What happens when you combine four clever, active children with one Papa who isn’t quite as quick but has the power of choice?
Four days of fun fueled by sugar and pizza.
This is the man who thinks cooking begins with questionable frozen things stuck in an oven. And that all problems can be solved with sugar. Lots of sugar.
First night on the job he got enough pizza for dinner. And for breakfast the following morning.
Isley conned him into taking her for frozen yogurt after Papa picked her up from preschool. Said mommy always took her for frozen yogurt.
Not so much.
He did make dinner one night–Bagel Bites and Pizza Rolls.
I’m not sure you can call those little hockey pucks of pastry real food.
The ultimate Papa experience was the last night he was with them and took them for fast food. Burgers, fries and soda. The formula for kid mania. After dinner, he got them soft serve ice cream. They’d brought their Halloween candy with them and made their own Blizzards/McFlurries–dumping masses of candy in the ice cream.
It’s easy to tease John about this. I think, though, that I’m a little jealous of his stellar reputation of fun Papa. The gift-giving, party-promoting, candy-chomping Papa who allows them to wander (under supervision) outside the boundaries of home rule. For a little while.
The reason this works is because John dearly loves his grandkids. They trust him to care for them and do what’s right–in the long run. He knows when to relax the rules as the doting Papa and when to hold to the rules for the good of the kids. Pure enjoyment mixed with some common sense plus a lot of love adds up to a wonderful relationship. When the kids see Papa coming, they know the party is starting.
He takes pleasure in his grandkids.
God takes pleasure in His own even more. He delights to be with me. To engage me in conversation. To tell me of His great love and joy in me.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
There is something significant about being enjoyed for who I am. About being seen as delightful. Knowing that Someone takes pleasure in being with me.
Watching John with the grandkids opens my eyes to the simple joy of just being with those I love.
If we truly understood God’s delight in us as His uniquely and wonderfully made children, would we learn to enjoy Him more?
We may not get candy. But pure, unconditional love and heaven trump sugar.