04 November 2015


Grand, indeed.
With the arrival of our granddaughter, Jane, nearly three weeks ago, we upped the grandchild count to two. Those are not gross Duggar freakshow family numbers, but for the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I, two is pretty much perfection right now.

I was able to spend this past weekend with my grandchildren, my daughter and son-in-law, and as an added bonus, CAL came down. With TMFKATB just minutes away in his assigned area of missionary service, it was the closest thing to a perfect virtual family reunion that we've had for awhile. If I had to sum up the weekend in one word, it would be this: JOY.

It started as I drove down the I15, my heart swelling with joy, knowing my son was nearby, serving God and the Spanish speaking people that he has grown to love with all his heart.

The joy overflowed when I got further behind the Zion Curtain and held these two in my arms:
Holding Jane, this beautiful blend of her mother (my daughter) and my son-in-law, was awe-inspiring and life affirming. As the Boy Awesome climbed up (it was more like an assault, if I'm being honest - this kid is ALL boy) on me so we could get the picture above, my joy was complete.

Being grandfathered, unlike the unwatchable Fox series of the same name (seriously, it's hideous - Stamos' best work was on 'Full House' - and I literally just threw up in my mouth as I wrote those words), is pretty much the best thing ever. Having the Boy Awesome use me as his personal tackling dummy for the entire weekend was great. Taking him on a Grandpa/Grandson only trip to my alma mater, BYU, so we could get him a "Go Cougars!" shirt was awesome. Learning that he insisted that his sister wear a BYU shirt the day after we left made me smile from ear to ear. Here's the proof:
Never too early to be a Cougar fan!
While we were on campus, I ran into several kids from our days in Chicago. It was great to see the Boy Awesome interact with them. He particularly liked playing football in front of the Wilkinson Center with this guy (he's an elementary ed major and is going to be an amazing teacher - read more about his exploits here):
Barely got them to stop tossing the
ball to get this picture
There was also a bit of joy because it was Halloween and Grandpa got to walk around with the Boy Awesome with his dad as he worked the neighborhood in pursuit of the usual Halloween treats.
The Cowboy - the horse lasted about
half a house.

With his buddy, Captain America

Negotiating a trade with the Man in the
Yellow Hat from his favorite books,
"Curious George"

The Cowboy and the Pumpkin
Suffice to say, it was a delightful night. I suspect my smile matched the big ones carved into the pumpkins throughout the Awesomes' neighborhood. I smiled broadly later that night as I watched my daughter and her son-in-law negotiate bedtime with a two year old who was determined NOT to go to bed. As I listened to them talk to their boy, I was transported back to my own mostly futile attempts at negotiating with my three children when they were that age. These kids are a lot more skilled than I, I can tell you that.

It's fair to say I am a HUGE fan of this grandfather thing. There's a little less pressure being a grandfather, but like a father, I know I've always got to be my best self with my grandchildren. I've got to be there for them. I've got to be the grandfather talked about in this quote:

To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs
and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo.
~ Robert Brault

So, to my grandchildren I say bring on the boo! Grandpa's ready to be scared

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