I recently took time off from blogging. My wife and I went to visit our three grandchildren, all under the age of four, in another city. Oh yes, and to see our son and daughter-in-law as well. I think it is safe to say grandparents can be more objective than parents because we are one step removed from grandchildren due to the fact we are not responsible for their day-to-day care. And in our case, we don’t see them daily because of where we live. We can observe their behavior and come to an educated and rational conclusion about these little people, these gems of humanity. I know I can say in all honesty that my grandchildren are perfect: calm, emotionally balanced, pleasant to one and all, full of fun, and generous.

Well, okay, perfect for maybe thirty minutes at a time and then, if I blink or turn my head for a moment, the three perfect ones are gone. They’ve vanished. And replaced by grandchildren that are grabbing, pushing, shoving, punching, shouting, screaming, mean-spirited street urchins. Mayhem abounds.

An amazing transformation as they travel from the heights of humanity to the depths of coarse behavior within seconds. If you can stand watching the change, you may end up in the ER with whiplash. Then, after parental intervention, the scene ends in tears, followed by small smiles, larger ones, then laughter, and at last the cherubs return. Welcome back!  

On the way home my wife and I punctuated the long drive with coughing and sneezing, the result of the children interacting with other children at preschool and church day care, petri dishes of germ creation. New strains evolving weekly.  

Upon our arrival, our friends asked how did it go, how were the grandchildren? Pulling out another Kleenex, I said, “Perfect. Just perfect.”