I've got my itinerary and am flying to California on Friday for a week's visit with April, Matt, and Jocelyn. It seems so strange to not get a "ticket" any more. Like there's something missing. The ticket seems to be slipping away as an experience anymore. It used to be somehow comforting to have that thick, official piece of paper in your hand or pocket.
Airline tickets were huge and very official looking in the "old days". I just miss them. Silly me.
I am really looking forward to getting to know my granddaughter Jocelyn on this trip. She's starting to talk and I'm sure it's going to be fun. That's a wonderful age, full of learning and small adventures. I see her bright eyes in pictures and am sad that she's so far away that she and I will not be seeing each other very often.
On the other coast my three grandkids are growing up too, and I feel the same sadness times 3 that I don't get to spend much time with them. Elsa is starting to read at 5 years old, to my delight, because I love reading. I strongly suspect that kids that read early turn into adults that read often and widely. Whenever I hear someone announce that they don't read books or don't like to read, I feel sad for them because they're missing a lot of pleasure and adventure.
I've got a wonderful, tight bond with Elsa and Reagan, who spent their "early years" living close to me. We have great visits whenever I'm able to get to see them. I am worried that I'll never get to know their little brother Avery as well. The two bigger girls are full of enthusiasm to see me and grab most of my attention when I visit, and Avery gets left out because he doesn't push himself forward. He's a cute, mild-mannered, sweet little guy.
The neatest thing with grandkids is watching them become fully-featured characters as they grow. The little personality quirks they have as infants will unfold into the people they're becoming. A quiet child may develop into a very intense adult or a timid adult. A noisy, boisterous child may become a leader or a bully... you just never know when they arrive. But I know that both sets of parents are taking their responsibilities very seriously, and that is a tremendous comfort to me. I know a woman at work whose daughter got into drugs and was "with" a violent drug user in a very bad relationship. That guy "beat up" their three-month old daughter, causing serious injuries and possibly permanent brain damage. I am so thankful that nothing like that is ever going to be a possibility for my grandkids. They are safe and dearly loved.
I love the way Jonah and Stephany aren't tolerating any whining from their kids. A child that knows you don't profit from whining is going to be a much more effective and likeable adult.
I believe that the seeds of what they're going to become are all there when they arrive. But a seed can unfold and bloom as it develops to it's fullest potential or wither and fail to thrive. The key ingredients to producing a top-grade adult that will be able to access all their innate talents and strengths is loving nurture and guidance from firm and devoted parents. Thankfully, I am confident that my grandkids are in good, loving hands. Their parents are completely committed to helping their children develop into strong, well-educated, and confident adults and I'm seeing wonderful results.