Monday, June 18, 2007

The other day I met a true “senior bicyclist” on my ride. I stopped under the shade of some trees for a break, and this man happened to be there with his bike, loading it on his car’s rack. I could see that he was an older guy, perhaps a few years older than me, but that didn’t seem surprising or worth noting. However, a few minutes into our conversation I was completely astonished when he told me he was 87! He looked entirely fit, and he was riding a sleek, competitive road bike, which made my astonishment all the greater. He said he rides almost every day, and, when he described his favorite routes, I knew he was interested in serious exercise, not just a casual ride around the block. As I rode away, I smiled, picturing myself in 22 years, still teaching teenagers and still riding up long hills on my bike.

* * * * *

On Sunday, Father’s Day, I had a wonderful visit with Jaimie and Luke and my three grandchildren. I first had an early breakfast with Noah, Jess, Jaimie, and the adorable Ava Elizabeth. We talked and laughed in the kitchen in the morning coolness, and, as usual, I couldn’t stop admiring the two children. Noah is as gracious and kind and personable as a 4-year-old can be, and little Ava seems to be a perfectly formed 2-month-old human being. I find both of them to be utter miracles.

After breakfast, I drove with Noah up to Millbury for a visit with some more miracles, Luke and his family. I talked with Krissy for a bit, and then Kaylee and Josh rode with Luke, Noah, and me over to a Barnes and Noble bookstore nearby, where we had a wonderful time together. Of course, we spent most of our time in the children’s section, where Josh blissfully played with a wooden train set and Kaylee read many picture books to a spellbound Noah. What I noticed most of all was how easy it was for all three kids to become thoroughly engrossed in an activity. Josh was fascinated by the train set, Kaylee was utterly focused on the words as she read them, and Noah couldn’t take his eyes off the pages. I noticed the same kind of concentration in Noah on the way home. Luke had given him a small toy truck to play with, and for a full hour, he turned that truck over and over in his hands, moving the various parts and talking quietly to himself about all sorts of things. I’m sure I smiled during most of that ride, feeling like a very lucky grandfather – and father.

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