I can remember spending many nights at my Grandma and Grandad Bailey’s house. During the summers we stayed for weeks at a time. We loved it. Looking back, I don’t know how she managed to keep her sanity. It wasn’t just me and my siblings there, it was ALL the cousins. At any given time she would have 7 to 8 kids running in and out of the house, sometimes more when we brought a friend.
Grandma never minded though. She loved us being there. I can not remember a single time that she lost her patience and yelled at us. That’s not to say she didn’t get on to us. I remember her chasing the older cousins around with a switch from the tree or more often, her fly swatter. I don’t remember ever getting a whipping myself, though I am sure I must have. Grandma had a paddle hanging on her wall that someone had decorated and given her. “Grandma’s Paddle” was written across it. I don’t remember the paddle ever leaving her wall. Grandma and Grandad both were easy-going, never yelling or screaming at any of us. Their patience seemed limitless…….or maybe that is why Grandad spent so much time out in the shed.
Last night I went into the local grocery store to pick up a few items, and was met by the strangest sight. Two boys that my son played Baseball with back in Elementary School were working as Sackers….. My oldest has talked about starting work next year, and I know that day is coming. But seeing those boys with their light fuzzy facial hair, WORKING, came as quite a shock. I suddenly felt so OLD! My baby boy is becoming a man.
I can still remember the day he was born. Looking into his eyes for the first time, holding him, awed and humbled to be given such a precious gift. I still remember his smile, and that sweet baby smell as I held him close to me when he was an infant. Now he is 15, will be driving soon, and working….. Where did the time go?
As he enters this next stage in life, he introduces us to all new worries…. car crashes, teen pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, smoking, staying out late, not knowing where he is, if he is O.K. I’d like to think that none of these common “teen problems” will touch us, but reality says at least some of them will. I can only hope that we have taught him well enough, made him strong enough, to make the right choices in life. But letting go is so hard.
As I look at each of my four children, I know the day will come when they will be on their own. I will always be here to support, encourage, and catch them should they ever fall. As parents we spend our lives preparing them for when that day comes.
But I wonder……… have I prepared myself?
credit: Wylie Police Department
My heart absolutely breaks when I think about this little boy, his lifeless body abandoned near Lake Lavon in Wylie, TX. His parents are yet to be found.