This Guy

What can we say about a grandson who has grown into a young man over the past couple of years? He is an athletic, smart, a kind-hearted young man, and the apple of his parent’s eye(s). We’ve watched him grow from a little guy to this deep-voiced, tall, muscular teenager. He is a world traveler, European back packer, mountain biker, former Ju Jitsu student, baseball player He once attended a Cal Ripken baseball camp and asked Mr. Ripken if he was ever afraid of the ball coming at him @ 90mph? Mr. Ripken told him yes, he has been afraid of the ball sometimes.

Part of becoming a player is learning to calm your fears. How cool is that? He is unafraid to try something new, to speak up in a crowd, and to help someone who may need it. They have brought him up to share his gifts with others, donate birthday gifts to the USMC Toys for Tots drive and delivered meals on wheels with his mom. His life has balance, enrichment, and support. They’re a wonderful family and we love them a bunch. We get to see them in October when they visit, and hope to keep in touch more with his new fully functioning cell phone.

In 13 1/2 years, this guy has grown into a part of what he’ll be the rest of his life. His heart is enormous, with love and compassion for everyone. His body is robust and nourished well. Although he’s an only child, he has many friends in the various groups he takes part in; school, swimming, mountain bike (training now), indoor swim, and who knows what he’ll pick once he gets into high school.

He is in a Spanish Immersion Program since pre-school. I admire the program as it will be necessary to speak two languages in these times. It will make you much more employable. Translators are critical now, for medical facilities, social services, and employment. My years in Human Resources hit home with the needs of the workplace now. He’ll do great with being bi-lingual.

The one thing that makes us miss him less? He is in Maryland, we’re in Nebraska. With that distance, it’s easy to lose each other in the distance. What we try to communicate to him is we think of him often, are proud of him, and we are all under the same sun, moon, and stars. We can try for a Facetime call when he’s not busy going to lessons, practices, doing homework, etc. Just remember, we love you, Joell. That will continue on forever. We’ve known and loved you all your life. Besos and love!

Grand parenting from a distance is hard. Yes, we could travel, but the Babe (and I) don’t want any exposure to COVID. We’re vaccinated. It appears not to matter with this mutated strain. We don’t want to be carriers, or become ill. I would guess we’ll go back to masks. The schools are considering it as we speak. This disease is no joke. We will make adjustments in life, and do what we can. As the song goes. We have to do what we can, and love one another through it. Our love goes to our families, scattered all over America. California, Colorado, Missouri, South Dakota, Maryland, and other’s I’ve probably forgotten. Spread some love around today. We all need it. See you tomorrow!

Happy Birthday, Addison!

Today, thirteen years ago, the Babe and I became Grandparents. What a life altering experience! It’s been quite a ride, and I pray the next thirteen years is as memorable and filled with love. The day Addison was born, we made a trip up to Sioux Falls to attend a wedding shower. I was helping throw the shower for Dan’s niece, Michelle. We knew Tracy was experiencing something, but didn’t think anything would come of it. We arrived, set the tables up, and had to turn around and go home. We hoped to make it back in time, and figured we would. It was about three and a half hours to get there. Nothing was happening yet, she was in the L&D room, her mom Sandy and Aunt Sharon were there, along with Grandpa Randy and Grandma Peggy.

It so happened February 10 was also Grandma Sandy’s birthday. How fun to become a Grandma on your birthday! Sandy passed away ten years ago from lung cancer, but she enjoyed her grandkids so much in the short time she lived after they were born. Sandy and I became good friends, and talked a lot about her kids growing up. The Babe and I married when our kids were all adults, so I didn’t experience them growing up. Together we have five kids, and now four Grandkids.

It was a beautiful thing to hear Sandy and Dan talk about when they were expecting Blake all those years ago in Sioux Falls. They talked about how broke they were (we all were, back in the day), and the cradle the Babe made. He made two more, one for each of his grandkids. It was truly a labor of love. They were one couple who could get past the divorce stuff and be friends. I’m sure they took the long way around to get there, but it was a wonderful thing to see. We would all be very lucky to be in that mindset for our kids of divorce.

I waited until everyone else held Addison, and the room was packed with people. Grandma Sandy brought her over to me, and said, “You haven’t had your turn, yet.” She placed the little pink baby in my arms. The tears came for both of us, and it was a beautiful moment. I think of Sandy often when the kids do something funny or even naughty, and how we talked so much. And that moment I first held our girl.

“Being a teenager means you’re not a little kid anymore”- Addison, on turning thirteen.

Sandy was still working when Addison was born, and I was not. Luckily, I got to watch her when the sitter had something else to do, or later when she couldn’t go to daycare due to the sniffles. I had so much fun with her. I think we have a special bond, and it would be there even with all the other grandmas Addison has. Her family extends as far as she can see, and it’s awesome. When I made them all Christmas stockings, she asked if we could make one for her daddy’s sister’s baby. We did. She is generous, happy, knows her own mind, expresses herself in times of trouble, and isn’t afraid to tell the teacher(s) if someone is treating her or someone else badly. She just gets it. She’s always “in” to go for ice cream, too.

We have watched countless dance recitals, classes, demonstrations, and competitions. This girl loves to be on stage dancing a solo. It amazes us a kid can learn to do that. We didn’t have experience speaking in front of people until we became adults. Glad they teach kids that now. So when they’re not kids anymore, they’ll be comfortable dancing, giving a speech, directing their workforce, etc. Addison has a heart of gold, and I pray she always looks at life with the joy she does. She loves her family so much, and her cousins in Maryland and Minnesota.

Thanks for reading today. It’s my pleasure to see you here, where I’ll be tomorrow. Hope you are, too. Now, it’s back to the book rewrite. Have a blessed day.