Posted tagged ‘granddad’

Grandparents Sleepover Weekend

August 19, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           August 19, 2018

                              

Our oldest daughter, Kecia, and her husband, Kevin, ran in “The Beast” this weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado. The Beast is about a half-marathon, but includes a multitude of obstacles and challenges throughout, like climbing walls, jumping through mud, and walking on hot coals! Okay, just kidding on the hot coals part!

Meanwhile Grammy and Granddad did another form of The Beast at home. We kept the three grandkids- ages 3, 7, and 10! Like our daughter and son-in-law we also had a multitude of challenges and obstacles. Our challenges included keeping the house from looking like a war zone, teeth brushing time, meltdown moments, and striving for most of the food on their plates to actually be eaten.

It’s Sunday morning and I’m “on break” at Starbucks at 7 AM before heading back to the fray and facing the next obstacle of getting everyone in the car to drive 45 minutes to Simla, Colorado for church. The ride home from there will be comparable to coming down the home stretch of our “marathon grandparenting” race! I’m doubting that there will be a water station and available Powerade at the finish line! That’s okay, we just need a bed!

Carol and I love our “grands”, even hoping for more! We also recognize that we’ve both been like “grandparenting sprinters”, not marathoners. We’re used to two hour stints, not 48 hour ultra events. Like an actual marathon it has been a weekend of exhilaration and exhaustion. 

Like the three year old singing with revised lyrics as she played with Play-Doh. 

“This old man, he had three; he had three on my knick-knack…and a knick-knack patio, give a dog a home, this old man comes running home.”

Or our ten year old grandson watching an international fencing competition on TV and figuring out the scoring system they use. 

And our seven year old helping her little sister, and playing “McDonald’s drive-thru lane” with her.

On the exhaustion side there was bedtime! But bedtime at the grandparent’s house is seen as being more like a sleepover, full of giggling and getting their second wind. There’s a lot of movement and talking..and movement…and “I want a drink of water”…and movement…and threat of being duct taped to the bed…and crying…and finally…finally sleep! During the night, however, like chess pieces, there’s a rearranging of where each of the slumberers ends up by Saturday morning.

Last night Carol looked at me and said “I don’t remember being this tired when we were raising our three kids.”

“We’re out of shape, dear! A bit flabby in the grandparent mid-section!”

On the positive, we took them to Noodles for Saturday night dinner and each one of them ate EVERYTHING on their plates…well, except for what the three year old dropped on the floor beside her chair! I ordered an extra plate of pot stickers because they were still hungry!

When I was growing up my parents would take my brother, my sister, and me to our Mamas and Papaw Helton’s for a week in the summertime. They had a farm in the eastern part of Kentucky. If nothing else this weekend has given me a new appreciation for their stamina, patience, and strength. 

And they had 12 grandkids! I feel a bit wimpy and weak being exhausted by three!

I’ll try to be in better shape for the next “Beast”. Kecia and Kevin are doing another race for insane people in a month. They’ll be gone a little longer next time, so for us it will be like doing the grandparenting “Ultra Beast”! 

One thing’s for certain for that next time! We’ll be at Noodles again!

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!”

 

The Marvel of Little Ones

July 30, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         July 30, 2016

                                     

I am a grandfather…three times over! An 8 year old professor in the making, a five year old CEO, and a 16 month old politician. The past two days “Grammy”, our dear Michigan friend Janet, and I have been watching the Three Miniature Musketeers since our fourth grade teaching daughter “Mom” went back to begin the new school year. Since my grandson often dresses up as Superman, Ironman, Batman, or Captain America I guess it would be more appropriate to refer to the three as “The Avengers!”

The two older kids entertain one another most of the time. We just have to be the Supreme Court Justices for decisions that can’t be resolved through sibling negotiations.

But the 16 month old! She is the Energizer Bunny with a diaper on!

And I marvel at her! I am amazed at just about everything she does, including the amount of poop that can fill her diaper! How can so much come out of someone so small?

I am amazed at how she can go from laughter to having a tantrum in the space of a few seconds…and then back again!

I am amazed at how she greets me with her pronunciation of “Granddad” every time I arrive in the room after being gone for…Ohhh!…maybe two minutes.

She amazes me with her determination, carrying around the handbag her mom has passed down to her. The handbag is about half her size, and she is determined to lift it and place it on the couch that comes up to her chest. Grunting all the way, she stays on task until it is heaved on to the couch…and then she promptly takes it back down, walks around for a few seconds, and then repeats the whole task again.

