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Taking the hand of a child is sometimes all the courage that you need

Mavis Fodness, reporter

The weather this past Labor Day weekend met (and even exceeded) the predicted hot and humid forecast.

To beat the heat, I spent a portion of Sunday at a water park with my oldest grandchildren.

We happily joined other adults and children who chose to don swimsuits and jump into the cooling water.

As I looked at the faces of the other adults, I noticed not many were old enough to be grandparents.

I realized that I may have been the oldest person there. (Definitely the oldest wearing a swimsuit.)

Grandparents don’t know what they were missing.

I talked and listened to my 4- and 6-year-old grandchildren as we slowly floated on innertubes around the lazy river.

We climbed and slid down all the elements in the splash park area.

We paddled across the open pool area.

My grandchildren decided we needed to go down the indoor water slides.

Glancing up at the three-story staircase that carried swimmers to the top of the slide, I knew this activity wasn’t for me.

Heights terrify me.

The height didn’t deter the grandkids or my 3- and 6-year-old great-nephew and niece, who joined in on the waterslide fun.

As I sat on the lawn chair at the bottom of the slide, I watched the foursome splash to a finish with grins on their faces and a gleam in their eyes that indicated, “We want to do it again!”

At age 3, Aidyn didn’t meet the height limit to ride the green spiraling

I was his only hope … swallowing hard, I said I would take him down the slide.

With his little hand in mine, we climbed those stairs together.

With each step, his firm grasp gave me the courage to climb to the top of the platform.

I was by far the oldest waiting in line for the slide.

No matter, I thought, I had a duty to do, and I had a little boy depending on me to come through.

Three times we slid down that spiraling tube, with me screaming all the way to the bottom.

Aidyn laughed each time. The other three kids cheered at our finish.

Years from now, those kids won’t remember those presents and other material items that I purchased for them.

What I hope they will remember is all those times “MeeMaw Mavis” took their hands, joining in on their fun instead of sitting on the lawn chair or, worse yet, choosing not to be there at all.