“Any of you kids want to go with me to the Recycling Center?”
While I didn’t expect the response to rival that of an invitation to Worlds of Fun or a new PlayStation, I thought there was a chance one of the four grandkids might show a tweak of interest in riding along with me to Saint Joseph on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They barely looked up from their iPhone video games.
Ah, well, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do when the back of his Silverado is filled with plastic and paper, cardboard and cans, so I headed to the door. As I was pulling on my jacket, Gage, the twelve-year-old, showed up with “I’ll go with you.” Cool.
After dropping off the recycling load, we headed to Wal-Mart for the supply stop. After picking up a bouquet of reasonably fresh-cut flowers for Randa, I asked Gage, “What would you like to get?”
I figured that any tweener who would give up the company of the couch, the iPhone and his cousins to accompany his grandfather on a boring errand trip deserved a little reward. I also figured that he’d wander about the aisles a while, finally choosing some inane thing that would leave me feeling just a tad more distant from this emerging generation.
Instead, Gage immediately said, “I’d want to get something I could share with the others.” Pleased and amused, I responded with “What sort of something might that be?” He thought for a moment and then grinned.
We headed to the candy section. A minute later, he’d picked out a bag of Twizzlers. “I know they like these.”
This little deal had just turned into a fine little event. Maybe I shouldn’t have been even slightly surprised by Gage’s response. Maybe it said more about how little I knew about my grandson. Regardless of that, such instantaneous, unpretentious unselfishness genuinely struck and impressed me.
I’m thinking that maybe, when I grow up, I want to be more like Gage.