Posted tagged ‘grandchildren’

Hugging the Leg of Jesus

October 20, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        October 20, 2017

                                      

The past two weeks I’ve been battling a cold which turned into bronchitis. After a few days of the medicines and seeing my physician I was feeling better. Carol was scheduled to watch our three grandkids at our daughter’s house so I drove her over there.

“Granddad has a cold so he can’t give you a hug, okay?” They looked at me with a mixture of “How could you do such a thing?” to sympathy.

And then two and a half year old Corin Grace came over to me and hugged one of my legs! It was the best medicine I received that day.

One of the stories in the New Testament that I find confusing and amusing is when the disciples try to keep the children from coming to Jesus. The story appears in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Matthew 19:13 it says, Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.”

Jesus in turn rebukes the disciples and says  “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Embarrassed disciples slowly creep off to the side as the children come to Jesus and do some leg hugging. I envision the chuckling of the Savior as little Corin’s and miniature David’s attach themselves to the part of his robe that covered his legs.

Perhaps I’m reading into the situation too much, like a Hollywood movie director adding a bit more to the scene than was really there, but, in my opinion, it is a picture of who Jesus was and is. He gave value to those who were considered to have no value. He raised women, children, and the outcasts up, making the point that everyone is valued and loved by God. To Jesus a small child was no less important than the most powerful king. The scribes and Pharisees were seated at the same table in the Kingdom of God as the toddler who has half of his food plastered to his face. In essence, Jesus had no time for those who had no time for the least of these.

When Corin hugged my leg she held tight for a few seconds. I can see children holding tight to Jesus. Could it be that in those “holding tight” moments Jesus was being ministered to as much as he was blessing the huggers?

It won’t be too long until he will be grabbed hold of by some others who do not love him!

Ground-Daughter

February 19, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                  February 19, 2017

                                 

It had been one of those weeks! You know the kind…where you go a thousand miles a minute and never seem to get anywhere. It had been a week filled with always getting behind the person driving twenty miles under the speed limit; a week of dealing with a cold, and speaking of that, a week of dealing with snotty-nosed middle school students who seemed to think Valentine’s Day entitled them to hallway intimate embraces; a week of dealing with belligerent basketball coaches and fans; a week of neck pain, backaches, and throbbing knees.

And then our granddaughter got sick Friday night!

Both Carol and I were free on Friday, and I was looking forward to some early morning writing time perched on my Starbucks stool, but our daughter and granddaughter needed us. Admittedly, I agreed to come over early in the morning and sit with Reagan, who just turned six the week before, but I was muttering to myself!

I arrived at 7:40 so our oldest daughter, Kecia, could head to school, where she would face a full day of fourth grade parent-teacher conferences. Reagan was half laying and half sitting on the couch watching TV. We greeted one another and then I sat down at the kitchen table to do an evaluation for a friend. I thought it might take an hour, but, instead, took only about ten minutes. I went over to the couch and sat down by my oldest granddaughter.

On the TV was a kid’s show called Mia and Me. I started watching it with her, not realizing that it was a Netflix season series! After the first episode, seeing that the next episode would start in twenty seconds, I asked a few questions to the recovering sick one.

“So is that lady the bad guy?”

“Yes, she’s trying to get the unicorns.”

“Why does she want the unicorns?”
“To take their horns so that Queen Panthea can stay young.”

To myself. “Huh?”

“Who are the two kids flying around in the air?”

“Those are elves. They are trying to keep the unicorns safe.”

“Oh!”

We sat there for a couple of hours watching six episodes. Reagan leaned into me, like I used to do with my dad in church when I was her age. She settled into my side as Mia faced another riddle to solve in Episode 4.

We journeyed through the land of Centopia together that morning, the old guy asking questions and the young one providing the answers.

It was a morning that we both needed. A morning where a six year old got me grounded again, with some moments of quiet and togetherness. Sitting on the couch with my granddaughter was without a doubt the most meaningful experience I had all week.

Sometimes the inconveniences of life lead us to the moments that God most desires for us. They are moments that won’t make headlines, but are moments that plant the treasure of life within our hearts.

Talking Two-ish!

February 3, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         February 3, 2017

                                         

    “Juice, pees!”

“You want some juice?”

“Juice, pees!”

“Okay, I’ll get you some apple juice.”

“Pees!”

My youngest granddaughter, Corin…or Rennie, is very, very verbal for someone who doesn’t turn two until the end of March. But she hasn’t perfected the pronunciation part of language yet. Of course, there’s a few adults who are still suspect in that area as well!

One day this past week I had the opportunity…and the challenge…to grand-babysit her. It was just the two of us…and the cat who slept the whole time! When Granddad is the sole translator of the two-ish language some things get lost in the translation.

I was sitting on the couch watching her jabbering to her dolls and then she approached me.

“Gip ‘sha, pees!”

“What, honey?”

“Gip, ‘sha, pees!”

“Gip sha?” I sat there like a 9th grader trying to understand calculus. She stared up at me with a look on her face that spoke, “What is your problem, Granddad? Gip ‘sha!”

