Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My First Grandson

I walked in the door. My son and his girlfriend lived upstairs. Their apartment opened onto the stairs so I could look up and see a wrought iron railing and the back of their couch. On the couch looking over and down the stairs was this adorable little face. It lit up when it spotted me and got a look on it like, "GOD'S HERE!"

My first grandson has always made me feel more special than I am. He is a grown man now but when I call him on the phone, a bit of the little boy creeps into his voice when he softly says, "Hi, Grandma."

I read one time that a child's opinion of himself is formed during the first two years of life. If he is praised and made to feel special he will always feel that way. If he is belittled and made to feel unimportant he will always feel that way. The degrees may change with experience but the basic feeling is there.

In our family the children are the most important things we have. Each child is made to know that he or she is the smartest, prettiest, most loved being that ever lived. If someone says, "Hey, Pretty Girl," all the little girls will look up and answer.

One of my favorite things to do was to ask the child I was with, "Who loves you?" Usually the answer would be, "You do!"

I was driving with my grandson in the car one day. I asked him who loved him. He said his dad loved him. Who else? His Mom. Who else? His sister. Who else? His Grandpa. Who else? His aunt. Suddenly he looked up with a look of wonder on his face and said, "Everybody loves me!"

Again out driving we were listening to the radio. My daughter was with us too.  The song Hit The Road Jack by Ray Charles began to play. My grandson said, "Di you hear what he said, Grandma? He said hit the road Jack." He was laughing so hard. He thought that was the funniest song he had ever heard.

A group of people had gathered at my house for the pay-per-view wrestling event on TV. My grandson was about a year old. You know how rambunctious children are at that age. He was running around being a little boy and enjoying all the attention he was getting. He lost his footing somehow and fell. He hit his head on the corner of a table and blood came gushing out.

His parents left to take him to the emergency room for stitches. The nurses would allow only one parent in the room with him. As she always did when one of her kids was injured, my daughter-in-law promptly passed out. My son had to take her place.

Because of her inclination to faint when her children needed medical care (it is a family joke now) another member of the family always went to doctor with her. She would wait impatiently in the waiting room until we returned with her offspring.

My grandson had a mole growing on the back of his head. It needed to be removed. We all knew that my daughter-in-law could not manage this one. I volunteered.

My grandson and I made a day of it. His appointment was in the middle of the afternoon. He and I went to lunch before the doctor's office. He knew what was to happen.

The doctor talked to both of us. He explained that giving a local anesthesia to the back of the head would probably hurt more than the procedure itself. His plan was to simply cut the mole off and send it to the lab to make sure there was no cancer.

My grandson sat with his back to the doctor. I told him to hold my hand and squeeze as hard as he needed to whenever he felt like it. For some reason that seems to lessen pain. The doctor began to work.

My poor grandson was so brave. He was only about 8 years old. He sat there and squeezed my hand harder and harder as it hurt him more and more. I asked the doctor to stop and that brave little boy told him to just go ahead and get it over with. So brave.

When he was about 10 years old my grandson began to walk on the sides of his feet. I do not mean that he wore his shoes a little more on the outside edge, He was walking on the actual sides of his feet. His mother kept asking him if it hurt to walk that way and he said it didn't.

Finally my daughter asked him if it hurt if he didn't walk that way. He said yes. The doctor prescribed inserts to be worn inside his shoes to correct whatever the problem was. After several years his legs and feet were fine and he no longer needs the inserts.

You have probably seen a television program where a little boy gets his head caught in the rungs of the banister on the stairs. Well my two year old grandson did not do that. He got his head stuck in the spines of the back of a kitchen chair.

His mother and baby sister were the only ones home. His mother tried everything she could think of to help him get out. She thought about cutting the chair apart but she was afraid she would cut him too.

Finally his father got home from work. After he laughed for a minute he had my daughter-in-law calm my grandson and keep him still. Then he cut the chair away from my grandson's head.

When he was about four years old my grandson began to play baseball on a team. His mother and father were the coaches. (They were very good at it, as a matter of fact) They had practices where they learned how to play and how to run the bases, things like that. They actually played against other teams.

As little as they were they never struck out. The only way a batter was out was if the ball was caught in the air after it was hit or if the batter was thrown out running the bases. Some of the children were not proficient batters and could take some time before they finally hit the ball.

During one game my grandson had hit the ball and was standing on second base waiting for the next batter to hit the ball so he could advance. It took a while and my grandson was getting impatient. Finally he had enough. He started to walk off the field.

My son convinced him to go back to second base. He went, muttering all the way. After some more time the batter hit the ball and my grandson moved to third base. The next batter took a while too. So my grandson sat down on third base and took his batting helmet off and put it on the ground in front of him. He was bored and tired of trying to hide it.

My grandchildren are all intelligent little creatures. Sometimes it is a problem. My grandson would be finished with his work sooner than the other children in his class. He got bored.

Everyone knows that if a child has nothing to do, they will make something to do. And usually that is what will get them into trouble.

When his parents began getting notes from school saying that he was a discipline problem they did not know what to do. They were paying a lot of money to send their children to a private school and the school would not want to keep a problem child.

I knew what to do and when they asked me I told them. Let the teacher know that when he was idle she needed to give him something to do. Get him interested in a book he would enjoy. Let him bounce the basketball. Have him organize a section of the room. Anything to keep his mind active so that it would not think of other things that got him in trouble. That seemed to do the trick.

My grandson also played soccer, football, and he was a wrestler. His father had been wrestling with him since he was home from the hospital as a baby so he was good at that. And football is his special love. He tried out for the team in high school. His coach was ecstatic because my grandson is a big boy.

One day after school but before football practice my grandson was playing basketball in the gym with some of the other boys. He fell and his knee was a little sore but he could deal with it.

When they started football practice it started to hurt worse. They called the school nurse and she said it was fine, just a little bruised. So he kept trying. It was no use. His knee began to swell and he could no longer stand.

His ACL was torn and he needed surgery. When the doctors were inside the knee they discovered further damage. The ACL was not going to be repaired. The MCL needed to be repaired too. The ACL was replaced with one from a cadaver.

It was a painful surgery and an extremely painful recovery. My grandson is a tough kid and not much hurts him but he was in pain. Then there was the long period of physical therapy and crutches. He walked with an ever so slight limp.

He missed the first two years of high school football because of his injury. His final year of high school he again went out for the team. He had missed so much that he was not first string but he was happy to just be there.

They were doing some sort of drill during practice. Two other boys fish-hooked him and he went down. His other knee snapped. Another ACL surgery. With this one they did what they thought was a successful surgery. In the recovery room they did some testing before he was awake. Something was wrong. They needed to go back in.

They discovered damage to the MCL and to a couple of tendons. That did the job. After another painful recovery and a lot of therapy he is fine. He has a little bit of arthritis in his knees that he will have to keep an eye on but otherwise, it is all good.

My grandson was going to be a teacher. He wanted that from the time he was quite young. But going to college and trying to work and maintain friendships became too much for him. He is working fo a major car manufacturer now. He still wants to finsih his education but his work schedule will not allow it right now.

He is married too. His wife is a wonderful person who wants to be a doctor. Specifically she wants to be a forensic pathologist and perform autopsies. They are due to have a daughter very soon.


  1. Hi Emma. The love shines through this.

    1. So nice to hear from you John. As are all my grandchildren, he is a very special person. He is married to the person I believe is right for him and that beautiful baby girl has been born so he has an extra bit of a strut to his step.