It was not a long drive, it was a busy drive, stop and go, hurry up and wait, the kind of drive that wore on you. So when Mick finally got to his daughters house in Rhode Island he was spent and he was ready to get some sleep. Dena was waiting and worried, she loved him and now that her mother was gone she was even more protective of her father. Mick came in the side door of the big house, and she hugged him and asked “ Dad how was your drive, you are not accustom to that kind of drive are you, it can tire you out quick, can I get you something, coffee, water or a glass of wine” Mick finally got to speak “ Hello sweetheart, I am good, I am okay, and no I already had too much coffee”
Mick hadn’t seen his daughter since the funeral, and now it brought back memories, of the funeral, his wife, and more. Dena looked a lot like Layla, and when Mick looked at his daughter he was reminded of Layla when she was in her 30s. Dena looked at her father, and tilted her a head just a little to the left, smiled, and said” what are you thinking about, when you get that look on your face, it means your lost in your own thoughts” Mick just smiled at Dena, and nodded. Dena said “ Come on Dad, I will show you to your room, the kids are asleep so we will try and be quiet, if we wake them I will never get them back to sleep now that you’re here, they were so excited you were coming” Mick thought yes, let us be real quiet I need a good nights sleep before I spend the day with my grand kids. Mick was looking forward to seeing them, they were everything to Layla, she loved them so much, and it hurt her more than anything else, that she would not see them grow up. Mick laid in the strange bed at his daughters house, the guest room was OK, but like every night since his wife had passed away, he was lonely. He thought about his grand kids, to take his mind off his loss, there was Lea his 7 year old grand daughter, she was cute, she was smart and she was precocious, she said what she thought, and it made you think. Then there was Miles, all boy, and always in trouble a three year old ball of fire, who had a mind of his own and didn’t mind letting you know it. This is what drove Micks Daughter half crazy, just trying to keep up with these two rambunctious children. Mick knew Dena loved them and loved being there mom, he just hoped she could survive them. He was up early as was his nature, and so was Miles, Grandpa, Grandpa, Miles yelled, “ come see, come see” Micks hand was grabbed and he was pulled toward the room off the kitchen, he thought , Miles wants to show me a new toy. Mick said “ wait let me get a cup of coffee”, Miles was already gone as Mick poured his coffee, and headed to the play room , it was just off the kitchen, so Dena could keep a eye and ear out for her children, if she was in the kitchen. Mick entered the play room and expected to find Miles with a new toy truck or ball, but that wasn’t the case. Miles was at a large touch screen and he was busy touching, Mick started to ask are you suppose to be playing with that and he realized it belonged to Miles, the top of the screen had his name on it, behind the screen was another screen with Lee’s name on it. Mick thought my daughter is to smart, both children had there own touch screen computer, no fights and Dena could control the content based on there age and level of interest. Miles was busy and Mick came up right behind him and looked to see what was so enthralling, Mick was shocked, his mouth just hung open as he watched Miles little fingers move on the screen. Miles was on a journey, a path that lead to his goal, which Mick assumed was at the end of the path but there were forks in the path and obstacles. Miles didn’t estate he choose his path when he came to a fork and he handled the streams and cliffs, big rocks, and now he was climbing a tree to get to a rope and swing out and cross a river, as he swung to a small island in the river and then commandeered a small boat to get over the river. On the other side of the river Miles came to another fork in the path, he paused and surveyed the choice, the first choice looked easy but you could only see a little ahead then it was dark, the second choice looked like it moved away from from the goal, which Mick could see on a small screen in the corner of the big screen. Miles had come about one third of the way to his goal behind him the screen was lite up showing where he had been, but in front of him it was dark and the path he needed to choose was not obvious. Miles choose what looked like the harder path, and was moving again , he carefully climbed the rock face and once at the top took of down the path which turned and headed in the right direction, toward the goal. Suddenly Mick was aware someone was behind him, it was Dena she was watching him, Mick looked at his daughter and smiled, He said “ good morning sweetheart, I was watching Miles traverse this game, this is really interesting” Dena smiled, and said “ yes it is, he loves it, its never the same, every time he plays it, it adapts to his chooses, and how fast he moves through it, it makes it harder or easier depending on how well he does as he plays, it is set for a 4 year old but he is just about to move to the 5 year old level, Lea plays it, she will show you when she gets up, she is already at a ten year old level and in the girl mode, so she is doing the things girls like, as she chooses her path” Mick was impressed, he asked “ what is the name of this game” Dena said “Miles is playing, Miles’s Path, Lea plays Lea’s Path, each game is personalized for the player, by age, ability and gender if you wish, the game has gender neutral, it starts at age 3 too age 13, I am working on the teenage model now and after that then the young adult model.” Mick looked over at Dena she was watching the screen as Miles rolled along, Mick asked “ what do you mean you are working on it” Dena looked up at Mick and smiled, she said “ I wrote this program, this was my idea, and I am developing it along with some other people, and Shane who has put up the money to get it started. Mick said “ I didn’t know, about this, its fantastic, wow, I don't know what to say, very impressive” Dena said “ yes it is, I am very happy with it, and I think we can make it even better, wait till you see Lea on it, at her level there is a lot more going on.” Mick put his hand on Miles shoulder and said, “ Miles I am going back to the kitchen to talk with your mother, see you at breakfast.” Miles turned and looked at his grandfather and just smiled, and then went right back to his game. Mick followed Dena back to the kitchen, she was starting breakfast as Mick poured her a cup of coffee, and refilled his own. Dena spoke, “ I had to do something, the kids were driving me crazy, I couldn’t keep them busy or entertained for more than 30 minutes, and to let them just set and watch TV, and all the brainless shows seemed like a crime, so I came up with The Path, and so far its working, they are not only occupied, they are learning and they love it.” Mick said “ I can see the benefits, for them and you.” Dena looked past Mick to the door way, Mick turned and there stood Lea in the doorway to the kitchen, when she saw Mick she smiled real big and yelled Grand pa, you made it, she ran to him and rapped her arms around him. Mick was glad he came it was all worth it just for this.