Rule Number 1 for two year olds! If you don’t understand what she is saying distract her by offering her a cookie or Goldfish cheese crackers.

Two minutes later with cookie crumbs decorating her cheeks she resumed her conversation with the dolls. Like an American tourist in China I had used the common language of food to get us over the language barrier.

A few minutes later the next challenge surfaced.

“Tain!”

“What, honey?”

“Tain, pees!” She waddled over to the toy train tracks.

“You want to play with the train?”

“Pees!”

She lifted the plastic circular track and carried it to the kitchen. I surmised that I was to follow with the actual cars of the train. We settled on the floor and she started her own conversation with all the parts. I have no idea what the conversation was about, but she wasn’t asking me for help, so I sat and watched with great puzzled interest. A few minutes into the train adventure she decided that all of her dolls should also be involved and brought them one by one from the living room into the kitchen…and then the doll crib, and the doll bottle, and the doll sippy cup! The kitchen was starting to resemble Union Station. Somewhere in the midst of the proceedings her main doll baby got placed inside the circular train tracks. I’m not sure if she was being sacrificed or showcased, but the conversation continued. She even took her doll blanket and covered up the main character.

I simply watched and tried to understand. Two year olds have their own world that we are privileged to watch and enjoy. It’s wonderfully confusing and strangely delightful. They create their own storylines and dream up their own plots. They reflect what has been modeled for them, and yet rewrite the adventure in ways that are comforting.

“Potty! Go potty!”

I understood those words clearly! In fact, she didn’t even have to say “Pees!”

The Morning After…Watching The Grandkids

August 2, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          August 2, 2016

                              

It’s the morning after supervising the three grandchildren for ten hours. I’m feeling the effects!

First of all, there’s my speech pattern! I’m talking in one and two word phrases, and repeating them two or three times. For instance, I stood in front of the refrigerator this morning looking at the containers of orange and apple juice and saying to myself “Juice! Juice! Juice!” I said it non-audibly to my inner self, but I said it with the voice of my sixteen month old granddaughter.

The morning proceeded.

“Waffle! Waffle! Waffle!”

“Keys! Keys! Keys!”

“Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!”

I’m afraid I’ll carry this toddler stream of repetitive verbiage too far. How will Carol react when she comes home from an errand and I greet her with “Hi Wife! Hi Wife!”? Or what if I discover the Half-and-Half container at Starbucks is empty and I carry the container to the counter shouting “Cream! Cream! Cream!”? I may never be able to go back to that Starbucks where I’ve been seen as a responsible adult for the last several years.

Really! Really! Really!

I’m looking at Pike’s Peak right now and saying to myself “Big! Big! Big!” This afternoon when I lay down for a nap I just hope I don’t whine “Pac-i!” Pac-i! Pac-i!”, as in “pacifier!”

The second after effect is my body whining to me. My lower back is reminding me that I’m not a young man anymore. Every time the grand baby looked up at me and said “Up! Up! Up!”, I obliged. Is there rehab therapy for grandparents? My arm muscles feel like I’ve done a full weight training workout at the Y.M.C.A. Actually, it has just been a day of squat thrusts and arm curls with a twenty-two pound weight! I thought I would sleep soundly last night out of exhaustion, but instead I tossed and turned in pain. I’m hoping I have the strength to fix lunch!, lunch!, lunch! I’m now speaking to myself again and thinking of my massage therapist, Jackie Landers. “Massage! Massage! Massage!”

Finally, the third after effect is a different kind of feeling whatsoever. It’s a feeling…a realization of blessedness! In the midst of one word demands and tried muscles I know without a doubt that I am a blessed man, a graced granddad! As I wrote in a blog post a few days ago, I am in marvel of the little ones! They make me feel young at heart even as I feel the age of  my body. I actually get a little emotional thinking about them.

Today is our five year old granddaughter Reagan’s first day of kindergarten. Jesse, our eight year old grandson starts third grade. They amaze me even as they cause me to need a nap. They have amazing parents who keep them grounded in the Word, on-course with figuring out what is appropriate and what isn’t, and immersed in unconditional love.

So even as my speech pattern has changed today and my body has gone south I wouldn’t change anything. To my heavenly Father I say the two words that the toddler does not repeat, but rather only says once as I hand her the sip cup full of juice.

“Thank you!”

 

Finding The Slide, Losing The Back

May 22, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        May 22, 2016

                               

Our fourteen month old granddaughter, Corin, is in the midst of that exciting and exhausting stage of discovery where she wants to try or touch everything…but not for very long. Right now her attention span is about as long as a squirrel’s. Sitting still is not in her daily agenda. Sitting still is for old people!

So I made the mistake of helping her discover the play slide in her backyard last night.        Here’s the procedure: Pick Corin up, lean with her forward and place on slide, continue to lean forward as she grabs and my hands with her hands, watch her slide while still in bent position making sure she is safe at bottom.

Repeat!

Repeat!

Repeat!

Repeat!

I was the “ski lift” taking the barefoot skier back to the top. Every time she reached the bottom she pointed back to the top. Obviously, she had heard of the all-day ski pass; one price covers all…or, in this case, one granddad lifts each time.

