It’s not unusual for a grandmother to be called on to babysit the grandchildren from time to time. Like on a weekend when the parents want to celebrate an anniversary, for example.
But anniversaries have a habit of adding up. And grandchildren grow from babies into teenagers all too fast it seems. Which may explain why babysitting teenage grandchildren for a weekend may be far from a passive, and peaceful experience. And babysitting may be the wrong term to use.
“It was more like herding cattle,” was one grandmother’s response to the experience as she described a long weekend of dealing with a pair of adolescent offspring.
It brought to mind scenes from old black and white westerns with calves being rounded up, poked, prodded and herded through cattle drives and the not infrequent use of whips and lariats; and much yelling, whistling and dust and dirt. There also seemed to be sleepless and watchful nights with coyotes howling in the distance somewhere.
“And don’t forget the branding,” she said, looking perhaps a bit punitive. Or maybe she was still a bit tired after her weekend of babysitting and possibly the talk of tattoos.
There’s no mention of babysitting or even of herding cattle among the pages of the Bible. Those folk were more into dealing with sheep and goats.
It does say, however, “All we like sheep have gone astray…” (Isaiah 53:6). But, of course, that’s not in reference to teenagers only.