When your youngest child reaches driving age, you most likely find yourself breathing a sigh of relief, because they can get themselves to their own functions, to school, and home again. You are also feeling a little bit apprehensive, because they are driving now. Nevertheless, you have trained them well, and you know they will be alright. When your youngest grandchild reaches driving age, you might breathe a sign of relief too, but you also suddenly feel like the years are racing by…whether you like it or not. That is exactly how I am feeling today, as my youngest grandchild, Josh Petersen turns sixteen.
I remember the day that he was born…five weeks early…the same day that he was flown to Denver, because his lungs were not quite fully developed. He would spend two weeks there, and then come home to begin the race to catch up…and it didn’t take him very long at all. I don’t think I have ever seen such a hungry kid…nor one who loved sweets as much as Josh did. His cute little “treat Grandma” was always the first thing out of his mouth when he arrived at my house. Like I could forget that he was hungry. With the way he ate, I think I expected him to be a chubby little kid, but that was not the case. Josh is tall and slender, a runner with great lung capacity, and 100% healthy. I couldn’t have asked for more for him.
Somehow in my mind, I have always seen Josh as a lot younger than the other grandkids. He isn’t, and he doesn’t act any different. It’s just my mind’s defense system, I think, making me feel like there are so many more years left that he will be the baby of the bunch, but the reality is that he is not a baby anymore. He is a young man, who is ready to set out by himself…at least in the area of transportation, because as of today, he is legal to drive by himself. No more will he need to have us come to take him places or pick him up on a regular basis. Those things will now be relegated to times when his pickup breaks down or something. Oh, he may need to have someone run home to get something he’s forgotten and bring it to him, but I suspect that those times will get fewer and further in between as time goes on.
As Josh turns sixteen, many things in the Petersen family will change again. It is how life goes, and nothing we do can change it. Kids grow up and become adults, and before you know it they are married with families of their own, and you find out that you have become the grandparent. There is no way to stop time, and for me that means that my youngest grandchild is growing up. Look out folks, Josh Petersen in a legal driver and on the road. I’d tell you to clear the sidewalks, but I think he will do alright. Today is Josh’s 16th birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Remember that I have confidence on you, so stay off the sidewalks…with your truck anyway. Have a great day!! We love you!!
I am often amazed at how big my grandson, Josh has grown. Especially when I think about the early start he got. Josh was born 5 weeks early. His weight wasn’t too bad at 5 pounds 6.5 ounces, but his lungs were underdeveloped, so he went to Denver for 2 weeks to get stronger. Once he came home, he decided to catch up on his lost time. Josh began eating like a horse, and before long, his weight was up to normal, or even a little chunky for his age.
That didn’t last very long, because as soon as he started to grow, he was a little bean pole…so much so that his mom said he had bird legs. And hungry! That boy was always hungry, especially for treats!! You would expect him to be fat, but he wasn’t and at 14, still isn’t.
As to those underdeveloped lungs…well, I think they are just fine. Josh likes track meets, and last year he took first in the 400 meter race, finishing in just 1.07 minutes. And he wasn’t even badly out of breath. He ran so fast that second place was about a fourth of the track length behind him. It was an amazing race.
Josh continues to amaze us with everything he does, but lately I have been especially surprised by his height. It looks like he might be the tallest of my 4 grandchildren, and I expected him to be more like the shortest of the boys…until he was 3, that is, when his height indicated that he would be taller.
With him being as talk as he is and the youngest grandchild, I find myself a little sad. Those grandbaby years are over, as they are almost adults. It just doesn’t seem possible. They should all still be little.
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!!
When my oldest daughter was pregnant with her younger son, Joshua David, she had been given a due date of October 15th. That September, Bob and I were going to Denver for a Rockies Baseball game. I told Corrie that she was not to have this baby while I was gone, as I had been at the births of my other three grandchildren, and didn’t want to miss this one. I didn’t exactly expect Josh to come while we were gone, but I did have a sense of unease. Our trip to Denver was going along just fine, when Corrie called to tell us that she was in labor, and that they were trying to stop the labor. If Josh came at that time, he would be 5 weeks early. Some babies do ok that early, while others have problems.
Of course, my first thought was that she was kidding me, since I had told her that she was not to do this, but it quickly became evident that she was serious. I asked how much time we had, since it is a 5 hour drive home from Denver. She said that they were trying to stop the labor, and to wait just a little bit. We waited anxiously for the call to come that would tell us whether or not to race home. The decision was finally made to go home, as the labor would not stop. We headed out about 4:oo am and I was on pins and needles all the way, not to mention praying constantly.
I could not be on the phone with her constantly and that tore me up. It is hard to watch your daughter go through labor and birth, but far worse to have such a premature labor and you are 5 hours away. Every mile was excruciating. We did make it before Josh’s arrival, but not by much. I was so thankful. God saw to it that we got home safe and in time.
Joshua David arrived at 11:57 am on September 9, 1998, he weighed a pretty good 5 pounds 6.5 ounces, but plans were quickly made for him to be flown to Denver. His lungs were immature and he needed help with his breathing. It was decided that Kevin should accompany him on the flight. It was one of the hardest things the kids have ever done. Corrie was a wreck because she wanted to go, and Kevin was a wreck because she couldn’t. We assured them both we would bring her to Denver as soon as she was released.
Josh was placed in the Neo-Natal ICU at Presbyterian St Luke’s Hospital. His weight dropped to 4 pounds 3 ounces. Sometimes, as was the case for the kids, they had an available room on the nursing home side of the hospital where Corrie and Kevin could stay. The nice thing about that was that the kids could go over and see Josh, 24/7, and that is comforting to a parent. Josh was monitored constantly, and given superior care, for which we are eternally grateful to the staff. His weight began coming back up, but as they got close to coming home, he had a couple of Brady’s, which is when the heart skips a beat. It is normal for that to happen, even in healthy adults, but they won’t let the baby go home until it has been more that 24 hours, so they had to stay longer.
Finally the day came when Joshua David got to come home. We were so excited. His lungs had taken 2 weeks to mature, and he was healthy enough to come home. It didn’t take him long to make up for lost time once he got home. He quickly gained weight and grew into a wonderful little boy. We are so very blessed. God had provided a miracle for Joshua!! We love you Josh!! Happy birthday!!