I am amazed at how relational she is. She is drawn to where the person or persons are, and when she is in the room she garners all the attention.

I am amazed at her capacity for mimicking. Grammy said the word “pizza” while she was in the room- not to her, mind you!- and she voiced her agreement with the word by shouting “PIZZA!” When her brother and sister dance in the middle of the living room, she dances. When her brother sits and reads she is prone to sit and “kind-a read”, also.

She stuns me with her understanding of boundaries. She stands in front of the DVD player and video game system and says to no one in particular “No no!” as she shakes her head.

I’m taken back by her impatience. She sits in my lap as I read a book to her, but if the pages aren’t turning fast enough she turns them for me…and even takes the book and throws it down! That’s my clue that we are done with that one! “Move on, Granddad!”

I am amused at how I can be her personal playground, as in climbing tree! Slap a sign on me that says “Jungle Gym!”

And what occurred to me in the midst of my two days of amazement was the fact that our Father God is just as amazed at everything each one of us does! God is still amazed at what a 62 year old grandfather does…good and bad! He is amused by our humor, and amazed by our words of wisdom. He’s taken back by our ability to figure out situations, make mistakes and learn from them. His heart is warmed by the depth of our relationships, and the care we offer to one another. He’s taken back by the amount of crap that is a part of our lives!

In many ways my amazement about everything our 16 month old granddaughter does is a reflection of how our Creator sees each one of us. He closely watches because he deeply loves!

Dedicating the Granddaughter

June 22, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 June 22, 2015

                                       

I’m an emotional wreck this morning! I’m drowning my tears in my first cup of Pike Place.

Why are the tears backing up in my soul? I just saw the pictures my daughter, Kecia, posted on her Facebook page of her three-month old daughter’s, and my granddaughter’s, baby dedication yesterday in our morning worship service. I’m standing there with my fingers holding one of Corin Grace Hodges’ shoes, praying for God’s blessing upon her and her family, Corin is wide-eyed and brightly beautifully dressed, Mom and Dad have bowed heads and smiling faces, as does big brother Jesse. Big sister Reagan is standing closest to the camera with her eyes open in a way that, if you know Reagan, communicates “I wanted to be the one that said the prayer, Granddad!” (She did say it at our lunch together afterwards!)

What an incredible privilege to be able to dedicate this new gift from God!

Kecia didn’t stop with just pictures of the baby dedication, however; she also posted pictures of the “dads” of her life, including grandfathers, me, “Uncle David”, and husband Kevin. Her honoring of the guys was what put me over the falls!

How often do we stop and consider how blessed we are? Sometimes we move unconsciously through life…and then we see a picture on Facebook that hits our eyes and heart at the same time…and we sense the tears welling up inside us at the blessed place we are in.

We breathe in his blessings with deep satisfaction and contemplate the awesomeness of the One who loves us.

Corin Grace has the names of our grandmothers, her great-great grandmothers, that have long since strolled into Glory. And yet when I think of her middle name I will be reminded of the grace of God upon our lives…and here come the tears again!

Deacon Emeritus Laurence Wolfe

April 13, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                      April 13, 2015

                                           

I sat beside my dad in worship yesterday at Beulah Baptist Church in Proctorville, Ohio. It’s the church he’s been a part of for the past several years after moving up-river from Ironton, Ohio. The pastor of Beulah asked Dad to give the closing prayer for the service, and he referred to him as Deacon Emeritus.

I was surprised because Dad had never said anything about it. In fact, my first thought was that Pastor Rob was recognizing Dad’s age, but wasn’t really serious about the title…kind of like calling our Regional Executive Minister the Baptist Pope. A fitting title, but not one he is going to put on his business card.

Later on that day I asked my dad about it just to make sure I heard the pastor correctly. Yes, he said, he had been given that distinction a few months before that. I wanted to say, “And you never said anything to me about it?”, but it occurred to me that my dad never would.

You see, titles and awards have never been what his life is about. He has never put much stock in things you can hang on the wall behind your desk. Humbleness doesn’t dwell on accomplishments. It doesn’t go with “bragadocious!”

Sometimes, as sons and daughters, we fail to observe our parents long enough to be able to identify their qualities and characteristics. We’re absorbed in our own lives and what we’re doing too much to take a look. Perhaps we still see our parents as those supervisory figures who don’t really have lives of their own. They’ve just always been Mom and Dad!

