I was spending Christmas in Vermont with my step daughter Caryn, her husband Ron and their 2 boys Matthew and Ryan (ages 9 and 6, respectively). My step son Marc was also there with his wife Elle and their 2 boys Kyle and Zack (also ages 9 and 6, respectively).
I had just told my grandson, Ryan, how much I enjoy posting stories with pictures on Facebook, and although I'm sure he didn't completely understand it (or understood it in some bizarre way that only a 6 yr old mind can embrace) he seemed impressed. So, he told me he was going to write a story about me and draw a picture to go with it.
It was the day after Christmas, and 2 days earlier we had all gone sledding at an impressive hill near the house. We brought several inner tubes and a red plastic sled with us, and when we arrived there we found that although the snow on the hill had been flattened down into a layer of hard packed snow and ice by people who had been there before us, we were now the only people there.
We took turns going down the hill using the tubes and sled we brought, and after a couple of trips down I decided to stay at the bottom with my video camera and take some 'action shots.' I got a number of really good videos as people blew past me at the bottom of the hill. I managed to keep from getting run down by the fast moving rockets - for a while.
Kyle sat up on the red plastic sled and started his rapid descent down the center of the hill, and I was standing at the bottom slightly left of center. The hill was about 200 feet long but the hard packed snow made it a very fast ride. After about 50 feet I noticed that Kyle and the sled started to turn towards me, and I knew that Kyle would not be able to maneuver the sled away from me. so I started to move quickly to my left, away from Kyle's path. As I moved away I saw that the sled kept drifting more rapidly towards me, and I soon realized that I was not going to be able to outrun it. So - at the last second, just before the inevitable impact - I instinctively jumped up in an effort to try and clear Kyle and the sled.
Ok, let's face it - I'm 60 years old, and although I'm still in pretty good shape I can no longer jump like I could when I was a kid, so even though I cleared the sled I wasn't able to clear Kyle, and his body hit my lower legs, flipping me completely upside down! I landed on my back and Kyle came to a spinning halt close to me. I'm a tough old guy and Kyle is a tough kid, so fortunately neither one of us was hurt - and neither one of us cried. After shaking it off we both went back to our sledding and recording.
But this event left a vivid image in Ryan's mind, and it was this incident about which he chose to write. So now that you know the story, let's look at Ryan's interpretation.
The picture he drew shows a cluster of people on the right side with their tubes, and on the left you can see 2 people - Kyle at the top of the red patch and me at the bottom. I love the way young kids represent space and time - the red patch not only represents the red sled, it also depicts the path it took down the hill. When Ryan showed me the picture, he pointed at the arrow that runs from my head to my toes and said, "This shows how you flipped upside down". Then he looked me in the eyes, smiled and said, "That was really cool!" - we laughed.
Ryan's story was short and sweet (OK, grandma helped him with the spelling but the words were his), and you'll notice that he signed his name on a dotted line ... which made it look more like a legal deposition than a story. I guess he just felt obliged to make a formal statement!