rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “grandchildren”

A Perfect Dad, II

As I post this, Father’s Day 2018, is upon us. Seven years ago, I wrote this to celebrate Father’s Day. Since that time I have become a Great-Grandfather to five fantastic children. The first four are boys with the last one being a girl.  What I wonderful feeling.  I am truly blessed. But so are the fathers of these wonderful kids.  I post this in honor of all the fathers in my family and everywhere.

While the great-grandsons are well past the “diaper” stage, the great-granddaughter is still in the midst of “change”. Obviously, the skills needed for girls are quite different than for boys. I am certain “Perfect Dads” have figured that out.

The children we father makes us fathers, the love we show them makes us “Dads”.

“A Perfect Dad”

I am a father of two daughters and one son, as well as a grandfather of four girls and two boys, AND a great-grandfather to a lad named Judah, A fine old biblical name. This year, I received my share of Father’s Day cards. As I read the little poem written inside one card, I could not help but feel very inadequate, for I am anything but a “Perfect Dad”.

Way back when my firstborn (she would dispute the “way back” part) made her initial appearance, I was based on an aircraft carrier in Japan and unable to be there for that ultimate experience.

Later, when my second born arrived, I was there, however, not allowed in the delivery room. I probably would have fainted anyway. She arrived with as much fanfare as did the firstborn.

I know for sure that I went through the burping, feeding, rocking phases, more so with the second child than the first. However, their mother attended to the diapering functions. You have to understand the times in which we were living during the early 60’s. Most men did not attend to such details. However, times, they were a’changing.

When children are born, they are like a piece of cloth. They sag in places, they have a lot of wrinkles, not much hair, at least not my children, and it looks like they were dyed red.

Wrinkled and red.  Skin so soft you’d think they were covered with silk. And everything needed support.

When my son was born, he was no exception. But, like I said, times were a’changing. Through a series of discussions (coerced, I’m sure), I was ready to accept my responsibilities of being a father. Except, my hands were not equipped to handle such difficult maneuvers. I was very deficient in providing this needed aid.

Later, when I felt I had acquired at least some of the necessary skills, I was allowed (?) to take on a few basic functions of caring for him. Feeding him at 2 A.M. was my first privilege. Burping him was another. Always have an extra cloth diaper handy for placing over your shoulder. Notice, I said “cloth diaper”. Disposable diapers had been invented some years before my children were born; however, they were not as prevalent as today. They were expensive, as well.  Thus, we used cloth diapers.

As my skills became more proficient, other responsibilities were given (?) to me. One task, though, was overwhelming. Considering the times when my poor child had to go around with a diaper halfway to his knees, it was obvious.

I laughed, not at the amusing sight, but rather at the very thought of my inexperience of placing the diaper on him in the first place. Of course, there were no instruction booklets attached to the “cloth” diaper. I often wondered how his mother did that. I think she wrote a book titled, “How to Change a Cloth Diaper,” which I of course, never read.

Intelligent as I am, I devised a special method for cleaning cloth diapers. (I’m not sure if I was the first one to use this method.) You simply place the used diaper in the toilet, and while holding to one end, very carefully, you flush. The way to do this is to use some sort of device to your nose or you may hold your nose with one hand, the diaper in the other and use your elbow to hit the flush handle.

However, when I received the bill from the plumber I surmised that the flush method for cleaning cloth diapers was not necessarily a proper decision of a “Perfect Dad.” But, trial and error will teach you the proper technique. It must be noted that “Perfect Dads” have a very sensitive gag reflex.  I often wondered if one could not use the same method for cleaning the child as well, but I was informed that it was not allowed.

Then, too, the cloth diaper method we used required two safety pins, one for each side. This was not easy. Making the folds while holding the squirming child down required a third hand, which I did not have. I never saw a third hand on his mother, but somehow she always managed to pin the diaper on the child without sticking the pins in his skin.

I might also mention that you need protective equipment, such as goggles when changing diapers on little boys. If I were “A Perfect Dad”, I would have known that. (I should have read the book!) As I said, times have certainly changed over the years. Child rearing in this day seems much simpler to me. How hard could it be to change a disposable diaper? Tape it on?

Fathers, Grandfathers, relish in this day. In someone’s eyes, you are a “Perfect Dad.”

My Dad has long since passed on but I recall a plaque I once gave him for Father’s Day. It was purchased on the spur of the moment, a last minute decision.gift.  It featured a pair of shoes with the inscription, “No one can fill the shoes of my Dad.” My Dad loved that small gift. He placed it on his table where he could see this everyday. He was my step-dad but the only dad I ever knew.

On this Father’s Day, take a few moments to reflect upon your father, even as you celebrate being a father. Know that our Heavenly Father is the one truly, “Perfect Dad”, who produced a truly “Perfect Son. God’s Word tells us to “honor our father and mother, that our days will be long upon the land that God has given us”. Ex. 20:12

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” I John 3:1

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

June 19, 2011

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CHILDREN AND CHRISTMAS

Many years ago, too many to count, I became the father of three wonderful children. Not all at once, you understand, but one by one. The first one, a little red-headed daughter, we named Cheryl. I was a young sailor, far away in Guam when she was born. It would be several months before I met her in person for the first time. She was a delight in the life of her very young parents. Grandparents were so excited.

