Thank goodness for Ruby (not her real name), my almost-teenage granddaughter. When she visits on Mondays after school, she often takes me to the local playground and sets challenges. This spurs me on, and I might even secretly practise on Saturday mornings when I take 3-year-old grandson Finn (not his real name) to the very same playground. I’m not saying I do. I’m not saying I don’t.
We are both fiercely competitive on these occasions, but we are also kind.
Yesterday challenge #1 was a race over a very steep, rough track up and down a hill. I always win this one, because I am fearless.
Challenge #2 was climbing an unclimbable barrier around a tree, using a conveniently placed stick. For the first time, I actually achieved this. Feeling proud! But Ruby did it faster.
Challenge #3 was to walk along a log barrier without falling off. I achieved about 20 metres by dint of a new pigeon-toed technique.
Falling off a log is easy, I grant you that. But this too became a joyful event when I applied the Peter Pan technique. I lost the challenge but improved my personal best.
Challenge #4 was swinging from the monkey bars. Ruby always beats me but I did make it to the fifth bar. Not bad, huh?
The fifth challenge was impossible for us to judge: who could swing highest? I reckon we were quits.
Final score: Ruby: 3, Granny: 1, R&G equal: 1.
Do you have grandchildren who push you beyond your personal best? If so, you know how lucky you are.
Thanks to Ruby for the photos. Masterly!