One of the things the kids could always count on when going to Gramp’nGramma’s—always pronounced as one word, and usually as one syllable, as my brother John pointed out to the crowd at my father’s memorial service—was a trip with my mom to “Duck Park.”
It was not really named Duck Park. It’s just the park that my mom would drive them to, and it had ducks. And we took bread to feed the ducks, which is always a memorable thing for a kid. Ducks are scary to a kid… they make loud noises, stink a little, have intense eyes, never smile, and sometimes don’t take food from a child’s hand very gently. Still, for all the negatives, feeding ducks is an exciting, memorable adventure.
My daughter Lauren was born 9 years after Drew, her oldest brother—the first of my children to make the pilgrimage to Duck Park, and like her brothers Drew and Greyson, she also got taken there by Grandma. She always remembered it fondly as a fun adventure.
When she and I drove to Mom’s home this past Christmas, I asked her on one of the drizzly, grey days there if she wanted to go to Duck Park with Grandma. I wasn’t sure if Lauren, nearing 14, would be at all interested in seeing ducks in a pond from her childhood.
She nodded excitely before I finished the question.
I should have known… Lauren’s older cousin Stephanie wanted to go there, too, in this same year when she was visiting. She’s 27!
For over a quarter of a century a tradition has reached deep into the next generation. It was nice to see my mom and Lauren still enjoying Duck Park.
Be sure to click the little picture, above right, for the rest of the picture.