|Josie announcing that she is going |
to be a cat for Halloween.
Have to pull up in the median at the split and wait for space to open. Finally, it's calm and I scoot the car to the right, then pick up speed.
And he grins, that grin just like his daddy's.
Opa is laughing so hard he's crying.
Kaden is 1 1/2, doesn't have words yet, but he can babble -- a lot. He has straight hair -- blond like his brother, but nothing like Jacob's curly mop. He loves balls, any kind, and there are plenty of them at Granny and Opa's apartment.
Kaden can pitch those balls. He winds up, he's got perfect form and he sends the balls flying. Then he poses, foot forward, determined look on his puckered-up face. He's a pitcher.
Then he's laughing.
Oh, the grandkids. They're better than any ballgame. They are the joys of our lives. Can't say that anything I've ever done, any role I've ever played, is more enjoyable than being Opa. Granny Bea will agree.
|Kaden and Jacob sharing a shaved ice.|
The kids come quickly in a marriage; in fact, Jason was almost 3 when Bea and I got married in 1977. Rachel came along two years later. You're young and you're working, and you feel pressure, and perhaps you're uncertain that what you're doing with your kids is the correct thing to do.
Maybe I didn't enjoy our kids as much as I could have; I was too harsh with them, too demanding. Too much turmoil at home. Lots of regret there, although they came through it all, and they're young adults now, settled with their own families and their own lives.
The grandkids are the reward for those 30-something years of marriage. You wait so long for them. When the kids are expecting, it's a time of anxiety. But those three days when they arrived -- Oct. 23, 2007 (Josie), Feb. 8, 2009 (Jacob) and March 1, 2011 (Kaden) -- are three of the greatest days of our lives.
What a joy. We love taking care of them -- and we get the boys quite often because Jay and Ann are busy with their Cajun food truck business. We had Josie for a week in May; her first stay with us without her mother.
But it's not that easy; we're not as young as we used to be. They demand attention; they need some oversight. The boys are into everything and Jacob, who loves his little brother, does not always love sharing his toys. At times, he'll hide them under a pile of stuffed animals so Kaden can't get to them.
I can see a lot of possession battles in the future, and we are the referees.
Josie reminds us so much of the young Rachel -- she looks like her, and she's bright and curious, creative, talkative, dramatic, has loved her videos and books since she was tiny, memorizes the scripts and the words and recites them to you, can draw and paint, and does so with great intensity.
She behaved admirably in the week she was with us, only one meltdown for about 10 seconds. She was a delight. She only asked about her parents -- and going home -- a couple of times. But she was obviously happy to get back to Knoxville.
After her first day back at her daycare, we went to pick her up. As we pulled away, she timidly asked, "Are we going back to Texas?" She was quite relieved to learn we were going to her house.