An only child, or a child who doesn’t have a sibling yet, simply cannot understand just how much fun a sibling can be. It isn’t their fault, and it isn’t that they don’t want to play with other kids, it’s just that they don’t have a lot of other kids around on a regular basis. Those kids simply learn to be around adults, or they learn to entertain themselves. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with this in any way, just that when there is a sibling in the family, things change.
For two years, my sister, Cheryl Masterson was an only child, but then I came along, and those days were over. I know that she was very excited about having a little sister, even though she did have a cousin, Pam Wendling, who lived just on the other side of the back fence, but I was her first sibling. We used to have lots of fun together, like most siblings do. It’s just something new, and even later on, you always have a friend. Sisters as you know are forever friends.
Once, Cheryl had a little sister, life as she knew it changed. As kids, we did a lot of things together. I recall movies, in which Cheryl tried to keep up with me in a crawling race, and apparently, I was too fast for her, because she ended up standing up to try to beat me across the room. That isn’t so odd, when you consider that most of us quit crawling when we learn to walk. That would tend to make us a little bit slower when it came to crawling in a race. Anyway, in crawling races, I won and she lost. I’m sure that when it came to walking races, she had it over me, because after all, I had to crawl, since I hadn’t learned to walk yet.
The biggest problem that Cheryl had, as far as our time together was concerned, was when I was napping and she was awake. Once a child has a sibling, they don’t like waiting for their sibling to wake up when they want to play. That naptime thing can seem endless. They begin to wonder if that kid is ever going to wake up. There is fun to be had, games to play, and well, just stuff to do, and all that kid wants to do is sleep.
That was where Cheryl found herself on one particular occassion. I was sleeping and apparently she had taken her nap and was now waiting for me to wake up. I guess I was taking too long, because, she started to ask Mom why they couldn’t just wake me up. Well, I don’t know if I was grouchy if they woke me up early, or what, but I guess Mom wasn’t too keen on the idea. Cheryl, on the other hand looks very annoyed that I was sleeping, and Mom would do nothing about it. Sorry Cheryl, if I had only known, I would have woke up just for you, but I simply had no idea, because, I was asleep.
From the moment the were born, my dad’s grandbabies loved to cuddle up with their grandpa and take a little snooze. He just had a way of making them feel safe and warm…not to mention loved. Dad always loved to take a little nap, when his schedule would allow, and so became the logical choice for a nap time babysitter. Those little babies just loved their grandpa so much, that they seemed to actually be reaching out to hold on to him, and it didn’t matter how small they were. These pictures are among those that we wouldn’t trade for all the gold in the world. They are the moments that you can never get back, because babies just don’t stay this little for more than a minute. They are a glimpse of the past that we can’t ever get back.
My dad had a way with little kids. They just seemed to gravitate to him. He was a great friend, playmate, and a great snuggler at nap time. It always seemed like at some point during our visits, those babies and little kids would get tired after all the playing, as would my dad, and they would end up on the couch, where both would be sound asleep. When we would notice that things had gotten awfully quiet, we would tiptoe out to the living room fully expecting to find two exhausted playmates, sound asleep on the couch…and that is exactly what we would find. Grandpa and grandchild, often with a blankie or some such bedtime item to cuddle with. These moments were always so cute that they must be captured in a picture that always brings a collective “Awwwwwww!!” comment from those who see them.
Every so often, we would be treated to one of the cutest pictures, when a grandchild trying to be just like grandpa would so closely follow in grandpa’s footsteps that it was like looking in a mirror. I suppose that originally, Ryan was sitting on grandpa’s lap, but he slowly slid down into the gap between the seat of the chair and the foot rest, to end up looking just like his grandpa, but a little further down in the chair. It would prove to be one of the treasured pictures of grandson wanting to be just like grandpa…and maybe succeeding…just a little. My dad’s grandchildren all loved him so much, and thought so highly of him that they wanted to spend time with him…mimic him…play with him…and mostly love him. And all of them were greatly blessed to have known him.