January 22, 2014 | 01:35 PM Last fall, on his third birthday, one of our grandsons spent the night with us. We gave him his birthday gift — superhero rubber boots — just before bedtime. He quickly put them on and was not easily persuaded to remove them before going to bed.
He and I "camped out" in a tent in our basement that night. Twice as I slept I was aware of a presence looming above me. When I opened my eyes each time, there stood a grinning Clark. He spoke not a word. He just stood there smiling, proudly displaying one new boot in each hand.
Yesterday, I spent the day grandparenting Clark on his parents' farm. The day was cloudy and chilly, and the ground saturated from recent snows. At one point, he asked and got permission to put on his coat and boots to go outside and play.
He came inside less than 10 minutes later, clearly contented. I thought nothing more about his time outside until I opened my car door to go home, and there was the record of Clark's whereabouts: boot prints, half a dozen on the driver's black leather seat and half a dozen on the passenger's seat and another dozen on the back bench seat.
No, I do not think I would have been amused if his father had done that when he was 3. And no, I would not have been happy if it had been our other car with beige fabric instead of easy-to-clean leather seats. And yes, the thought has crossed my mind that next time I go to the farm I should lock the car.
No, I have not removed the boot prints yet. Maybe this afternoon I will. Or maybe I won't.
I understand why Gore Vidal said, "Never have children, only grandchildren." Dr. Wayne Willis