Picture taken last year at Joshua’s high school graduation. He’s in the middle. Jordan graduates from college next weekend. He’s the handsome dude in the white shirt.
Our bags are packed and I’m so ready to go. The call of warmer weather, green grass and blooming flowers was remote and even impossible last weekend. A new blanket, about a foot deep, was laid upon the beginnings of spring here in Minnesota. When we do weather, it’s always bigger than life. We will soon hit the road to S. Carolina, via a stop in Nashville (my annual visit with my only sibling.)
Our oldest grandson is graduating from college. He’s the first member of our immediate family to accomplish this task, so it is fitting that we be there to celebrate with him.
We’re fortunate to have had a wonderful relationship with our grandchildren. Usually at this point in their lives, grandkids don’t spend much time with the old fogies. We’ve just become antiquated versions of what they will become some day. However, we created a very strong bond from the moment they were all born. Each grandchild, like every child, has their unique characteristics. Each will follow their dreams and attain success in what ever they decide to do in the future. Our job is to encourage and inspire them.
This grandson has always been the studious one. He often was seen in the wings of a theater production, reading. More often than not, the book he was reading was the Bible. For a time I thought he might even become a pastor, but that was not in God’s plan. We rarely realize what God’s plan for our lives might be until it’s passed us by. In hindsight we can see His almighty intervention and achieved goals for us, but prior to the actual accomplishments, we seldom know what the outcome will be. We can, however, trust that God has our best interests in mind and His plan for us will be achieved.
I recall this young man, sitting under our dining room table with our Golden Retriever, Bo. The two were great friends from the time both of them were pretty much brand new. This same young lad was so interested in nature and God’s creation and every living thing had a purpose to him. When I stepped on an ant, he quickly admonished me for taking the life of a living organism. At the age of five, he went on to write a book about ants, their habitat, their work ethic and their social skills. The book was illustrated with delightful pictures of ants. He was the kid on the block that invited everyone to come to church with him. His paternal grandfather was an evangelist and I’m certain the gene carried on to his grandson.
He would collaborate on plays I wrote – always offering comedic relief during a tense situation. His voice changed early and it seemed to happen over night. I don’t recall his voice ever cracking. He magically turned from a little boy into a young man. By the time he was in high school, he discovered the joy of running. Up until that time, he had little interest in sports. I recall a T-ball league he was part of at an early age. They put him in center field, where absolutely no action occurs and he sat picking dandelions and blowing the seeds to the wind. Cross country running soon became a passion for him.
His braininess carried over into his studies and he’s always done well in school. When I referred to him as a walking encyclopedia, his younger brother piped up and said,
“Yes, and I’m just a pocket dictionary – with pages missing.”
There were the hours spent whittling with grandpa, while sitting on a log in the backyard – learning to sketch and paint – enjoying nature. The silly little performances done by all three of our grandchildren to entertain us. There were the countless plays he performed in – my special bonding time with him. There were the “Grandparents Day” events at school, where we saw then progress they made during the year.
Being a grandparent holds a special joy, because we have a chance to make up for missed opportunities we had as parents. Our grandchildren have learned several things from us. They know they are loved unconditionally. They know we still remain active and busy in our lives and that we love the work we do. They’ve seen us succeed and fail and pick ourselves up and start over again. They know we are available for them when ever they need us. They know we won’t judge them – we’re extremely proud of them – we are eternally grateful for them.
So off we go – hitting the road again with my road warrior husband. I can’t wait!