Saturday, June 16, 2007

Speaking of the Beloved Family...

The superhero Uncle Dan rolled through town this week with Super-aunt Sharon. They are doing a whirlwind summer tour visiting family in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia. I didn't talk him into fixing the front door, the doorbell, the broken light fixtures, or doing yard work. I did get him to play in the front yard for over an hour, however.

We played one of those childhood games in which the rules, equipment, and teams change with every round. It was like horseshoes, but with a scoring system trickier than Bridge, and equipment from the toy chest. The kindergartner was amused by it all, mostly because we made him in charge of rules and scoring. The rising seventh grader was willing to stoop to our level and was a good sport.

But the ones who had the most fun? The ones laughing until we almost cried? The ones doing the most G-rated but still adamant trash talk? You guessed it. The two retired guys and the mouthy minister.

That's what makes superhero Uncle Dan super. He's seen too much life to take any of it very seriously. He's absolutely devoted to his family. He brings out the kid in us all. For me and my Daddy, that's our best side. We have a tendency to get a little too serious and bookish and Uncle Dan smacks us right out of that. (Aunt Sharon was using her superpowers on the toddler, thus allowing me to play lawn toss for over an hour. Wonderful woman.)

I realize that I'm pretty sentimental these days. It's been a hard year with too much loss, illness, and close calls. But the flip side is that I'm really appreciating the time my family and friends have together. Savoring it more than I have in years. The weddings, the front porch dinners, the super yard toss tournament, the thunderstorms... it's all feeling like the sweet nectar of life right now. For that I am incredibly grateful.

Got a sermon on this topic tomorrow at 10 if you want to come. This is probably the better version, though. Lord knows it is SHORTER. And there are pictures!

Oh, one more thing. For the record, my Daddy cheats. Rematch!!!!

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