Thursday, July 28, 2011
The Joy of the Everyday
So Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista asks, how are you finding joy in everyday life?
The older I get, the more I become aware of time. I find myself become more focused on creating, mostly writing, but reaching for something I haven’t done before (like a sestina poem) or trying to do something in a different way. My reading is becoming more diverse, and for whatever reason I’m continuing to rediscover the joys of poetry (which is something others have experienced as well).
And I have also become one of those grandfathers. I have fallen in love with what is now about 30 pounds of energy and personality, sweetness and intensity, 30 pounds that has already figured out his grandparents. And I don’t care. What can you say about a little person who throws his arms wide to embrace as soon as you walk in the house?
I knew I would likely be a candidate for the stereotyped grandfather. But I didn’t expect to be so swift and so complete. Cameron conquered the first time I held him some 16 months ago in the labor and delivery room.
I don’t know exactly what “it” is about being a grandparent. I saw my parents around my oldest and my mother around my youngest (my father died the same year my youngest was born). I saw neighbors go gaga when the grandkids came over, and I smiled.
Now my neighbors smile at me. And I don’t care.
Part of what goes on must have something do with pressure, as in, all the pressure of raising this child is really off the grandparents and on the parents. As a parent, you’re always scared you’ll screw up, and you do, but you manage to get through it.
But a grandparent, ah, the pressure is gone, except for the pressure to keep my mouth (mostly) shut about telling my son and daughter-in-law what they should be doing. I’m not the one God has given Cameron to raise, and God knows what He’s doing, even when I don’t.
My favorite time with my grandson is when we play with Legos (he’s a builder, not a destroyer). And when I get to feed him. And when we take a walk. And when he sits on my lap at a restaurant, like he did last Sunday. When we play with his toys. When he dances the “Bernie.” When he points the dummy remote at the TV set and nothing happens (he’s been known to hurl the remote when that happens, a proclivity he gets from his father). I don’t even mind changing his diaper, even the bad ones. And of course there are the times when he falls asleep in my arms. And when I watch him sleep. And did I tell you how tickled I get when he climbs? (And, oh, does he climb!) Or the expression on his face when he discovers something new?
I’m a case when it comes to my grandson.
I find myself praying for him, too. Praying for the joy he is. Praying for the boy and man he will become. Praying for his parents. Praying for his Uncle Andrew (Cameron’s middle name is also my middle name and his uncle’s first name).
When I’m not praying, sometimes I simply sit dumbstruck with the family joy God has blessed me with: my wife, my two sons and my daughter-in-law.
And now my grandson.
To see more posts on finding joy in the everyday, please visit Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista.
Top: Cameron waking up in a good mood, by Stephanie Young.
Middle: Cameron opening wide for a piece of peach offered by his grandmother, taken by Glynn Young.
Bottom: Cameron no longer able to fight off sleep, by Travis Young.
All photos used with Cameron’s permission.