Monday, July 20, 2009

They Grow Up

By this Thursday, at least two things will have happened. Our youngest grandchild will have her fifth birthday, and our daughter will return for her two boys. It seems so strange that the baby girl has grown up so quickly. Hardly any time at all has gone by since we sat down at Thanksgiving dinner with our son and his family and waited for the blessing to be asked. And then they told us that they were going to be parents to another child. They both seemed a bit shocked by the entire situation--though surely by then they knew the process.

But now the little girl is going to start "real" school this fall. And our oldest grandson will be in seventh grade. Wasn't he just a little boy not too long ago?

Today I asked the boys to be careful with their granddad and watch after him while they went target shooting. He doles out the .22 shells one at a time so he can be sure who is doing what, but I want them to be sure they are listening to him. My own dad KNEW we would listen to him by the time he let us use a gun. But our boys are a bit like the dogs on the new movie UP--squirrel!! Their attention can be totally off a subject in a heartbeat.

We took these boys to see the Walt Disney movie UP and laughed until our sides hurt. Both boys would wait a few minutes between shouts of 'squirrel' before they would start laughing again, but otherwise, they thoroughly enjoyed the ideas behind the movie. I could have cried in a few places, but perhaps it is just as well that the boys kept me laughing. We are all adventurers at heart. But adventures are so much more worthwhile when they are shared. These two boys will share the adventure of growing up together--even if it is ever so fast.

Each child should have a sibling or at least a cousin with whom to share childhood. Oh, we can compare sizes, eye color, hair thickness, and all that other silly stuff, but what really matters is sharing a time in life that only comes once. None of our children or grandchildren will ever be perfect, but they can learn to appreciate family ties. Sharing a grandparent or two helps, but they also need to have experiences together that they can recall when they are grown.

Now I know what some siblings would think: Oh, never again! My brother was a character and a good brother. But that did not keep him from throwing rocks at the hen house while I was in it and scaring the liver out of me. But I remember he also tried to teach me to swim and to drive. I never have been much good at either, but that wasn't his fault. We can all recall some of the things that a sibling did that wasn't the best for us at the time. But we can usually also recall some of the things that made for good times or better understanding.

Whatever life brings to our grandchildren, I hope that they can look back someday and recall that they were loved and appreciated for who they are/were. And perhaps when they get together with cousins, they can share again some of those memories of growing up.

No comments: