I was thinking about my grandfather today. He passed away last year.
When my sister and I were born, I guess he didn't want to be called Grandpa, or pop-pop, or any of those sorts of names so we called him Big Al. At over 6" tall in his prime, it sorta fit.
Anyway as I was saying, I was thinking about Big Al today as Boyo was trying to convince me that at 7, he is old enough to make a bow and arrow and all he needed was flint.
Do we have any flint Mama? Oh it's a rock, do you think there is any out in the yard?
I'll put a coat on (cough, cough, wheeze)
I said no. He went off to another project from the Dangerous book for Boys So far in the past 40 minutes, aside from the previous conversation, he has made a paper water balloon and was banging out Morse code on the floor to see if I understood him (nope).
So how did all this make me think of Big Al you might ask? Well, Big Al was an impressive man and while he had his faults (seriously old school thinking, caveman mentality on some topics). He was always up for trying new things.
At 70 years old he went on a canoe trip with my family and instead of coasting along and relaxing (like the rest of us), he paddled the entire time and made it to camp 2 hours earlier. A few years before he died, he bought a new computer. In his effort to learn how to work it (as it was different than the one he had previously) he reformatted the hard drive at least 2 times that I know about. Big Al was all about learning. When he heard that it was important to continue learning and taking classes as one gets older, he took it to heart, by taking celestial navigation at least 3 times before he passed. He never gave up.
Big Al was the product of a mother from Denmark and a father from Sweden. Both fresh off the boat. While he didn't teach us much about Sweden or Scandinavia in general, the genes were there. It wasn't until I met a boy from Sweden in high school that I learned that the "humpf" of Big Al's was a Swedish thing. Then hearing my baby boy do it at a year old, and knowing he hadn't heard it from Big Al, I knew it was carried on the genes.
I know Big Al didn't have much use for us girls, but he was happy to see Boyo. I wish he could have lived long enough to see Boyo now that he is "interesting." (Big Al would have let Boyo outside to try and find flint even though it is snowing and the ground is frozen. That was how he rolled.)