With all the failings I have as a human, father, and husband, there is one area where I am most pleased to say I try to do my very best. It started almost 16 years ago (whoa, that’s a long time) when Bryce was born to my eldest and most favorite daughter. For the first time, I was a grandpa!!
I had been a dad for a couple+ decades and was in love with my little – big – bigger – way bigger – offspring. I will always be grateful for their patience in teaching me how to be a better man.
BUT, having grandchildren is a totally different experience.
|Playing 'Frozen Toes" at a Grandma|
Maybe it’s because dads have this place in their heart for their children and the new little additions, as break-offs, increase the amount of love – sort of like addition by division (OK, I’m really bad in math and that probably makes no sense, but it does to me).
|Grandkids playing with Great-Grandpa's Junk|
down on the farm.
Anyway, having these little tykes (and the bigger ones too) surely makes my life more complete.
Teresa is amazing about keeping them in our daily/weekly/monthly experiences. We have a regular weekend where a small group (small in number, not always size) comes to spend the night with Grandma and have a little fun.
Some of them go to Home Depot for a project and as they get older we try to have an age appropriate activity they will enjoy. There are weekends where it is a little struggle (for me) but overall, I love it as much as Grandma does (but don’t tell her cause she might think I’m getting soft).
|A selfie of Matt and Grandpa at the Jazz game.|
Recently, our oldest son, Josh, called and asked if I could help him with his boy. Matt is on a Jr. Jazz team and they get to go to the (Whatever they call it) Center where the Jazz play, for a real game. Josh was incapacitated and wondered if I could fill in for him and I readily agreed. I was a little worried Matt might find it boring to go somewhere with an old guy, but I needn’t have been concerned.
|It's a long way from where we were to the floor.|
Our seats were high up in the rafters of the arena but the Big Screen helped and Matt was enthralled with all the action. He was thrilled to ride the train (TRAX) uptown and really loved the free hot dog and drink we got with the ticket (“Best hot dog I have ever had” he said). I was delighted with his very mature attitude and all the questions he asked about the game, arena, players, and other things. The night was a huge success for both of us – for different reasons – but a success nonetheless.
|It was a late night for a young man.|
|Matt was thrilled with the program.|
Being Grandpa has many advantages but the best one is being around people who are growing up and making such a positive mark on the lives of others. I’m not being prejudiced or proud when I state that every one of the young people who has come into our family is talented, determined, inspired, and loved in more ways than they (or we) can imagine. Each is positive and willing to give of themselves without reservation.
|Emma dressed in her princess outfit (can't|
remember which princess it is).
|Grandma party where we took the kids to the water fountains. |
Even Becca got in on the wetness.
As an example, Aubrey (Bryce and Ellie sometimes) sacrifices one evening a week to go with Grandma to care for Becca while Brian and Paula go on a date for the evening. Benjamin, Katie, and Christopher are always so excited to have Grandma come for a visit, but the REALLY light up when Aubrey and Ellie or Bryce make the trip. And it is such a blessing for Grandma to have helpers with her.
It would be easy to list every child in our brood and give examples of how they show love and are loved for/by so many others. That is what's so gratifying to see – children of our children who have been taught the right way and are putting those teachings into action.
|More water with the kids.|
I used to worry that some of my orneriness as a young dad might damage our children but what I see from them is the compassion and love they felt as they were raised by people who cared deeply for their lives. And they have increased that love as their own children have come to their homes. My heart is just about to burst with joy as I consider all the blessings that I receive from this gaggle of nearly perfect people.
Whod've thunk it!!
THAT’S why being Grandpa is is the best!!