When he first arrived on September 9, 1998, 5 weeks early, Josh had to be flown to Denver because his lungs were under-developed. That was just about the last time Josh would be weak in any way. Josh quickly grew into an eating machine, wanting a treat every time he walked into my house. The first words out of his mouth were, “Treat, Grandma…treat!!” I had to make sure I had granola bars or fruit roll-ups, because that boy was hungry!!! And the really strange thing is that to this day, he can eat and eat, and still be a skinny little kid. Today, Josh is a great big 14 year old boy, but he’s still slim. I don’t know how he does it, but he does!

We went up on the mountain yesterday to celebrate Josh and his dad, my son-in-law, Kevin’s birthday. They wanted to have their party on the mountain. They love to camp, and so Josh couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his birthday. They have had a great weekend, and in the middle of it, they got to spend time at their favorite pass time…paintball shooting. And to top it off, we brought them another fighter…Caalab!! Kevin, Chris, Caalab, and Josh had a great time hiding and shooting each other. And as for me, I was just glad that I wasn’t involved in the fighting, because I have a feeling I would have not only lost badly, but I’m pretty sure I would have been the prime target, if I know these guys…and I do.

So much has changed since our premature little Josh arrived, but one thing I can tell you without a doubt is that Josh is a fighter. In the beginning he fought for life, in sports he fights to win, as the youngest he fight for equality, and in paintball, he fights to beat his dad, brother, cousin, and anyone else who wants to take a shot at him. True, all his fighting is in the area of sports these days, but as the youngest, I suspect he will be vying for his superiority for a while yet…not that any of the boys or Kevin will mind that so much. They are a competitive bunch, after all. Who will come out the victor over all lies in the future, but that’s ok. The journey will be fun. Happy birthday Josh!! We love you!!

Every year as their birthdays approach I am reminded of how quickly the years go by. Today my grandson Caalab turns 15 years old. He will go and get his driving permit in a little while, and before I know it, he will be driving on his own like his sister, Shai, and their cousin, Chris. I sometimes wish I could turn back the hands of time to when they were little kids again. It seemed like we had so many years before they would be grown then, but that belief was deceiving, and now the years are gone.

Looking back on Caalab’s childhood, I am reminded of what a comedian he was and still is. He was just about 2 years old, when his dad, my son-in-law, Travis taught him to make little fists, and say, “You want some of this!” No, Caalab wasn’t being taught to fight. It was all a joke, because Caalab was and still is a very loving boy. When asked to say, “Do you want some of this”, he did it with a huge grin on his face, and immediately after saying it, Caalab would disolve into delighted giggles. He would never choose to be a fighter, because he didn’t have that kind of a personality…he loves people. It always struck him as the funniest thing…that thought of putting up his dukes and fighting with someone. His eyes shone with delight to see just how funny we all found his little drama.

Caalab was always a jokster. He loved making people laugh, and if something he say got him a good laugh from people, he would go for it again. I’m sure you all remember “The Dukes of Hazard”. And I’m sure you remember Rosco P Coltrane and his famous saying, “It was a Horrendous Crash.” When Amy tried to teach Caalab to say that, but it just wouldn’t come out right. Caalab always said, “It was a Horrendous Dash.” When we all laughed, so did he, and then he would do a repeat performance. It was so funny to hear him say it that we asked over and over again.

The cute little kid things that our children and grandchildren say are so precious that we really do wish that those years could go on forever…that they would never grow up…but then, right before our very eyes, they do grow up, and one day you just sort of wake up to find that they are 15 years old and getting their learner’s permit. Where did the time go? Caalab, you can’t be so grown up yet. Happy Birthday Buddy!! We love you very much!!

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