Family: Some things remain constant and forever

It is true there is nothing as permanent as change.

Change is inevitable.

It happens everywhere, all the time.

All levels of government; federal, provincial and municipal, continue to change and suddenly, before we have even had a chance to ascertain if promises made at election time will actually happen, someone new is at the helm.

And so it begins again.

Change!

Gas prices continue to change.

They keep getting higher.

Means of communication change.

Remember when nobody texted. Remember when Facebook didn’t even exist.

Remember cloth diapers?

It is true, however, some things do not change.

Simple things like ice cream and little boys and magic.

They stay the same.

Thank goodness!

I noticed that this weekend.

It was the kind of spring day that dreams are made of. The endless blue sky was marred only slightly by a few fluffy cotton ball clouds. Someone has drawn a perfect hopscotch game on the sidewalk outside the front door.

A four-year-old child played quietly on the front lawn with a huge stuffed orange and black Tiger, appropriately named Tiger.

It was a day for bare feet and front step visits with neighbours. It was a day for planting and feeling the earth, warm and rich, in your fingers.

It was also a day for ice cream and hanging out on a beach, feeling the sand warm under your toes.

And as it turned out, it was also a lucky day for me.

I live very close to such a beach and on this warm, golden day in May, I was lucky enough to have the very best of companions hanging out with me. Three boys, with matching blue eyes, engaging boyish grins and a weakness for sandy beaches and ice cream were to be in my charge for the afternoon.

“Make sure they have water,” their mom admonished sternly as we drove away.

“Of course,” I said, meeting three pairs of eyes in the rear view mirror and sharing a secret smile.

The ice cream was melt on your tongue delicious.

I watched them, these three young boys, their faces and their hands getting a little sticky and I smile.

I snap a picture, but, for some reason, it’s not them I see in the viewfinder.

It was long ago, but not so far away.

I see them still, three children, their hands and faces sticky with ice cream, their smiles as warm as the sun itself.

And I hear them, still

“Mom, let’s go, let’s go to the beach!”

I snap the photo. And, once again, with one tiny click, I stop time!

With my grandchildren in tow, we head off to the beach. The four-year-old holds my hand and gazes at the wide expanse of water, some of it still covered with ice, in awe.

“Oh, look, grandma,” he said incredulously. “The ocean.”

We find a sandy spot, a spot where sand castles and dreams can be built in a few short hours, and we settle down to do just that.

And as I bask in the afternoon sun, I am reminded, once again, that as much as change is inevitable, some things never change.

And I’m grateful that little boys, like sand castles and dreams, never really do away but continue to remind us, in a comforting sort of way, that some things are constant and forever.

And that is good!

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