Grinch Meets Grandpa
Note: some folks have written in to say they have trouble posting comments here. After the bout of hacking and creepy fan wars and the amazing invasions on Chickenhead and the Family Stone here, we took away comments for a while. Then we brought 'em back, but they're MODERATED now. So if you post a message to me, it goes to the great evil computer, Hal. Sooner or later, Hal decides if the message can go through or not--most likely, it will go though. But your message will not appear right away. Keep posting--I love to hear from you!


Oh, no. Not another kids' concert. I am paying for my sins, being Dad-Man. Last week, it was The Young Naperville Singers doing their Christmas bash. Cinderella and I made the error of taking a seat before 110 suburbanites had finished squeezing in and out of the aisle. I got stepped on, bumped, or had Chicago butts bobbled in my face over and over. That was nothin'--there was the endless singing after that.

Today, after our snow, it was the elementary school Christmas concert--exactly the same concert we saw last year and the year before that. On benches. I have a bad back, and the bench hurt like hell. I also am not ashamed to say that my luscious and well-mounded double scoop of vanilla ice cream Dad Booty is old now and HURTS on a wooden bench for the nineteen hours it takes to hear every Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa song ever written.

Oh woe is me. I was leaning over, head in hands, cursing ligfe and the holidays. Now, the old man in front of us--flannel shirt and thin gray hair--must have been hurting worse than me. You know those old folks who, in church, kneel and rest their bottoms on the pew behind to hold themselves up? He was half in Cindy's lap. I roused myself from my agonies to sneer at her trying to figure out what to do with his sagging bulk.

Then they got to warbling the uplifting "Tree of Peace" song. I was all cranky about it till I looked at grandpa. He was weeping. He tried to hide it, but tears were pouring down his face.

I looked at the shining faces of the kids, the open little voices to close to life, Life with a capital L. And he, there--who knows what sorrows he has seen? Who knows if he's ill? Or if his time is limited--of course it's limited. What old man or woman does not think of these things. And, faced with the purity of that little hymn, he wept.

It was so pure.

My back still hurt, and my butt was half deflated and made me walk at an angle when I got up. But I was alive. My family is well. We are all here, now. And more snow is coming. I'll think of that grandpa every year at this time.

Pull up a blanket, y'all. Everything is possible. Watch it snow with me.


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