|Forum topic by fussy||posted 08-21-2012 09:15 AM||1051 views||0 times favorited||18 replies|
08-21-2012 09:15 AM
When my first grandson was born nearly six years ago, nobody could have prepared me for the rush of intensity of the love I felt for that messey, misshapen, howling at the top of his lungs, slimey, little mess that rolled quickly off the elevator in a portable incubator accompanied by his father and two nurses. I was stunned. I couldn’t get enough.
Over the next few minutes, he was cleaned up (he howled), weighed (howled), had a blood test (schrieked), had a foot and hand print (became apoplectic) and was generally poked, prodded and thrown around so much I am sure her felt like a foot ball. But love? I could see and hear him through the glass, but couldn’t touch, but he was MY GRANDSON.
Over the next 5 1/2 years, he has grown. He has grown physically (he’s the biggest kid in preschool, the ONLY brown belt in Tai Kwan Do) BUT HE’S GENTLE, MAKES FRIENDS EASILY, and enthusiastic. A teacher’s dream.
All this, of course comes at the expense of watching the baby become a young man. Every new challenge he takes up involves leaving behind an old baby trait; for example, he buckles his own seat belt, but he still waits expectently for his grandmother to check him and kiss him. He pours his own and his sister’s milk, but he still at times needs his porkchops cut up. He grows before our eyes daily, and we never know who is going to get in the car after school until he’s there.
When he began eating at our house at lunch three years ago, we would sing the “Feed Me Song”. from “Little Shop of Horrors” He would sit in my lap and ask for one more “bite-bite. He loved (amd still does) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When asked how he wanted it cut (we were working in the shop by 3 years of age) we gave him 3 choices, vertical, horizontal, or the other possibility. He would proudly and decisively announce, “Daggonagle!!” (sp?) This was his hallmark.
Kids grow up, and that’s ok; it’s what we really want for them. Really! But it comes so damned fast that it seems like weeks, not years. Perhaps this is a good argument for not feeding them so well. Last Tuesday, he started kindergarten. He has new glasses, I got him a new haircut of which he is undeniably proud (His Mother was less so—her baby), he walks errect with supreme confidence, has arithmatic in the bag, is beginning to read, is beginning to understand fractions and measurement, loves tools and woods, can speak with adults on their level on many subjects, but knows when to be quiet and listen. He has grown up in the last month. Grown enough that we may be confident that we are beginning to see the fine young man he is to become. He is growing, yes; but he is not quite grown.
Our children and grand children grow up and start lives of their own long before we are ready. One can watch childhood fall away like too-small clothes and shoes (LOTS of those). Although this is painful for those of us priviledged to have been a part (we imagine and hope we were formative parts), it is only as it should be. The stripping away of childhood is both jarring and joyful. Each stage brings new challenges and new oportunities, new excitement and worry as our children prepare to take up where we leave off—hopefully to better effect. All we can do is watch and hope that the love and effort works as we want it to. So fAr, so good.
The other day at lunch we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again. When asked his preference for cutting he thought, then replied in a thoughtful, grown-up voice, ” I think I would like daggonagle (sp?) please!” Yeah, kids grow up; too fast it sometimes seems. We know that it’s the way it’s supposed to be
-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.