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fullsizeoutput_2f09My grandkids stopped in for a long visit. They are little tykes, just 6,4, and 2. Anything that Grandpa does that is just a wee bit funny, starts them giggling.

When they arrived, they ran into my arms for a long hug. Of course they took to their age and all talked at once. My Grandfatherly skills kicked in and I agreed to everything they were all saying.

If I had to I could deny everything and blame my bad memory or horrible hearing. Don’t worry, I would fulfill all my promises as they reminded me of each guarantee that we had discussed. In the meantime, their memory was worse than mine.

They each scampered around the house. This was their first time to our home. It was an endless array of new rooms, fascinating decorations, new toys, tons of niches waiting for the imagination of children.

I warned them that I had a helper upstairs. He was a friendly plumber making sure everything with water was functioning well for our very loved guests. “Be on your best behavior,” I urged them, “You don’t want to scare him.”

“Where is he?” they forced a calm on their faces and into their voices.”
“Oh, he’s upstairs. I believe I hear him in the bathroom that y’all are using during your visit. If you want, go on upstairs and say ‘Hello.'”

They scurried upstairs and I waited for the discovery. “Oh, Goong Goong! You’re funny!”

That’s the best reaction to a simple welcome for three lives that I love beyond words. Giving them a moment of levity after days of driving half way across the country to visit was special. Hearing these little lives laugh is more than a sound. It is the reverberation of the soul.

photograph by brucefong photography

IMG_0766Have ever had one of those moments in a store when you weren’t looking for anything in particular but an idea exploded in your mind and a massive smile erupted all over your face?  My bride and I were wandering through the Halloween costume department.  It was my job to drive the shopping cart and navigate through the crowded aisles.

Costumes, accessories and decorations hung from hooks and lined the shelves.  But, my new granddaughter and 2-year-old grandson came to my mind.  That’s when the imitation wigs and beards jumped out at me.

“This would be fun!” I exclaimed.  Pulling the long black wig package off of the display, I held it up for my bride to see.  “Wouldn’t Eva look hilarious in this?”

“OK, Grandpa,” my bride smirked, “it’s up to you.  It might be too big, though.”

“Naw, it’ll look fine.  Just a moment of fun will be worth it!” I announced with all of the confidence of a far away displaced Grandfather could muster.

Carefully, we put together a “care package” for our grandchildren.  The brown cardboard box was plain and unassuming but the inside gifts would surely brighten up the day of our kids and their children.  The post office received the package and posted it for the long 2000 mile journey.

Busy lives have a way of pushing out of our minds expectations that are limited by long delivery dates.  Thoughts of the glee that would erupt in the home of our daughter and son-in-law for their kids, our grandchildren,  would have to wait for the delivery day.  Work, goals and objectives siphoned off my delight and perhaps the biggest surprise was hearing from an email with the picture of our granddaughter in her new wig.

I laughed.  I kept on laughing as I shared the picture with my bride.  God’s great gift of laughter is a treat!

Together we smiled, pointed out details and marveled at this little life that captures our hearts.  She has never had an understandable conversation with either of us.  Nevertheless, we love her deeply.

Now, that we can have some fun with a simple costume, the expanding options with our family time are multiplying like an explosion of creativity.  I am loving all of it.  Each day I am eagerly looking for more of it.

There is a new dimension to life.  We enter into the world of make-believe.  It is sheer unbridled fun.

IMG_4126A funny definition of grandchildren is that they are God’s blessing to parents who did not murder their teenage children.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Then, marvel at the wonder of words that time the unexpected with the fully understood message accomplished with a very few words.

What is nearly as marvelous as a well timed joke is the wonder of how a grandchild can capture your heart as a grandparent and never let it go.  Before there is even a single cogent conversation love is permanently established.

How is it possible to be so in love with a young life when we have never had the briefest of conversations?  Yet, devotion to this little one is permanently established.  There will be no compromise on that family bond of loyalty.

When he smiles, I smile.  Of course when he laughs it is infectious and I laugh heartily.  Even when he cries I do not panic, there is no discomfort I just love on him.

Bringing comfort to this little soul is a sheer delight.  We cuddle together and his little life quiets down.  I sink deep into my easy chair as his crying slows and transforms into a quiet whimper.

He snuggles into my arms and breaths like he is relieved.  Tears soak into my shirt and little brown eyes stare up into mine.  A gentle smile breaks out on his countenance and I melt in a deeper sense of commitment.

Yes, I will teach him many ways to enter into mischief.  Together we will laugh through adventures and make fabulous memories together.  We will learn about fun, humor, the outdoors, the Bible, faith, hope and love.

Honestly, I will love passing on the lessons of life and the joys of daily living to this precious little one.  Who knows but God what the potential of this one life will be.  He will bring great blessing into the lives of many.

In the mean time I will laugh when he goes through his antics.  Each time he achieves a new landmark in his progress I will smile.  Eagerly I will look forward to the many firsts of his life and chuckle while he finds his way through the maze of growing up.

Pictures will remind me of those times since thousands of miles will separate us for most of the year.  Videos will allow me the joy of reliving those life stages especially when I cannot be physically present.  Grandchildren are a miraculous bundle without a doubt.  They are treasured gift from the Lord.

photo credit: brucefong photography