SCREAMING, our two-year-old grandson stopped the daycare Thanksgiving meal for a few minutes on Monday.
It was a Thanksgiving Family Lunch at the daycare. Parents and grandparents of the kids were invited to sit on the tiniest chairs you’ve ever seen in your life.
My wife and I were babysitting the five-month-old grandson, so we had him with us when we went to have lunch with the two-year-old.
Grandson First, the two-year-old, never had any separation anxiety that I had ever witnessed. Until this meal.
We’ve left him there many times, after other meals and on those days we needed to drop him off for his parents. He’d go right to playing with the other kids.
This time he wanted to come home with us. I would have taken him in a second, and was tempted to do so. But I wouldn’t do that without asking his parents. Thinking back on it, I should have texted them. Maybe one would have been able to answer me before all decibels broke loose.
It started slowly, like a volcano warming up.
Then all of a sudden the head boss lady was running long, to catch an interception. She had to pry our grandson off the leg of his saintly grandmother who prefers to be called Mammy, against my wishes.
Thankful for screaming grandkids
You know what? I’m glad our grandson cries and screams and wails when we leave.
I dang well expect that of my family when I die.
I want to be loved enough that the people who know me best love me most and want me close instead of distant and find me helpful instead of intrusive.
They don’t have to like the Grandpa fedora I bought, like the one my Grandpa Miller wore, but without the hole worn into the front top crease. And they don’t have to like the suspenders I sometimes wear.
But I want them to like the guy under the hat and wrapped in suspenders.
If you read this on Wednesday, that’s when I’ll be with them all—my kids and their kids—sharing a meal. There will be a pair of two-year-olds, a boy and a girl. And there will be a pair born this summer, a boy in June and a girl in July.
My wife and I had trouble having kids and were starting to consider adoption when she got pregnant with our daughter. Next came the miscarriage. Then our son.
This extended family exists because of us. It was of our doing and it was our great wish. It’s our blessing and our responsibility when we’re needed.
Come and get it
The meal today, celebrating Thanksgiving a day early to accommodate our varied schedules, is part of the wish come true.
I know that not all families are able to celebrate together. So I don’t take this time for granted.
With a gathering like this, it’s probably impossible to go around the table and have everyone identify one thing they are especially grateful for this year.
But I can do it now because I have a website, bought and paid for. Thank you TriLion.
The family that began with my wife and I expanded in this order: Rebecca, Brad, Jill, Jon, Owen, Elise, Evan, and Lucy.
The last four are the grandkids. We see them a lot. We babysit some of them during the day and sometimes overnight. Like tonight.
They demand constant attention. Here’s a proverb that I think belongs in the Bible.
“It’s a fool who turns his back on a two-year-old.”
It could be a psalm, but we’d have to add “Selah” with a footnote. I’d have no trouble putting a tune to it. And I could sing that same line over and over, like I do many other praise songs in church.
I’ve been told that when a praise song writer introduces himself, he says, “I’m a praise song writer. I’m a praise song writer. I’m a praise song writer.”
Kids seek out the sharpest, pointiest, deadliest objects within their tiptoe stretch. Or the most fragile. Or expensive. Or the most likely to stain the carpet.
That said, they have brought into my house the greatest joy I currently experience.
I don’t mean to diss Jesus. That joy is soulful.
Kids tickle the joy right out of your guts. It’s a different kind of joy.
When a four-month-old granddaughter looks into your face and smiles all the way up to her bright blue eyes, or when a five-month-old grandson unleashes his double dimples as he blows happy bubbles at you, who’s not going to swell in joy. It puffs us up like a blowfish on helium.
I smile or laugh every day because of my grandkids.
Jesus knows what I’m talking about. He’s the one who said,
“Let those children come over here to me” (Mark 10:14 Casual English Bible).
Well, Jesus had his turn. It’s my turn now.
Someone please pass the ham.