Eighteen years…not so many really, but in the life of a child, it’s…well, a lifetime…or at least a childhood. And then, that part of their life is over. They have graduated from high school, and begin their journey into the life of their choosing. That is a big step, and often one that their parents and grandparents aren’t really ready to have them take…but they are ready, and they will take that next step. I think that for this grandma, the hardest part of this particular now eighteen year old, is that my grandson, Caalab Royce has moved the furthest away, with no plans to move back here again. Usually when kids go away to college, they come home a lot during the year, but his parents moved to Washington and his school is there, so he won’t be coming here like his cousin, Chris Petersen does.
Thinking back on the years of Caalab’s life, my mind brings so many different moments to mind. Caalab was always my really huggy child, and anyone who knows him knows of his love of long hair. He couldn’t keep his fingers out of my long hair from the time he was just six months old. While I have had many children pull on or play with my hair, no other child was as gentle with it as Caalab was. Even at six months, he never pulled on it. If his play got to the point where it accidently pulled a little, I just told him to be gentle, and he was.
Caalab spent the night with us more than the other kids too. He just liked spending time with his Gma and Papa. Many kids grow out of that pretty early on, but he never did, and now that he lives so far away, those times that he spent the night become treasured memories for me. It didn’t matter what we did while he was there…even just watching television, because what mattered was that we got to spend together. He just liked being with us. Somehow, that never ceased to amaze me. It was a blessing beyond measure.
Caalab has changed in many ways over the years, and yet really, so very little. He is a loving, caring person with a tender heart. He hates to think that he might have hurt someone’s feelings, and will go out of his way to apologize or make amends if he thinks he might have hurt your feelings. It is a very endearing quality to have. It is also a quality that causes him to be one of the kindest people I have ever met. He is fun to be around, and loves people. That makes him a very social person, who can be friends with anyone. Nevertheless, Caalab is a family sort of guy. He loves his parents and grandparents, and his sister, Shai considers him her best friend. And I can totally relate to that. He may be my grandson, but Caalab is my friend too, and since I am a family oriented person too, he is one of my very best friends. Today is Caalab’s 18th birthday, and the first one I really haven’t spent with him, and while that makes me sad, I hope this is the best birthday for him ever. Happy birthday Caalab!! Have an awesome day!! We love you!!
There is just something about your grandpa when you are little. His big strong arms that can easily hold you and your cousin, so nobody is left out. Grandma’s arms are great…a wonderful place to go when you have an owie or just need a hug…you know, that cuddly, comfort place, but Grandpa’s arms are strong and protective. He can pick you up and make you feel big and tall. My grandkids loved it when Papa picked them up together when they were little. They thought it was kind of funny that he could do that.
Papa was real good at teasing, tickling, and chasing. He was also perfect for horsey rides on his foot or his back, and piggy back rides too. An he could lift those kids up on his shoulders so they could see, or lift them up to touch the ceiling. All things that their dads could do too, but somehow it was a little different when it was Papa. It’s funny how everything is different when it’s with your grandparents. Even when the kids are little, they know that grandparents are special.
When the kids started spending the night, Papa was, and still is, the best alarm clock out there. If those kids didn’t want to wake up when it is time to go to breakfast…he would make that happen. He might tickle their feet, threaten to leave them home without breakfast…and that is a threat, because they love going out to breakfast. Usually it only takes a couple of tries and the final…”Ok, we will go without you!!” to get them moving.
Of course, all good things must come to an end, and as the boys get older, they are more able to handle their Papa. While they may not be able to completely take him yet, the day is coming. Of course, they love him, so I’m sure they will take it easy on the old man…maybe, but either way, when they can finally take him, I’m quite sure they will rub it in really well. I guess you could say he is blessed to have a granddaughter too, because those girls have a very different way of handling their Papa…she will simply sweet talk him, just like her mom and aunt do. Girls are different in that way. They don’t have to vie for superiority with their dads or grandpas, they just have to smile.
Bob was called Papa from the moment our first grandchildren could talk. We were so excited about being grandparents. A new phase of our lives had begun…a wonderful phase. New little lives were here. New little people to spend time with…to spoil…to maybe help to shape in some small way. We are so very blessed.
The memories of those early days of being grandparents are many, and varied, but sometimes the most special moments are the quiet times. The moments of watching in amazement while that tiny little one sleeps, and thinking how blessed you are to have received this little life. Watching the wonder on their face as they discover something new. Or just sitting together, quietly, as in the moments I captured between Papa and grandchild.
Bob very much enjoys sitting out on the front porch on a summer day listening to the birds, and just looking at the beautiful day. These two moments with our grandson and then our granddaughter, were so precious that they begged to be captured on film. As I look at these pictures now, I find myself wondering just what little tidbits of wisdom Papa might have been giving these precious babies, or did they just sit quietly in wonder at the beauty of the day. And does it really matter what they were saying or thinking. Probably not, because the really precious thing is the opportunity for Papa and grandbaby to just be together.