This letter is (probably) mostly for Grandparents, parents and those other people who really like kids. Not just “your” kids, but kids in general. This is going to be written from a very personal viewpoint but my hope is most of the readers will be able to say, “Hey, me too!” Just translate my experiences into the experiences you have had, or hope to have, and you will know the joy I am trying to describe.
As an instrumental music teacher, I came in contact with over half the school’s population on an almost daily basis.
No, I did not have them all in class but there were many ways of contact other than that. Yessir, there were some students that absolutely did not like me and a few I did not really want to invite home for the weekend, but over all, I enjoyed my association with getting to be with most kids.
Even today, as old as i am, I enjoy being around young kids and seeing their eagerness to view life and push their lives forward. Many instances of that have fortunately come from my volunteer work at Salvation Army. But that is not the topic today.
Nossir, I am not the luckiest man alive, or in the U.S.of A. or even in Broken Arrow. But, if I were to secretly write my life story I would have to equate those times of being around my whole tribe above getting to have a super rehearsal. In fact, it rates above making a “1” at contest and the spring concert.
Those people who have had a child or a close friend/relative, know the absolute joy of holding a baby in your arms. Somehow we humans do not have to be told that this is the future and we are part of it even if we are being left behind.
Something so deep within us that we cannot explain causes a flood of love, feelings, joy, good will toward mankind to surge through our bodies and make us almost gibbering, grinning beings partially incapable of expression. This happens to me often and I hope it does to you, or most of you, so you will know what I am trying to say.
This has happened to many of you and will happen to many more. But first, I have three new boys and one new girl. The two of the boys are used to me and the first one is “my best buddy in the whole world.”
If you do not know that feeling then I hope some day you do experience it. It is better than a birthday cake, Christmas morning and catching a seven pound bass all together. Yes, that will change as he grows older as it already has with my older three, but in the meantime I shall revel in it as you would, But the two littlest boys have been a challenge.
The 18 months old has never allowed me to do the silly things Pop does. Some times he would let me cuddle him, as he put his head down on my shoulder, for about 30 seconds, and then it was fighting to get down and running away.
This has gone on since he was big enough to run, crawl or scamper away. Being about as patient as a hungry Yak, I tried several approaches which didn’t seem to have much success. Then, in an amazing turn-around, a moment of pure, but contradictory, joy happened.
It really was a great surprise when he allowed Pop to carry him, do the rocket ship with full noise and strafe his brother. This was just a couple of days ago but he had supper with us since then and he still allowed Pop to play with him  --  within his boundaries, of course. Grandparents, especially grandpas know what that is and soon you younger guys will know.
After we had played and “rowred and growled” our way into complete annoyance of those trying to talk, it came time for Pop to go home. 18 month started crying and held out his arms to Pop. There was this big-eyed expression and wanting to continue that made it one of Pop’s most memorable moments.
This little boy who did his best to avoid Pop for his entire life, now was trying to prolong the contact. Pop’s heart was breaking because he had to leave but overflowing because he was definitely wanted.  Better moments seldom happen. But the one year old girl still will have nothing to do with Pop. She may just find that my vast fortune, of which I am quite proud, will go to others.
Unless she changes her attitude, she may not receive any of my collection of tee shirts or baseball caps.