Thursday, February 04, 2010

Paisley Rae

I was watching her tonight. She is so little. Not as little as she was. But still. Little. Her name is Paisley and she is my daughter's daughter. She cannot talk yet but if she could ... and when she does ... she will call me "grandpa." And I will glow a bit brighter on the inside.

Her eyes shine. Perhaps "sparkle" is a better word. They are deep and they are blue and they radiate life. When she smiles the angels tap their feet because they hear the music of God. I do believe that. She has these perfect cheeks. Not too chubby and not too skinny. Perfect. And so her smiles are perfect as well.

I don't think she knows who I am. Not yet. I am anxious for her to figure it out. I'm pretty sure she doesn't know who she is either. If she is looking away from me and I call her name she does not respond. So she has yet to learn that she is Paisley. What goes on in that little mind? I know that she is thinking about more than food, drink, sleep, or mommy and daddy. (Though those certainly take up a large share of her mental RAM.) Perhaps I am early but I think she is just waiting in there. Observing. Taking the temperature of the world around her. She is figuring out who is who and how we all fit together. She'll get it. There is no rush. The gears are turning and the spark plugs are firing and it will all come together in it's time.

I take much into consideration when gazing upon this little girl. Paisley is very young. I am rapidly approaching old. Her skin is silky smooth. I have to use a razor to keep mine manageable. Her hair will last longer than mine and will be lovely and thick and perhaps have a curl or two. Mine ... not so much. She is full of energy and will only get more with the passing of time. I find myself considering a second career as a mall walker. Paisley has never done anything wrong on purpose. I have not been able to say that for a very long time. On the other hand I have dry pants and do not drool (much.) Still, I think she wins the majority of these contests hands-down.

There is much speculation but for now I know this. I love that little girl. Perhaps she is not yet use to me holding her. I don't think we have found our particular "niche" yet. I forgot just how tiny a human being can be and so she intimidates me a bit. She feels that. And I remind her just how big a human being can get and how we can accidentally crunch something without meaning to and so I just may intimidate her as well. But there is a wonderful middle ground that we keep tripping over. It is in that smile that I told you about. Oh, how I love that smile. She is my Paisley and in her the world swirls and spins and the colors of the rainbow play in the centrifugal forces and they bring her very name into being ... into motion. She is Paisley.

And I love her so very, very much.

Monday, February 01, 2010

My Son Is Going To Be A Dad

Oh the stories I could (and do) tell. His name is Christopher and he was the last child born to my wife and I. We never planned on ... never anticipated ... having three children. Three means you are out numbered. You are in a hole always playing catch-up.

But one day it occurred to us that something in our little world was just not right. We were a happy family of four. But as we sat around the dinner table it was as though someone was not home yet. I know that makes no sense. But it is the honest truth. Kelli and Scott were, and continue to be, the joy of our lives. But when Christopher showed up I felt like I could close and lock the door. All was well.

Many years have transpired since that day. Twenty-four to be exact. I remember the last night I lived in our house with Christopher. He was not moving out. I was. Cleveland, Ohio was on my agenda. Christopher had considered moving with us but a job and a girl had convinced him otherwise. (Not in that order.) I woke up in the middle of the night, acutely aware that this would be the last time I would sleep with one of my kids officially residing with me under our roof. I got up, crept outside of his closed door, lay my hands upon it, and I prayed. I asked God to bless him. To keep him safe. To provide him with reason and purpose, direction and a holy filling. And then I headed to the shores of Lake Erie. By the time I moved back into the area Christopher had taken a bride and a lovely bride she is. They had moved to the far side of the city. We see each other often and I love that. But I'll never forget laying my hands on that door and praying.

And now Christopher is doing some praying of his own. We were sharing dinner as a family last Saturday evening at my daughter Kelli's house. It was casual. Clearly there was no agenda. When it was time for the food to be served Christopher asked the blessing. He thanked God for family, food, and his pregnant wife, Laura.

His pregnant wife ... Laura.

My eyes snapped open. Everybody had their eyes open except for Christopher. We stared at him. We stared at each other. Christopher said "Amen" and the hugs and tears came. My youngest son is going to be a dad. And he's going to be a great one. So many things just scream out to be said about this momentous event. They will have to wait. There is plenty of time.

For now? My son is going to be a dad. And I could not possibly be happier.