Two years and four months later, another little girl came into our lives. We named this little bundle, Kimberly. Kim, as she became known, was a delight in the life of her older but still young parents. Experienced in parenthood, or so we thought, we doted on this new baby in our family. Grandparents were excited at the arrival of their second granddaughter.

Thirteen months later, a little boy was born into this growing family. We named Him Charles. Charlie, as he is known only by family, was, as his older siblings were, a delight in our young family. Now we were really parents with a great deal of knowledge of parenting skills. NOT, but, proud of our family unit. Of course, his older sisters were very proud as well. And his grandparents were thrilled at a boy coming into our lives.

That was then, this is now. My children are now grown with children of their own, the girls with grandchildren as well. It is only a matter of time until my son becomes a grandfather, too. As for this great-grandfather, that makes me so very proud.  I am so proud of my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren.

I wish I would have written a book about all these years as they came and went, back when my memory was much more lucid. I could talk about vacations we took back and forth to different states, about bus rides for hours on end, and back to their childhood when clothes flew out a window. We could talk about those teenage years, of wrecked cars, yes, each child experienced that predicament. We could talk about band and baseball, good grades and not so good grades. We could talk about what they THOUGHT they got away with. Probably not those deeds they actually did get away with. We could talk about the cats and the dogs and Christmases past.

God willing, this will be my seventy-eight Christmas on this earth. I write this to say how much I treasure my family, how much I love each and every one of them.  The distance between our families is only in the miles and not in the love we have for each other. We spent many Christmases together and some were even in hard times.  As adults, we do not always get the opportunity to spend every Christmas together in person, but we always have each other in our hearts. The family has grown by leaps and bounds and I feel very gratified by their love. And now my children entertain their children and grandchildren in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.They make their own traditions and customs. That is how it should be.

Wanting this to be a very public announcement of how much I love my family, I post this enthusiastically and say;

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY CHILDREN. I LOVE YOU

AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY READERS

Two Peas in a Pod

That famous idiom conjures up the imagination of most when they see twins. Supposedly, the two are indistinguishable from each other.  I beg to differ.

In my family, I have four of the greatest great-grandsons. The first and oldest is Judah, at the ripe old age of five. He is quite a funny little guy and an astute individual. He adores his young brothers. Next in line is Zayne. He is a little fellow, I think pushing four and he pushes the envelope with his intelligence. Rounding out the four great-grandsons are Enoch and Ezra, the young brothers of Judah. Each of my great grandsons is special in their own right.

Enoch and Ezra, are twins. Although not identical, they are similar enough to be recognized as “Two Peas in a Pod.”

However, there is where the similarity ceases. For these two are destined to be recognizable in their own right. I am not any sort of prognosticator of the future because of any special knowledge. I can surmise, however, that when God moves into their young lives, great things will happen.

This Sunday, a baby dedication will occur at the church where their parents attend. Enoch and Ezra will be presented to God and their parents will acknowledge that these boys are a gift from the Almighty. In His goodness, God offered these two sons to their mother and father, to be raised in a manner of speaking, as children of God. It is an awesome responsibility. In Luke, we are told that Mary and Joseph presented Jesus before the Lord. What a sight that must have been. Enoch and Ezra, you will have that same experience. of being presented to the Lord.

Enoch and Ezra, I am your great-grandfather. I am not nor have I ever been any special kind of person, just a grandfather. I am entitled to write what I feel. These are words from my heart. In the years to come, there will be bridges to cross, paths to take, choices to make, and doors to open. The world will be at your doorstep. You will make many decisions during your lifetime. It is important, I believe, to ask for guidance from God, our heavenly Father. Because you also have Biblical names, (both were men of God,) it  seems to me that you would make sense of that as well.

When your mother turned thirteen, I wrote her a thirteenth birthday letter. Each of my grandchildren received such a letter on their thirteenth birthday. Thirteenth birthday letters were a way of me acknowledging that my grandchildren were no longer children, but in fact had become teenagers and as such, deserved that recognition. In each of those letters, a theme is prominent. That God is the Source of Life and He should be at the forefront of yours. That is what I want you to take from this. I may or may not be around to write your thirteenth birthday letter. And, just in case I am not, then you may substitute this.

Enoch and Ezra, you both are a gift from God. I treasure that. May you each have a wondrous life. May your dreams be such that you will honor God in each instance. May you never forget that it is He who sustains you. And when the time is right, may you make the decision to follow Christ with a personal relationship.

For me, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged…” Proverbs 17:6.

This is the legacy I hope you will remember. You may be like “Two Peas in a Pod” but you are NOT just any two peas in a Pod. You are special.  You are a gift from God.

Just a proud grandfather

February 24, 2016

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