Of Women And Men!


Sometimes lessons come over time, other times they come in a flash of a moment. If I needed reminding, such was the case about ten years ago when I heard the laughter of my then 2-year-old granddaughter while I pushed her on the swing set. My wife and I had taken her out to the local playground. She climbed up the stairs and went down the slide many times as we watched and encouraged her. My wife clapped and acted as if she had won an Olympic event each time she successfully scaled and went down the slide. I was a little less enthusiastic in my praise. The whole time my wife watched over her like a hawk. I was less attentive as there was no one else within sight! Who was going to take her I thought! My wife made sure she was safe at all times by standing close by and offering support.  I on the other hand figured that if my granddaughter fell, she would only scrape a knee and perhaps learn a lesson to be more careful. We tried the seesaw, which she didn’t like but since I liked it I pushed my granddaughter a bit to do it. My wife said, “She doesn’t like it honey!” I gave up and we made our way to the swings. I put her in the baby swing that hugs them ever so tight. My wife strategically wedged in place her favorite doll and animal that provided her with company as she began to gently push her back and forth. My granddaughter seemed to be having a good time.

Soon however she appeared to bore of swinging back and forth. That is, till grandpa took over the duties of pushing her. I started to push her much higher, first from the back, and then I switched to the front so I could see her face. My wife said, “Be careful!” As I was pushing from the front her legs would come close to me and I would fain that I was being hurt by them as they brushed against my chest. I would make exaggerated sounds of pain which would send her into laughter. A whole new world had been opened up for her. I played this game with her for quite some time and I wanted to stop but each time she came my way I would say, “Done?” to which she would emphatically reply, “No!”  Finally I wore out and had to act like I really was hurt. Otherwise I might still be there!

After we were done at the playground we walked towards the car. My wife was very protective of her and lovingly held her hand. I walked a few steps behind. I helped put my granddaughter in the car seat. She gave me fits but I playfully slapped her belly as she tried to get out. She laughed and a new “game” started all over again. It wasn’t what I had in mind but…oh well. Finally I got her into the seat and we drove to the local McDonald’s for drinks and a treat. My wife knows what my granddaughter likes at McDonald’s; I don’t, so I had to be the order taker.

The statement put out by my church on the family is a wonderful document that captures the importance of the family unit and the role of each member in it. Yet, I don’t need a document to convince me of the divine nature of man and woman and the role they play in raising a child. I vividly see it in front of my eyes each day that I live. I saw it that day on the playground. My wife naturally played her role and so did I. Neither role was better or more important, but both were needed in balancing out the life of our granddaughter.

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