chelsea headingToday’s effort is dedicated to all parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. In all of the country’s turmoil, there is an anchor for me and probably the same type anchor for all those named above. When you look at life, I may be the luckiest man for the past several millennia. I am not sure I deserve all I have but I shall not argue and I shall accept all the blessings I have. Very quickly, I have been blessed with three great kids who have given me nine wonderful grandkids who have given me five fantastic greats. For those of us who wish we could capture time in a bottle, we see the years progressing and wonder why we can’t stop it today. No, no, maybe tomorrow. Or maybe just before the last dance recital or soccer match. It doesn't happen.  That’s why memories were invented.
As my grandchildren were growing up we stayed as closely related to them as we could. Even with my telling them six years old was old enough or “you must stop now” at eight years they went ahead and grew up. Yessir, I love each of them more than these words can convey but... they have given me some presents. Three of these presents live a long way from here and I seldom get to see them but two are very close and visit often - but not often enough. Never often enough. The world lights up when they come through the door. Suddenly it is time to play “Go Fish” or take bites from any or all the apples and maybe have a banana. The eight year old is learning chess so thanks to a remarkable friend, he has a major chess set here and Pop is his expected opponent.
But his little brother is also very unique. He lives life at full speed and everything that can be is investigated and explored. He has shown a great propensity to think and figure out how things work and how to keep busy. He also told his mother that “Pop” was his “fave-wut.” Some time back Joni Mitchell recorded a great song made better by her wonderful voice. This song wasn’t originally meant to but tells the story of being with little ones who think you are special as each of them is very, very special. The song is “Both Sides, Now” and I do not know who wrote it, but he/she is a marvel. “Rows and floes of angel hair, And ice cream castles in the air, And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way.”  Can you remember playing silly games, reading silly books and having some wiggly body squirming in your lap? The laughter that lights up a life, not a day but your life. The eyes that shine and the question that can only be answered one way when asked, “Read to me?” as they stand holding the same book you have read dozens of times.
“Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels, The dizzy dancing way you feel, As every fairy tale comes real, I've looked at love that way.” Most of mine are too big now for Mr, McGregor  and Peter Rabbit but there are a couple who still want to hear Miss Suzy and How Fletcher Was Hatched. When we get scrunched up in the big chair and a head goes on your shoulder and an arm goes almost around your neck, “every fairy tale comes real.” When the door opens and very small legs literally run as fast as they can and a small body leaps into your arms for his “Pop hug,” you should be ready to catch and squeeze. Big brother waits patiently and then hugs you in a big way. Yessir, the dizzy dancing way you feel is for real.
The older ones will look back some day and remember some of the silly things we did and books we read. They have their own lives now and, I suppose, that is as it should be. My sincerest wish is for them to have so many to love and memories to cherish, not regrets to try to forget. The last verse of the song tells the end of this story. This is not a sad story, just a life I hope is well lived. “But now it's just another show, You leave 'em laughing when you go,  And if you care, don't let them know, Don't give yourself away.” Let them remember you as the one who played games, not the one who put things away.