Tender Objects

what was I thinking?Ten years ago, I never would have imagined myself in this situation.

“I won!” he says to me now. “Come on, can’t you do better?”

I grit my teeth. I’ve never been good at this kind of thing. Even as a young girl I never attempted it.

But now, I stand at the top of my second story loft, holding my arm as far back as I can and then kids' games, paper airplanereleasing the object in my hand as hard as possible toward the open space below. I aim away from the living room’s high ceiling and down to areas full of fragile glass objects, candles, framed photos, and a three-foot-long delicate wooden ship carved in a tropical island and shipped painstakingly to New England.

I try my best to miss these tender objects and hit my intended target – the deck glass doors all the way across the living room.

“You missed!” my cohort chortles. “I won again!”

“No!” I blurt out, suddenly getting fiercely competitive. “Three times out of five. This was only my second attempt.”

paper planes, delicate objectsMy 7-year-old grandson hands me my injured paper plane. “I think you need to make a new one first, Madre.”

Not a chance, I mutter to myself. It took me half an hour to make this one, while Clark made three perfect ones in 10 minutes.

I smooth out the nose of my plane and mumble, “This will be fine.” We climb the stairs back to the loft and the balcony.

“You fly yours first, Madre,” Clark says, a true gentleman.

I grit my teeth and let ‘er fly.

Uh oh, the wooden ship begins to teeter…Hawaiian miniature boat

96 thoughts on “Tender Objects

  1. Some things are better left to seven year olds. I used to love folding papers into hats, boats and airplanes. I can still do the hat that turns into a boat but I forgot about the airplanes.Have fun and enjoy your cute grandson.

  2. The things we do for our grandchildren! It sounds like fun and what could possibly go wrong. I´m sure the ship was OK. How much damage could a paper airplane do?? You are one cool Madre!

  3. That’s a fun story, Pam. I was pleased when I finally found out that it was a paper plane competition. My mind didn’t know where to go before that. What a fun competition with your grandson!

  4. What a delightful story to awaken to this morning!

    I love flying paper airplanes — though I must admit, I generally do it outside to avoid internal damage! 🙂

    Thanks for the smile this morning Pam.

    • Ha ha. In New England, not enough ‘nice’ days from November through March to fly anything outside. Thus, we get creative with the loft. I’ll admit, when my guy and I bought this place, we never imagined the many uses our grands would devise for it. :–0

  5. You start out mysteriously as usual and end up with a delightful punch line. As always, you’ve picked a clever Grandma name: In retrospect, Madre or Mimsy sounds more whimsical to me than NaNa, the one I picked. But never mind!

    • I love your sense of humor, Marian. My daughter spent a college year abroad in Florence, Italy, and when she came home, I was forever more called Madre by her. Thus, when she began to have children…guess what we selected for my ‘grand’ name? I love it, and for some reason, it’s never been difficult for them to pronounce. Now . . Mimsy??? I think NaNa is much better. 🙂

  6. Oh! What fun! It is hard to defeat our grandkids for two reasons – first, they don’t like it, (everyday I tell my grandkid that she can’t always win) second, we can hardly compete their skills of flying planes 🙂 Lovely post Pam!

    • Exactly, Balroop. I’m TRYING to teach them the lesson about losing, but my grandkids keep beating me in all our games. I better practice a bit more when they’re not here, I think!! 🙂 🙂

  7. Such fun and told so wonderfully as always! A few years ago, as a stocking filler, I bought my son a book that had tear-out sheets of paper with lines drawn and fold instructions on each sheet to make a whole range of different paper airplanes, and he became quite the expert. Once he’d mastered each plane type with the lines drawn on, he could then do them with just plain paper, I would go into his room and there would be piles of paper airplanes all over the place! Like someone else commented, it’s really nice these days when kids find great pleasure in these more simple games that don’t involve staring at a screen!

    • Those plane diagram books are fabulous. You obviously have a son who may become an engineer in his future… or an architect. I gave this book to another grandson (6 ish) and he looked at me as if I was crazy and then expected ME to follow those directions. We went outside and played with his Frisbee instead. 🙂 🙂

      • Well I always used to think my son might go the engineer or scientist route, but for the last 3 years or so he’s been set on becoming a police dog handler. He’s still only 15, so he could of course still change his mind, but the police one is sticking!

    • Thanks, Nancy! I actually most liked the stair stepping part – good for my exercise regime. And believe me, I had to run up and down the stairs to retrieve my bent plane a LOT.

  8. I enjoyed reading this piece! Such a nice way to describe your time together. I love the image of the fragile object, since life and relationships are fragile in so many ways.

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Donna. Sometimes I think readers might be a bit ‘bored’ with my grandkid stores, but I hope they offer a bit of humor and ‘life lesson’ for us all. xo

    • I keep hoping my ‘kids’ will think I’m awesome, Dianne. They’re not that impressed with my ‘athletic endeavors’ (like flying paper planes), but my baking efforts are rewarded with smiles. 🙂

  9. This brought back some very good memories of when I was a child.. making paper airplanes my brother was an expert at.. And we would have races to see how far each could be thrown… And since having a 6 yr old granddaughter.. 🙂 I put some of my brothers skills to work.. Yet for some reason lol they still nose dive.. 🙂 Guess I never really got the knack He would turn up the tips of the wings

    Keep Flying…. 🙂 ( with no mishaps ) 🙂
    Love and Blessings
    And thank you for your wonderful visit the other day..

    • Sue, I think you and I need to keep practicing. I also think the act of keeping the plane in the air may be connected with how it’s made. We need to find the secret, somehow! I’m working on my grandson to divulge that secret, but he just gives me one of his wicked-fun looks. He just enjoys beating me at his game. ;-0
      May we both keep on flying high with our grandkids – it’s quite a ride. 🙂

  10. Pam, oh, I’ve been there with my son…being so competitive, having such fun and of course, it would be me who knocked ornaments off the mantlepiece during indoor baseball (it was a very wet winter!!) 😀Maybe back to basics on aeroplane design…just take a few days off from writing to perfect the most amazing flying machine! Lovely post that has me smiling – life is just perfect at moments like this!❤️

  11. I think my grandkids are amazed how I don’t let any one of them beat me every game. (Except the baby who is not two yet!) 😊 I let them know that I am fair and just but they have to work to win!
    This was fun and I was chuckling before I realized we were talking about paper airplanes, Pam. What a “tease” you are! 😉

    • I AM a tease – and a practical joker. :-0 I think if our grandkids can learn how to lose graciously with us, we’ve prepared them for how to lose in the cold cruel word.

  12. I can see you flying your paper plane with ease… I’m guessing the 3rd time was NOT the charm? 🙂
    I can make a pretty good paper plane but I haven’t done it in a while. What a fun way to spend time with your grandson! 😉

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