The Grandpa Bucket List

This photo is not a bird in the sky. It’s an inexpensive kite purchased with the intent of showing my grandson how to make it fly.

It’s not a bird, not a plane, and certainly not Superman. Photo: Steve Newvine

It’s not a bird, not a plane, and certainly not Superman. Photo: Steve Newvine

As you can see, I was successful. The kite flew proudly over one of the City of Merced’s public parks shortly after the beginning of the new year.

But the safe launch, flight, and return of the kite were more than an achievement to start 2019.

It was also about crossing out something from what I call my grandpa bucket list.

My grandson and me, moments before our kite went in the air. Photo: Steve Newvine

My grandson and me, moments before our kite went in the air. Photo: Steve Newvine

From the time when I was a dad raising two daughters, kite flying was one of many activities we would do as a family.

At the time, we lived in upstate New York in a small community that had a large open park. The park had playground equipment, a small hill for winter sledding, an open air pavilion, and a giant oak tree.
In the summer, we’d go there to use the playground. In the winter, we’d go to use the hill for sledding. But in the spring and fall, we’d go there to fly a kite.

So it was no surprise to anyone when I declared after my grandson was born four years ago that someday, I would show him how to fly a kite.

Two kids, with about 55 years separating us, enjoying a day kite-flying. Photo: Steve Newvine

Two kids, with about 55 years separating us, enjoying a day kite-flying. Photo: Steve Newvine

The beauty of those cheap kites is just how easy it is to get it airborne.

We made it happen within minutes and enjoyed about twenty minutes of flight time. Kite flying was one thing I wanted to experience with my grandson.

But it got me thinking about other things I’d like to do with him.

Here is my grandpa bucket list.

  • Hold him as a newborn
  • Fly a kite
  • Take him to church with me
  • Watch him perform in a school play
  • Enjoy an adventure that ends with the two of us at a real diner (my grandfather did this with me and I never forgot it)
  • Visit a cemetery on Memorial Day
  • Tell him why I feel Johnny Carson was the best ever on TV
  • Attend his high school graduation
  • Attend his college graduation
  • Play some Sinatra and Elvis and explain to him why these artists were so important to me
  • Have a cup of coffee with him paid for from his paycheck at a job he enjoys
  • Attend his wedding
  • Take his phone call he makes just to say hello and see how I’m doing
  • Be nearby when his first child is born

So far, the first two items have been checked off the list. I’m sure I could add a few more if I wanted to.

The important thing for me is that I cherish every opportunity I have to share my time with my grandson.

That’s my grandpa bucket list.

Steve Newvine lives in Merced.

He has published Stand-By, Camera One-Love, Friendship, & TV News in 1980. All his books are available at Lulu.com