JoAn Martin

This is a Grandfather and Grandson Story. Margaret returned home to visit her parents bringing Josh, her 4-year old, to stay a while. They both needed to recover.

She and her husband were in the middle of a disintegrating marriage.

Josh especially needed time away from being in the messy break up. His small body was stiff with anger. He had developed this pointing thing when he became stressed. He’d set his jaw and point his index finger at everyone in silence. His little boy rage seemed bottled up in fury. He would accept no comfort and squirm away from any embrace.

Josh was grandpa’s only grandson and grandpa had looked forward to their creating a relationship. He tried toy dinosaurs and played on the floor with Josh. They played pitch and catch in the backyard until it became obvious that Josh couldn’t care less.

Then they discovered the River. Actually a creek, stream, brook. It was April, not warm enough, but as they arrived at the edge, Grandpa took a flying leap, jeans and all.

Josh stared at such an unexpected action. Then he took a running leap of his own, landing in a hole and going under for a beat. He emerged sputtering and coughing. The rest of the afternoon was filled with water-based silliness. Later at home his mother asked about his day. “First I drown-ded” he said.

The river became a refuge for them. Theyy made canals in the sand, catalogued the minnows, and collected rocks. The only words spoken were “Hey Papa, look at this!”  At the end of the fun, Papa would pick up his wet body and carry Josh to the car.

When Margaret and Josh moved out of state, Papa and Grandma drove them to the airport. Josh pouted all the way, then announced, “I’m not going. I like it here.”

Margaret bribed him into it. At least Josh wasn’t pointing with his rebellious finger.

JoAn Martin is a retired teacher with five published novels. Reach her at or at

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