But this granddad does not have a mechanical back, but rather a sixty-two year old rickety body part that I would compare to the wooden roller coaster at Camden Park in Huntington, West Virginia. It’s still standing, but I wouldn’t trust it.

Let me tell you! A fourteen month old who is being lifted, seated, and supported in sliding down a four foot slide wants to do it forever! She knows…probably…that stopping will mean that Grammy will grab a tissue and wipe her nose, and she hates for her nose to be wiped. She knows that Granddad will keep doing what he is doing until there is a system malfunction. She’s a smart cookie who knows that her granddad isn’t smart enough to say “Enough!”

So this morning “LB” (lower back) is grumbling to me about having to work overtime. “LB” is going to be moaning and groaning, like a teenager asked to do work around the house, all day about how much I love Corin more than him…and he’s right!

Deal with it, LB! Deal with it!

Driving the Car With A Back Seat Full of Grandkids

April 21, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           April 20, 2016

                      

Strapped in, buckled up, and securely fastened.

Carol and I drove the “Wolfe Bus”, disguised as a Honda Accord, down the road. The back seat was at capacity with three grandchildren. They looked like three kids locked into their roller coaster seats waiting for the ride to start.

A thirteen month old named Corin (Rennie for short); a five year old CEO named Reagan; and the eldest child straight from soccer practice, seven year old Jessie. “Grammy” and I didn’t have to worry about conversation. The back seat competed for it!

“Jessie, you can’t have any Cheetos, because I ate them all!”

“Reagan!”

“You can have Cheerios.”

“Da…Da!”

“Great!” he replied with seven year old sarcasm. “Grammy, did Reagan eat all the Cheetos?”

“Yes, but, Jessie, there weren’t very many left in the bag.”

“But I ate them all and you can have Cheerios.”

I contributed to the conversation: “Reagan!” (said with a semi-stern parental tone to it)

“Da…Ba..Ba!”

“Corin said she saw me eat all the Cheetos.”

“That’s not what she said.”

“Then what did she say? I’m sitting beside her and that’s what I heard her say.”

“She said, “Da…Ba…Ba!”

“Da…Da…Ba…Ca…Da!”

“I told you she said Cheetos.”

“Whatever!”

“Grammy, where are we going for dinner?”

“Home!”

“Da…Ba…Ca…Ca!”

“Corin says we should go to Cracker Barrel.”

Grammy looked at me with eyes that were rolling. “Reagan, are you Corin’s interpreter today?”

“Yes, when she has something to say she tells me and I let everyone else know.”

“Wow! Does she tell you to change her diaper?”

“No, she tells me to tell you to change her diaper, but she’s okay right now.”

“Ca…Ca…Blah!”

“Granddad, I finished reading those books you got for me.”

“Encyclopedia Brown?”

“Yes!”

“That’s awesome, Jessie! You read them really fast.”

Not to be moved out of the spotlight: “We learned the letter “Z” at Lil’ Sprouts yesterday. Do you want to hear it?”

“Sure, Reagan!” Grammy replied.

“Zebra, zoo, zookeeper, zoom, zig-zag.”

“That’s awesome, Reagan!”

“Z is the last letter in the alphabet.”

“Za…Ba…Za!”

Jessie giggled. “Corin is saying Z!”

Granddad humor: “I guess you could say that is the end of things.”

Confused silence!

“Ba…DaDa…Blah!”

Being The Adult..Grandparent!

September 14, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                        September 14, 2015

                                        “Being The Adult…Grandparent!

Today is National Grandparent’s Day. I’m looking for discounts in different restaurants, but I’m not finding any. Obviously, grandparenting is seen as being a cake walk! Those in charge of making those determinations haven’t met my grandkids. The two older ones ask me questions that I can’t answer…and now run faster than I can! The youngest grandchild is still intellectually understandable.

She’s five months old!

Last Thursday, Reagan, my four year old granddaughter, had me come to “Grandparent’s Day” at her Pre-K class designed for four year olds. She showed me the ropes.

“Follow me, Granddad!” 

Like a lamb being led to slaughter…

She showed me her play areas, her creative stations, where she sits for large group time, and where she hangs her backpack. Whenever I would ask a dumb question she would roll her eyes at me…kind of like her mom used to do about two decades ago when she was a teenager.

Reagan is a four year old teenager!

She handed me her latest art creation, little pieces of paper fitted together into a heart shape with the words at the bottom “I Love You To Pieces!”

It’s now taped to the wall behind my desk at the office. There’s more than one place like the refrigerator to hang artwork from grandchildren!

Reagan escorted me to the outdoor play area and talked to me through a long tube…the modern version of two tin cans and string!

The teachers assembled the grandparents together and read a book to us as our grandkids stood guard. The book was insightful…How To Babysit Your Grandma. Reagan had committed it to memory. I’m looking forward to seeing her put the principles into practice next time she has Grammy flat on her back.

At the end of Grandparents morning, which, by the way, was only thirty minutes long, Reagan took me out to lunch. She offered to pay, but I told her to put her two little silver coins away and I’d take care of it.

It was a good time, a good connecting, and, in my granddaughter’s opinion, I behaved okay!