A Lesson in Appreciation
by Skyechan

"Grandpa!" The child calls from atop the hill, his sled clasped in his gloved hands, "Hurry, hurry!"

Trudging slowly up the large hill, his grandfather grumbles. 'Can't a child appreciate that I'm old?' he asks himself 'I'm not young and full of energy like he is.'

The old man reaches the top of the hill, his breath forming icy clouds in front of his face. The child eagerly awaits him, his cheeks read from the cold. "Can I go now?" he asks.

"Yes." The old man replies. 'I'm missing one of my TV shows!' he complains to himself as the child climbs atop the sled and pushes himself down the hill. Shrieking with laughter, he lands at the bottom in a pile of snow.

The old man's face softens. How long has it been since he has laughed like his grandson just did? He struggles to remember. It has to be before his wife died. After that, he had grown cold and shut out things that he took for granted, things that made him smile. Family and friends.

A chilly wind creeps around the old man, and he pulls his thick coat tighter.

Family and friends. And to tell the truth, he hasn't much missed them; they and just been there.

Staring at the child as he runs up the hill again, the old man realizes that it isn't like that for his grandson. For his grandson, family and friends are the world, and his grandson knows how to appreciate them.

'Appreciate things.' The old man thinks. 'That's something I've forgotten how to do.' His grandson finds wonder in such small things. He may find a mere leaf fascinating, but to the old man, it's just there, something more to rake. Nothing special.

The child looks up at the heavens, day or night, and sees amazing things; things he doesn't understand. The old man sees clouds, 'surely it must mean that it will rain' is hus usual thought; and stars, glowing balls of flame, light years away.

The child is so happy, the old man so cold and alone.

"Grandpa!" The child calls again from the bottom of the hill, waving. Raising his hand, the old man waves back.

'That is why children are so happy.' He thinks, 'they appreciate things.' With a start, the old man realizes that the child has never been sledding before. To his grandson, sledding is a new, amazing thing. To the old man, sledding is just something that is there. Nothing special

"Grandpa," the child says, startling the old man out of his daze, "do you want to go sledding with me?"

Any other day the old man would have grouchily said "No," But today his answer is yes.




P.S. Thanks, IrisDedrick for pointing out my little mistake!! :D