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by Michael T. Smith

When I married Ginny, I gained a new son, daughter and four grandsons. I became an instant grandpa. Over the July 4th Holiday, I got to meet my new daughter and her three boys for the first time.

It took a day for my new grandsons to warm up to me. The first day they stared at me, perhaps wondering what they were suppose to do with this man, who they were told is "grandpa." I waited patiently. I knew boys like to play. They'd come to me in their own time.

On day two the oldest two were doing summersaults over my lap. The youngest, Ben, took a little longer, but yesterday he raced me across the yard thirty times and won every time.

The weekend brought back memories of my own childhood. We had such imaginations. In our minds, a tree was a tower to spot approaching bad guys, a big rock became mountain, a fallen log a space ship headed to the stars. We had toys, but we had to use our imagination, not like the new toys I see my grandkids with. Our toys didn't talk, and if they did, you pulled a string to make it work. We had blocks to build, crayons to create, trucks and cars to push. They were simple toys that required imagination.

I thought about the toys in my garage, the ones I saved, when my children outgrew them. They were simple and needed their imagination to work. "Mr. Potato Head" allowed them to learn parts of the body and giggle at the funny face with an ear where it's mouth should have been.

I still have an old plastic phone. It has a dial to turn, a bell that rings when you push a button, and that's it. It doesn't talk, squawk, beep or move around the room. It's simple and was used when they played house, nurse, doctor, and secretary.

I have a toy doctor's bag, with all the plastic doctor's tools. I remember all the broken bones, cuts, bangs, scratches and aches my daughter repaired as I lay in her office moaning.

Most toys today do it all. We don't need imagination, it comes in a box: video games that take us into another world or reality, talking toys, with vocabularies better than most people; computerized toys to teach the alphabet. Kids sit and have imagination brought to them. The teaching toys are great, but children tire of them; it's like being in school.

When my son was young and tired of his toys, he would come to me, "Dad, I'm bored."

"Go find something to do." I'd reply.

"I don't know what to do."

"Go outside and find a friend."

"Naaa! I don't want to do that."

"Use your imagination."

"Huh?" What do you mean?" he asked.

"Well, when I was young..." You know the routine.

Sports is the same. We're entertained for hours watching someone else have fun doing what they are good at. Wouldn't it be better to be playing yourself? If we don't like the sports available to watch, we create new ones. It doesn't matter what, people will pay to see it, because they need to be entertained. I haven't heard of world championship worm digging, but if someone offered a large cash price, people would buy tickets to scream at the contestants.

I worry. Are we becoming a society that needs outside influence to have fun?

I think I'll go climb a tree. Maybe there's pirate ship on the horizon or someone is attacking my castle.

Just imagine?

Michael T. Smith

Michael Smith is a part-time writer and full-time manager in the telecommunications industry. Michael loves to write humor, but believes his true calling is writing from the heart. He believes it is important to share a smile, a wave, a kind word, and a tear. Michael is not a professional in things that touch the heart; he just writes about things that touched his heart and hopes it reaches out to touch another heart.

Michael lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey with his wonderful wife and son. To read more of Michael's stories visit and view the archives.




Thought For The Day:

"What is the use of praying if at that very moment of prayer we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer."
--Thomas Merton

Verse for the Day:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."--Phillipians 4:6

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Even babies like to grab for things just beyond their reach."

Parent's Thought For The Day:

"Laughter is like changing a baby's diaper. It doesn't permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for a while."

Coach's Thought For The Day:

"There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in-between." --Pat Riley

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"When you catch an adjective, kill it." --Mark Twain

Deep Thought For The Day:

"I was cesarean born. You can't really tell, although whenever I leave a house, I go out through a window."-- Steven Wright



Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
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