Lo and behold... when I met my wife she had three kids who were 12, 14 and 15 years old! Careful what you wish for! Fifteen years later I now consider them my kids. And none of the poopy diaper, sticky finger, cheese sandwich stuff, either!
And then it happened... I hadn't even thought about this... GRANDkids! What? A whole new generation of sticky, poopy, sandwich lovin' VCR hatin' people coming up through the stepkids. Damn.
Now, not only have I never raised my own kids, but I was also an only child as well. I have NO experience with little kids at this point in my life. The first time someone tried giving me my grandson I wanted to hold him upside down by his ankle as far away from me as possible (he might poop, ya know)... I mean, NO experience and very uncomfortable around kids.
It's now almost four years later and, I have to say, funny how time changes things. What I've found out about kids is that I'm one of them. I have no problem relating on their level. Somehow it comes very naturally to me. I still have nothing to do with diapers, don't like sticky fingers, and a cheese sandwich is hard to get in a DVD player, but... as far as hangin' with the under four generation - I'm IN!
What I've found is there are just those times with kids when things happen that can touch your heart like nothing else can.
I love the period right before they fall asleep, either watching TV on the couch or reading books with them. Sometimes we just lay on the bed together and look at the glow stars on the ceiling as they drift off to sleep.
Last weekend we were watching the glow stars, my granddaughter Arden was already asleep and my grandson Ben was getting there. He likes falling asleep in my arms. He turned to me and whispered very quietly... in that voice that three year olds have when they whisper, "Grampa, I love you all the way to outer space"...
Wow... I hope you have all had, or can experience that some time in your lives. Because at that moment there was (and is) nothing I wouldn't do for that kid.
So I held him tighter...
And he hugged me back...
And I whispered, "Me, too, buddy... Me, too..."