Daily Connector | Kick the Can | Jim Myers

Matthew 19:14   but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

The Twilight Zone was one of my favorite TV programs in the 1960’s.   Except for his ever present dangling cigarette, I continue to admire Rod Serling (1924 – 1975), the Antioch College graduate who created and directed the series and wrote many of the episodes.  Perhaps my favorite episode is “Kick the Can”.

In the story, one nursing home resident tries to convince his friend from the home to join him in a game of kick the can with neighborhood children.  The friend is old and afraid and refuses to join.  After a period of time, with the hour getting late, the fearful friend went looking for his friend, but couldn’t find him.  All he could find were children playing Kick the Can.

On Saturday, my son Jeremy and granddaughter (Elliot) Rose visited me on the farm.  We practiced safe social distancing by keeping all our activities outside and keeping our safe distances.  Rose loves to wade in the creek, seeing the wonders of a flowing stream and viewing the fish and other wildlife.  She also likes to rearrange the rocks to change the flow and listen for the changed sounds of the babbling water.  I agreed to take the riding mower and keep an eye on her from the seat of the mower along the stream bank.  I mentioned to Rose that I had gotten a pair of wading boots.  I got them to be able to wade into the stream and trim the Osage Orange trees that were snagging drift and damming the stream. “Well grandpa, go put them on and come back and wade with me.”  

She is also my roller skating and horseback riding buddy, along with other shared activities.  It is refreshing and invigorating sharing parts of our lives with each other.  I am always worn out after my grandfather/granddaughter date day. Where she openly shares her innocence and venerability with me, I hope I share experience and wisdom with her.

60 years after the first airing of the “Kick the Can” episode, I have had an opportunity to view it from a child’s perspective and from the perspective of a person who is the same age as many nursing home residents.  My idealistic view of the story has softened over time and I now view it more metaphorically.  With that written, fight the soreness and stiffness.  Don’t ever be afraid to play children’s games with them.