a few spats and insurrections of the ranks thrown in for good measure! This year the troops were five in-town grandchildren under 10. We started out with a visit to Powell Gardens about 45 minutes outside of Kansas City. It is an amazing resource and I wanted to take them to see the “Forts” exhibition … an exhibition of cool kid-sized dwellings made by different organizations and spread out around the Gardens. There was also a “Fairy Door Scavenger Hunt” where you picked up a list of clues and then had to find these (very small!) fairy doors tucked into hard-to-find places on the grounds. And to our surprise, the special “Festival of Butterflies” was just starting. We went into an aviary with more than 20 tropical species not native to Kansas City fluttering around everywhere. Several landed on the grandchildren as we walked around the exhibit. It was so cool! But one of the most fun and memorable parts of the day was when we got to the fountain in the middle of our outside explorations. Keep in mind that the temperature was close to 100 if not more. All the children were red-faced and hot. To our surprise, there were children in bathing suits taking advantage of the big splashy water display. We had no bathing suits. Well, all the children decided to kick off their shoes anyway and splash away, getting totally drenched from head to toe. I thought, “Why should they have all the fun?” and decided to cool off myself. The kids loved that I got wet, too. (Although I didn’t let the streams of water go up the back of my pants or foosh through my dress or shirt like they did, I got wet enough to really cool off!) It was a wonderful, cooling break and I thought, “What happens to our childhood ability to just grab the gusto and laugh through the fun opportunities of life? What keeps us too sophisticated to joyfully embrace something that isn’t on the ‘agenda’ and makes us look a little foolish?” I have found that the older I get the less I care about what other people think. I would never again see any of those other adults standing around sweating. But I could enjoy a romp in the water myself right now! Today, let’s all live life like kids. Why not take our shoes off and play?! How could you play this week? Today? What kids could you round up and take on an outing? — Neighborhood kids? Nieces, nephews? Inner-city kids? Your own children or grandchildren? And for heaven’s sake, lets promise ourselves to let loose and have more fun whenever it shows up whether we have kids in tow or not!!
P.S. Because of the heat we were all totally dry by the time we had to get in the car and drive home!
“ … for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.