Continuing to be supportive grandparents

By | May 31, 2018 12:49 pm

Playl’s Ponderings – By Steve Playl

We left Wilmington, North Carolina, in a downpour. As College Avenue became the eastern terminus of I-40, we turned the flashers on. The buckets of rain kept getting bigger. A couple of times we thought we heard “woofs” and “meows” as it continued to rain cats and dogs.

…but nothing could dampen our spirits, as Sammie and I relived the dance recital.

“Wasn’t Katie Grace precious?”

“…so stinking cute.”

“It was well worth the effort!”

If we said those words once, we repeated them a dozen times. Fortunately, the rain subsided, and the nearly 400-mile drive to Bristol was only partly flooded. We arrived at around 11 p.m.

Next morning, we staggered out of bed before 6 a.m. and readied ourselves for more miles to see more grandchildren. Our trip was delayed, again, this time by West Virginia’s highway department instead of the weather. Still we arrived early enough to grab a bite to eat at Pineville’s Mexican Restaurant before heading to the auditorium of Wyoming County East High School, venue for “Grandchildren Dance Recital, Part II.”

The West Virginia performance featured two of our stinking cute grandchildren. Lawrence neither loved nor loathed the opportunity to dance with a class full of girls…including sister Annabelle. He just seemed to have fun doing his own thing. Completing his second year, he says it’s probably his last. But it was fun while it lasted. That’s Lawrence. He’s his own person.

Annabelle, on the other hand, is a very talented ballerina and tap dancer. We were amazed at the progress she has made in her four years of dance lessons. Our only West Virginia granddaughter is very talented. She glided gracefully across the stage in flowing, fluid elegance. Agile, lithe, willowy, supple, and smooth are other adjectives that describe her appearance and style. Although she was in two classes and had practiced diligently, her abilities are not strictly learned – she also possesses God-given talents or gifts, which add to her obvious ability as a dancer. And she loves it, too.

As she floated through the routines, my wife and I both welled up, with tears of admiration spilling over our eyelids. At one point in the presentation, Sammie leaned over to Gilbert, our son-in-law, and stated, simply, “She’s really good!”

With deep pride, and an obvious sense of satisfaction that I can identify with as a father and grandfather, the proud daddy replied with two words, “I know.”

The response was neither smug nor arrogant. It was a simply acknowledgment of the obvious.

Lawrence and Annabelle find compliments and praise a tiny bit uncomfortable, but they enjoy what they do. Their dancing seems to be an expression of joy. “Praise the Lord with the dance,” sang the Psalmist.

The writer of Ecclesiastes contrasts dancing with grieving: “…a time to mourn and a time to dance…”

As I remembered Lawrence’s brush with death, in a Florida swimming pool, a few years back, I was struck by the goodness and grace of God. Instead of mourning, we were watching him dance. Instead of suffering the loss of her precious brother, Annabelle was celebrating the opportunity to communicate jubilation through the expressive, artistic movement of dance.

As the children demonstrated their calling on the stage, Nahnee and I displayed our calling as grandparents, and we cheered our hearts out. You should have seen us.

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