I caught them from my grandsons. The three E’s. Starting with enthusiasm.
I purposely sat across from my grandson, Mason, while my husband drove the speed boat, so I got the best view of the six-year-old’s expressions. The faster we zipped around the lake, the bigger his grin. He has a way of grinning with his entire body, his smile revealing one newly emerged front tooth. When the boat slowed, he whirled a hand around into a tornado shape and shouted, “Faster! Faster!”
Heightened enthusiasm continued the next day when the four of us snorkeled a new lake. When I asked my daughter where we should go, she pointed to an area where tree branches stuck out of the water. “Let’s see what’s around that fallen tree.”
The four of us snorkeled toward it and discovered an underwater world including algae-coated tree branches and a huge school of bluegills. We surfaced to share exclamations and to guess at the number of fish. “One hundred!” Mason exclaimed.
“No, more like two hundred!” Jay, the nine-year-old cried. “Let’s look for sunken treasures.” We enthusiastically dunked under again.
That night, I got warm goodnight hugs. Afterward, Mason ran for the bedroom only to pause, whipped around, return, and give me a second hug. I enthusiastically hugged him back.
Later in the week, after challenging my daughter and the two boys to a game of Capture the Flag, I caught my second E. Energized. I tried to dart away from the athletic six-year-old. I knew my sprinting muscles would scream at me later, but I didn’t care. And when my daughter and I strategized about whether we should storm the six-year-old and grab the flag or try to tag the nine-year-old and get him out of “jail,” I admit to being so caught up in the game, I said, “Let him rot in jail. We’re going for the flag.”
Energized, muscles screaming, we stormed, darted, and grabbed. Success!
Before our visit was over, I caught a third E from my grandsons. Enlightenment. While reading a book about reindeer, Jay furrowed his brow. “I’ve been wondering this forever. How does Rudolf get to sleep with his red nose shining in his eyes?”
“Uh, I’ve never thought about it. You make a good point.”
“He could cover it up, I suppose.”
“Yes, he could.” I pondered this, picturing an opaque cloth wrapped around Rudolph’s nose.
While reading a second book about prehistoric times, Mason asked, “How did the first rocks start?”
I opted for the easy answer. “God created them.”
“The universe began with an explosion,” Jay countered. “That’s how we got stars, the sun, and things like rocks. I forget when that happened. Do you know?”
I rub my forehead. Oh, boy. “I’ll need to do some research and get back to you on that one. For now, would you show me how to make those cool effects on Kids Messenger. I want to turn myself into a kangaroo.” I pull out my phone.
Energized, I enthusiastically lean in ready to be enlightened.