Sherry Hopkins Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 15, 2007

Get the picture? by Sherry Hopkins
Eight-year-old Zac teaches life’s lessons to Grandma

This summer I will be spending occasional Fridays with my youngest grandson Zac. Zac is eight years old and I may be a smidgen prejudiced, but he’s very smart.

In fact, Zac is so smart he doesn’t see much reason to progress to the third grade as he already knows how to read and write, do math and “fix” his bicycle.

“What else do I need to know?” he asks, honestly and innocently. Looking at things from his perspective, probably not much more.

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I count myself as pretty smart also but the following things I did not know until my first Friday with the exceptional 8-year-old I had the pleasure of spending the day with.

1) When making chocolate milk, always put the milk in first and then the chocolate syrup. That way the syrup stays mixed up and not on the bottom of the glass. Who knew?

2) Everything is funny when you are eight!

3) Laughing, even when it isn’t funny, is contagious.

4) It is never too cold to get under the water hose.

5) Ramen noodles are good.

6) You do need to color inside the lines because that’s what the lines are there for.

7) You may never forget how to ride a bicycle but it doesn’t mean you are physically able. (My thighs will burn for weeks.)

8) The bed and dishes and dust will wait. (He promises.)

9) Watching everything they do is extremely gratifying: “watch, Grandma, watch me, Grandma, Grandma, watch…”

10) When you play army men, Grandma is always the bad guy. The good guys are taking over the whole world, but we don’t know why. There’s a bigger story there I’m afraid.

11) Just because you love someone you don’t have to like him or her.

12) Cats do not like water guns or little boys with water guns.

13) The feeling you get jumping ramps with your trick bike must be something like making your last mortgage payment.

14) When you’re finished playing in the sand pile the sand doesn’t feel nearly as much fun anymore.

15) The 50-plus-year-old series, The Little Rascals, is still funny today.

16) Being cold and snuggling under a warm blanket with someone you love is worth a two-hour movie about a talking mouse.

17) Missing the “Cliffhanger Friday” edition of Young & the Restless is not nearly as important as I thought it was.

18) Nobody makes better butter toast than Grandma.

19) Spontaneity with no regrets is brave. Zac went from an overgrown skateboard haircut to a flat top in about five minutes. Never looking back.

20) Eight-year-olds don’t care about your failures or your character flaws. They just want lots of love and your undivided attention.

21) You get the picture?

(Contact Sherry at