What I Did on My Vacation

Last week’s trip to Colorado was essentially a working holiday as I spent the week babysitting two grandkids while mom and dad worked. It was also a great chance to get to spend time with two grandkids I too seldom get to see.

Since the temperatures at the beginning of the week were in the low teens most of the days were spent inside playing and feeding kids. At least one of us thought those meals were the best of times:

Watching Zoe reminded me that eating is way too much fun, something I already knew. Of course, at one, except for an occasional disagreement with big brother and naptime, life is way fun. After all, if going to sleep is the worst part of your day, how bad can it really be?

If most of the pictures taken also feature parents that would be because I seldom had time to take pictures on the four days I actually babysat the kids. I had to wait until the last weekend to take pictures. The highlight of the trip was probably our day trip to Eldorado Canyon State Park where the weather turned out to be quite warm after a rather cold start. The five of us, six counting the one on the way, started out bundled up:

Since the park is known for its rock climbing, you know the trails were anything but flat. Since Jen’s pregnant with their third child, grandpa ended up carrying either Zoe, who’s lighter by a few pounds but likes to lean out rather than hold one, or Logan, who’s heavier but actually hangs on, much of the way up the trail. Though I originally had my heart set on reaching the rock-climbing area, my lungs decided that at that altitude carrying that amount of weight we should settle for some spectacular views of the cliffs from below:

It’s easy to see why so many climbers were drawn to this spectacular country even this early in the year.

The best day to take pictures of the kids, though, was Sunday because I wasn’t gasping for air and I didn’t have to do anything but sit and take pictures of kids playing while the parents did the actual watching.

Getting together like this is just plain fun, of course, but considering my philosophical bent, it also provided an opportunity to consider Past, Present, and Future,

as depicted in the three generations shown here. Obviously the past doesn’t play too large a part, though I have no doubt my generation played its part in shaping my son’s generation. My biggest concern at the moment, though, is my granddaughter’s and grandson’s generation and whether life will be better or worse for them and what I can do to ensure that it is better, not worse, at least for them.

If I died yesterday, I would consider I’d had a good life, though perhaps not the life I dreamed of as a teenager. I’ve accomplished very little in my life, though I like to think I’ve helped make my small part of the world a better place than it would have otherwise been. I’m less sure that I and the baby-boomers have made the world as a whole a better place. If we’ve failed to do so, it’s not due to lack of opportunity or skills but, rather, because we have allowed materialism and greed to cloud our view of what kind of world we really want for ourselves and our children.

I’m still convinced that the best thing we can give to our children is ourselves, and our greatest gift to ourselves is time to enjoy the time we are here.

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