Some of my most difficult decisions of late concerns what toys to buy my grandson Myles. There are so many to choose from. Go into any toy store or toy department and start walking up and down the aisles and you’ll see what I mean. It can be overwhelming. Being retired I get to shop during the week and on those days the stores are full of grandfathers milling about this sea of toys with the look of wonder and excitement on their faces. We offer each other friendly advice but still the decision can be difficult. I try to stay away from the McToys. You know, the ones based on the latest movie their showing in the cement bunker at the end of the mall; not much imagination goes into those. One thing I learned is not to buy on impulse. The toy may look like just the thing Myles would love only to have him put it down after only minutes of playing then eventually moved to the never play with again drawer in the toy cabinet. My favorites are the ones that engage his mind. These could be hit or miss; a bit chancy like the science kit I got him for Christmas. It looked great and was fun for a while but the experiments were limited and too simple but it did open him to the idea of science. I like when he takes the toy to where he wants it to go. One of the experiments was making fake snow. It worked well but in the end we were left with a bunch of fake snow…so what. He got some of his superheroes and began playing a snow adventure game. It was fun. One toy, called Perplexus, was a great hit. A plastic ball with a maze enclosed and the object is to get the metal ball through the track, which has many dips and turns, to the end. Not as easy as it sounds. He loves it and so do Mom and Dad.
I remember all the toys and gifts that my sons received through the years and how each boy’s personality was different. On birthdays and Christmas my wife and I would take great care about what to get. But it was the sharing of us that was important. To sit and play. My wife Patty was terrific at this. Me, not so much. I didn’t ignore them by any means but I think I could have done better with my time with each of them especially as individuals; I feel that I handled them collectively. The years of playtime go so fast and then their gone. Often times I wish I could go back and do it over but those years are gone. When it comes to my grandson Myles and my granddaughter Rinoa My sons Dylan and Luke seem to realize this and it makes me glad.
As I enter my second half of life I found that it isn’t necessarily the toy that is important; it’s who he’s playing with. It could be a plain stick but if we’re playing together and use our imaginations it’s the best game in the world. It’s the time spent with each other. I’m truly blessed to have this time with Myles and am the envy of many of my friends who wish they could be with their grandchildren.
HOORAY FOR PAPPY DAYS.