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“Do cows get married?”

A long weekend with your grandchildren is like an unexpected gift.  You don’t really know what the gift is going to be until you open it up.  No matter how much you plan, there are going to be some surprises when you get them all together.
The weekend started with us picking up Laura and Will and taking them to Bainbridge to Henry’s Elementary School chorus program.  All five elementary schools participated and everyone did an excellent job.    
The next evening, Mary Lou picked up Henry and we all met for dinner at Big Jim’s. They always seem to find something new and exciting when we visit this local institution.   
Since they had been with their Granny all day, they decided to ride back to Donalsonville with me in the pickup truck.  About a mile into the trip, we drove past a field with a bunch of cows and young calves.  
“Do you think cows get married?” I heard from the back seat. “Cows don’t get married” came a quick response. “How do they have babies, then?” came the follow-up question.“They breed”.  “What is that?”   
Oh my goodness, where is their Granny when I need her?   I realized there were 20 more miles to travel. This could be a long ride home. How do you tackle that subject with a nine, seven and three-year-old at the same time?
“You know.  They just breed.  That’s how they have babies”.  There was no response and the moment passed. I quickly changed the subject to the Mayhaw trees growing in the water near the road.  
Since it was nice weather on Saturday, we decided to go swimming.  Actually they decided to go swimming and I was drafted to go with them. It wasn’t so cold after the first two or three minutes. Apparently there is no truth to the rumor that body fat insulates you from the cold water.  I was freezing, though my body fat percentage is easily triple that of any of these skinny kids.   
Having raised only daughters, I forgot one of the cardinal rules of potty training. Do not talk to a three-year-old boy while he is taking a leak in front of the toilet. They turn with their whole body, and not just their head.  Think of a garden hose being waved around and you get the picture.  
They collectively ate like a horse, slept all night, and got along great with each other.   Laura and Will attended church with us, chowed down at the monthly covered dish luncheon and made new friends.
Grandkids are a special gift.  Mary Lou and I almost made it until dark before we had to go to bed after their departure Sunday afternoon. We can clean that bathroom later. In the meantime, do you think cows really do get married?
Dan Ponder can be reached at

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