This past week a buddy of mine was telling me about the great lengths his father is going to so that his little boy knows how much he loves him. Recently Grandpa moved away because of work and apparently the little guy figured out a creative way to keep in touch. It seems that every couple of weeks the grandson has been writing messages on tiny scraps of paper, rolling them up, and placing them in bottles. Whenever his mom is out he asks to make a special stop so that he can toss the bottle into the nearby river. His reasoning was that since he lived by a river and his grandpa also lived by a river, that eventually the message would make it's way to his favorite pal. Now knowing that water never travels upstream, every time Grandpa paid a visit he made sure to bring back an empty bottle similar to the original. According to my friend's dad the way he saw it was that though he may not know the exact words used....the message was loud and clear.
When I heard this I couldn't help but think of my two grandfathers and how they each have shown their love to me time and time again. Whether it was teaching me how to build the perfect ramp for my matchbox cars, or showing me just the right way to shoot a jump shot, or crawling under that old rusted up car and teaching me the joys of fixing a car with your own two hands; they've always made time for me. And while I've learned a lot I think the most important lesson learned was that family time isn't just watching a movie together or playing some random board game, it also means incorporating your children and grandchildren into your daily routine.
This past weekend the sun was out, the sky was clear, and there were leaves all over my yard. It looked like my Saturday would at least for the most part involve a rake in my hand. As I was making my way up and down the yard getting my path made towards the curb, I looked up and saw my son staring from the screen door. It was then that I thought about all those bottles floating down the river filled with tiny scraps of paper and decided I could use a hand. It may have taken longer and we may have left a few scattered about, but those leaves got done eventually and who knows maybe Fred learned a few things too.