I generally look forward to the summer months but I am even more excited about this summer especially the month of July. People who know me know that family is first and foremost to me and while I love being with my kids who are all grown up and have their own lives now. I really love being a “Pop Pop”(Grandfather) with my two “little people”(Grandchildren) Kellen age 3 and Jamison age 7. (I made a deal with my daughter that regardless of how old I am or get I never wanted to be referred to as “Grandfather”. My attitude is, no matter how old I get I will always be much too young to be a “G” Father.) My “Puddin” and my “Package” (as I call them) are the joy of my life right now so I consider it my prerogative and duty to spoil them whenever I have them. So, for almost the entire month of July my wife and I will have them with us to eat whatever they want and basically do whatever they want to do (within limits).
While they are only 3 and 7 years old they know that their “Pop Pop” is not about sitting still and doing nothing. What gets them excited is they know that every day we are together we are going to be doing something. We will go swimming, fishing, ride scooters, go to the zoo or a play, hit golf balls with their golf clubs they got last Christmas (from “Pop Pop”). They know that we will cut somersaults, jump rope and do backflips in the backyard. I know that when I work in the yard they will want to help in any way they can. Once or twice while we are together we will go to the county run riding stable to ride their favorite pony that they think is their pony but isn’t. And I know they will want to go for an occasional walk through my neighborhood or at a park.
What I love about my “Little People” is their energy and their desire to move and stay active. They will have their quiet time where they will either take a nap or read a book but they know that when they are with us there is no such thing as sit and be quiet! They love to be active and I really love that about them. When I look at them I see how their mother and father have given them the freedom to be themselves and have encouraged them to be active. Interestingly their mother played softball and was active as she was growing up and continues to live an active lifestyle by going to the gym even after working a full day. She makes it a point to take My “Puddin” and My “Package” with her. They have the opportunity to play with other kids of their age while their parents work out.
I would like to think that my daughter, (their mother) learned a little something from me (her father) about fitness and exercise as she was growing. I have always tried to maintain my fitness by including my children not necessarily in working out or exercising with me, but just putting them in a position to see what I was doing when I was stretching, jumping rope, jogging at a local school’s track or just going for a walk.
When I look at and enjoy my “Little People” I see what I never saw as a child. I had no role models of fitness. Both my mother and father worked hard to support our family. They didn’t have time nor made time to work on their health and fitness. That is hopefully a legacy I can say I started by being an example for my daughter because she has passed that on to the “Puddin and the Package.”
While I will be in my glory with a 7 and 3 year old for almost a month, I just hope I am able to keep up with their overabundance of energy and stamina. If not they will have set the bar for their “Pop Pop” to strive for once they leave.