And then a pastor refers to your Pops as “Deacon Emeritus” and you go “Huh?”

There is not a plaque on his wall to let visitors to his apartment know. The church didn’t give him a name tag for visitors to know that he is highly-valued. He is still content to be who he has been and who he is and who he will always be until Glory calls.

A person of wisdom who thinks before he speaks.

A storyteller of family history…and just as the Israelites tell the Passover story over and over again, my dad retells the family stories that I never get tired of hearing.

A person of convictions. He still believes that certain things aren’t right, no matter what public opinion says, but he has never forced his beliefs on someone else.

An organizer…chaos does not set well with him. My oldest daughter inherited this from my dad…he folds his clothes a certain way and everything is to be in place. I did not receive that gene in my list of passed on traits!

A person of the Word. His Bible is a bit tattered…but it’s organized tattering!

A person who is personal. I’ve noticed this week at his new senior apartment complex that people come to him to talk just as he initiates conversation with anyone who might be sitting in a front porch rocking chair. One night I noticed there were two people sitting in rocking chairs when I dropped him off at his building. I watched as I slowly drove away. He stopped to talk to them. I proceeded to the end of the parking lot and made the turn to come back towards the exit. He was still engaged in conversation and the two rockers seemed to be enjoying the moments just as much as him.

A person of integrity, which means he lives life with consistency and truth, but recognizes and admits the errors of his humanness.

A great-grandfather who my granddaughter gravitated to, even though she has spent less than two weeks with him in her first four years of life. A grandfather that my three kids love dearly even though they all live five states away.

A great dad!

So, even though he would never say so, and never say it is so, there is not a more qualified person to be designated “Deacon Emeritus”, and, without a doubt, will never bring up the subject again!

Driving Miss Reagan

May 13, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          May 13, 2014

 

                                         “Driving Miss Reagan”

 

It started as soon as I entered the house through her front door.

“Granddad, I’m having waffles for breakfast.” (I won’t pepper my writing with her pronunciation, but breakfast comes from her lips sounding like “bweckfust.”)

I had volunteered for this chauffeuring duty, filling in for Miss Reagan’s dad, also my son-in-law, who was working out of town for a few days. Driving my three year old granddaughter around for a few minutes each morning sounded great.

For a three year old, Reagan can talk more than a stumping politician. Her “l’s” and “r’s” still sound like “w’s”. Last week when I showed her a scratch on my arm she asked, “Did it bweed?”

Without her older brother to share chat time with she is all out…constant…dizzying chatter!

“Granddad, would you cawwy my waffle…and be very careful, because if the wind gets it I will not be happy!”

     “Yes ma’am!”

      The twelve minute car ride to her other grandmother’s house has more topics of conversation than Time magazine has articles each issue.

“Granddad, do you like fire twucks?” 

      “Sure…it’s good to have a fire truck when there is a fire that is burning.”

      “I was in a fire when we stayed at a hotel.”

       “Oh…really!”

      “It was scawy!”

       “I can imagine!”

       “I wike wooking out windows. Do you wike wooking out windows?”

       “Yes. Windows are good.”

       “Does Grammy like windows?”

       “I suppose. We haven’t really had much conversation about it.”

      From behind my driver’s seat I can hear her taking a long sip of apple juice from her sippy cup, ending with a faint “ahhh” sound of satisfaction.

“Granddad, there’s a Chick-fil-A!”

      “Yes, there it is! Maybe we’ll go there for dinner this week. I think I’ll get a chicken salad.”

      “Noooooo….not chicken sawad! You’re siwwy, Granddad!”

      “Why is chicken salad silly?”

      “You have to get chicken strwips!”

      “Is that what you get?”
“Yes, with honey barbecue sauce and waffle fwies!”

      “Oh…okay!”

      “Do you like to dweam, Granddad?”

      “Sure…I guess I do. You mean when I’m sweeping…I mean, sleeping?”
“Yes, I dweam about Puggles and wearing new shoes and cotton candy.”

      “Oh…that’s nice. Are all those in the same dream?”

      “Noooooo…….Granddad, don’t be siwwy!”

      Being silly is a necessary element of a grandfather’s conversation with his three year old backseat passenger. The journey ends and Miss Reagan dances an original step in front of me to her “Nana” Hodges’ house.

I ring the doorbell and she bangs on the door. Nana greets her and Reagan is ready for the next conversation.

Granddad gets back in the car and leaves younger than I was fifteen minutes before!