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.

Photographs:

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.

21 comments:

The Wild Optimist said...

Glynn, This is a great post for Cameron! How blessed he is to have you in his life. (And clearly, you are reaping some benefits, too). A great testament to the good things that can happen . . . I hope you have more blessings in a day than you can list:) Enjoy!

Patricia said...

So sweet. Isn't grandparenting the best?

I think one of things that makes grandparenting easier is that we KNOW they grow up. We know they aren't going to be in diapers or the terrible twos forever, and we're able to laugh at the things that often frustrated us as parents.

(I wrote a little bit about children and grandchildren today, too.)

Lisa notes... said...

You're making me cry, Glynn. This is all so beautiful. You sound like a terrific grandfather. What a blessing you will be to Cameron through the years ahead.

I'm very glad that you are spending more time writing and creating. And that we get to enjoy the fruit of that. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us.

Beth in NC said...

That is so precious! You helped me understand why my parents and MIL are NUTS over our daughter! Ha.

Such a blessing!

Beth

http://mydestinysharinghope.com/

S. Etole said...

I have a sneaking suspicion you enjoy your grandson!

Maureen said...

Once he figures out how to use the computer and call up these posts you write about him, watch out.

This is so affirmative a piece of writing. Who can not find joy in it?!

That last pic is great; I wouldn't want to try to take what he's holding out of his hand.

Helen said...

You should be gaga over him! He is every bit as adorable as you think he is!

Louise Gallagher said...

This is absolutely beautiful.

Just like Cameron and his google-eyed Grandpa.

TravisMizzou said...

He is blessed to have you as a grandfather. The look when he sees you two is awesome. And once you see him, nothing else matters. Feel free to give pointers. I think you did pretty well with me and Cameron's uncle.

irenecortez said...

Aww, this is very touching, Glynn! Seeing the world in the eyes of a grandfather. And your grandson is just so adorable!

You just made me smile, Glynn. Take care and God bless! :-)

Irene

alyssasantos.com said...

Praise God for praying Grandpas! The world needs you! I just saw my 16 month old niece the other day and oh, they are beauty with wheels on! Wonderful testimony to the loves of our lives that constantly reveal God's love for us. Blessings! Aly

alyssasantos.com said...

Praise God for praying Grandpas! The world needs you! I just saw my 16 month old niece the other day and oh, they are beauty with wheels on! Wonderful testimony to the loves of our lives that constantly reveal God's love for us. Blessings! Aly

Caroline said...

So beautiful! I love how reflective you are as a grandfather and what that role entails (and doesn't) for you. The love children create and give... one of the most beautiful things in this life!

jasonS said...

What a great post, Glynn. Smiling inside and out. And if that's a remote in his hand in that last picture, I just have to say "atta boy, Cameron." :)

Sandra Heska King said...

"I’m not the one God has given Cameron to raise, and God knows what He’s doing, even when I don’t."

Taping this to my mirror! Insert new name.

Your joy bubbles, and makes me smile big!

Patricia said...

Adorable. =)

pathoftreasure said...

This post is brimming with joy. What a blessing for Cameron to have a praying grandpa!

Linda said...

Yes, yes, yes to all of it Glynn. I remember my daughter-in-law saying to me once that I should discipline the grands - and I thought, "Nope, not gonna happen." My job description includes lots of love and laughter and praying. I leave that other stuff to Mom and Dad.
Isn't it grand?

thewritelife2 said...

It almost makes me want to go adopt a child. :o) Beautiful.

HisFireFly said...

What beauty, seen through your eyes of love...

Bonnie Gray said...

I've been thinking what a blessing you are to Cameron because you support his parents...

"I’m not the one God has given Cameron to raise, and God knows what He’s doing, even when I don’t."

That is one of the biggest gift you can give him-- your confidence in his parents... as you laugh and build legos with him!