Who is that Old Man at the Playground?

Who is that Old Man at the Playground?

In my new neighborhood, I have noticed a widespread tradition– grandparent day.

Every Thursday, on the way to pick up Tsoofy at kindergarten, I pass by Savta Chula who picks up her granddaughter, Sara, and then heads off with her and her siblings to an afternoon of fun.

And every Sunday, if I go to the “Green Playground,” I see the midwife who takes care of her grandchildren until her daughter, a teacher, finishes work.

But I have noticed one grandfather for whom, it seems, every day is grandparent day. No matter what day I go to the playground, he is there. No matter what day there is a neighborhood performance for kids, he is there. With a boy around 8-years-old.

A few days ago on the light rail, I ran into a neighbor, and we were talking about this and that when she started telling me the following story…

“I know an older couple in the neighborhood who were never able to have children. They went through countless fertility treatments, until the wife reached the age of 57, at which point she said ‘Enough already. I’m never going to have a child! Why continue going through all this pain and heartbreak for nothing?’ And the broken wife went and poured out her feelings to the Rav. And he told her, “I know it’s very hard. But try, just one more time…”

And 9 months later, that woman became, quite possibly, the first woman in history for whom retirement and maternity leave began simultaneously.

Yesterday, at the neighborhood animal show, once again I saw the grandfather for whom every day is grandparent day. And I realized, this is no grandfather I am seeing.

This is the father for whom, like his ancestor Avraham Avinu, a dream of many years finally came true.


  1. my husband was 52 when he took our son on the Upsherin float at the Lag b’Omer parade. due to his grey hair and beard, everyone asked him why he was taking his grandson on the float. he answered, “this is my son, and my wife just had a baby girl!”
    it’s been interesting being an older parent, and always rewarding to see the surprised expressions when my husband and i say that we are the parents of our two youngest children.
    I know that just being the “old parents” at the playground brings hope to others…

  2. When I first moved to my neighborhood, I saw a pair of grandparents taking a walk with their infant grandchild. I thought it was so cute to see them walking so peacefully and enjoying him.
    Later I found out that this was their 11th child. Talk about the peaceful life I was imagining them in!!!

  3. ooooooooooooooh
    i really like it,Chana Jenny!
    and Tamar’s and Sara’s comments too – thank you!

  4. I have children that are the same age or younger than some of my grandchildren. Sometimes I am too busy being a parent to be a bubby, but no regrets!

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