(Photo by Natasha Tofias)

That’s yours truly, Dear Readers, being “Gran” on my annual Christmas trip to Boston.  And those are my grandchildren- Carly (Caroline) age one and a half in my lap and Sam age three and half on the floor.

A swell time was had by all.  The kids were sweet and Sam actually knew who I was this time.  (As opposed to his paternal grandparents who live only two miles away and are a constant presence in his life.)

Sadly, I am the OTHER grandmother.

Sam and I spent the days playing hide and seek, hide and seek tag- a game that Sam invented- basketball, soccer and tic tac toe – which I taught him when I became exhausted from all that running around.

In return, he taught me a new game.

Don’t Break The Ice.

In case you’re not familiar with the rules, each player gets a mallet and taps out the ice blocks one by one.  The first player who makes the penguin fall through the ice, loses.


After two days of this, I had to change it up a little.  And the penguin was my inspiration.

I picked up an imaginary telephone.

“Hey, Sam, this is the owner of the Boston Bruins and we’re having a home game at the Garden tonight.  Can you deliver me some ice for the stadium?”

Sam got on board right away. Pretty amazing considering he’s never seen a hockey game and has no idea who the Bruins are.

“I can’t,” he said.  “I have other people who need the ice more than you do. ”


“But this is important,” I explained.  “The game is being televised and I NEED that ice.  You have to deliver it right away!”

“Sorry.”  He was obdurate.  “You will have to wait.  Other people are ahead of you.”


“But I can’t wait!  This is a game against the Stanley Cup champions- the Pittsburgh Penguins.  This is a crucial game.”

“No, I’m sorry.  You can get on the waiting list.  I have other people that are waiting for that ice.”

“I simply have to have that ice.  The Garden is sold out.  Look, I’ll pay you three times the going rate if you can have that ice here this afternoon.”

“No, I’m sorry. You are going to have to wait your turn,” Sam countered.

I knew how to handle this. I was going to have to be firm.

“I’d like to speak to the boss, please.”

“I AM the boss, ” Sam replied.  “Sorry. No ice.”

I knew when I was licked.  I am only too well acquainted with those genes and that corporate behavior.

Paging his OTHER grandfather.

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2 Responses to Darwin

  1. Susan Alexander says:

    Your grandchildren are darling and that Sam is one smart little kid. I was impressed with his determination to do the right thing. Thanks for sharing some of your fun with your grandchildren with us.

    • Ellen Ross says:

      Thanks, Susan. And I was stuck by Sam’s insistence to honor his prior customer commitments in just the same way. It was really funny how he stick to his three year old guns. Hope you and your grandchildren are staying happy- and warm. 😊

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