It was really good to see you this morning! Now that you are at our house during the week, the weekend seems like an awfully long time to be away. Nana was out with you at your house on Saturday, as she was helping your mommy decorate your new room, so at least she got to see you one more day (Jealous Grandpa!).
Kaylee, I wonder if this is going to ever get old? You know, where we take each other for granted and not being with each other isn’t a big deal? Where Grandpa doesn’t mind if he doesn’t see his little Kaylee Q ( I call you that sometimes now, and I don’t know why) for awhile. I don’t think that will ever happen as long as we stay connected.
You see, to say that you are my granddaughter is saying you are part of me. You are part of my identity. On my driver’s license there should be one more category that describes me. Here is what it would say:
Hair: Not Much
Eyes: Blue (just like a little girl I know)
Height: 6’2″ ( shrunk, 6 1 1/2″- gravity)
Weight: 190 (target weight:))
Grandpas everywhere. Don’t let this happen to you. Put away your smartphones, and have some kind of non-judgmental, non-crotchety way to make sure you grandkids don’t have theirs’ in hand also. Then, connect like you are wired to do in the first place…Listen@
When you went for your check-up at the doctor’s office last week, your mommy worried about one thing…
Your mommy says, “I hate needles!”
Did you know that when your mommy or daddy are afraid of something, you will probably be, too? Yes, we can learn fears from our parents and we are really good at picking them up from a very early age. It didn’t do me much good to remind your mommy not to get too freaked out when you got your shots, because she was probably going to start tearing up after the first one anyway.
And you got five shots! Ouchy!
There are many things your mommy doesn’t like. Snakes and lizards are definitely up there, for example. That is why it is such a good idea that your mommy and daddy bought a house in a semi-arid desert area-
Perfect home for snakes and lizards!
Kaylee, this is an example of a useful tool of language (if you are gentle)-
Back to the needles. Your mommy doesn’t like needles and blood. Yet, she wanted to go to school to be a doctor. She got a scholarship to study to be a doctor, but right before she started, she told me and Nana she didn’t want to be a doctor. How could she when she didn’t like needles and blood?! We didn’t mind, though, because if you are going to have a job, you want to do things you enjoy and are really passionate about (We didn’t mind also, because she got to keep her scholarship, too!).
It is good your mommy is a teacher. Especially a math teacher. This will come in real handy as you get older. Just take my word for it.
Kaylee, let me tell you one more thing about shots. Grandpa didn’t like to get shots either. I remember when I was a little boy I had to go to the doctor’s office and get a shot. I was afraid and I didn’t want one. So, when the nurse pulled down my pants to give me the shot, I got away and started running out of the doctor’s office!
The office was on the second floor above a bank. I ran screaming, out of the waiting room and got to the stairs and made it down into the bank lobby before anyone caught me.
I was pretty fast even with my pants pulled partway down!
I still got the shot, though. It’s really good for us to let doctor and nurses help take care of us. Maybe, another reason I was so afraid of going to the doctor was his name. Kaylee, I am not making this up. You can ask Great Grandpa Hanson. His name was…
You went to the doctor on Monday. Guess what? You are a growing girl after two months! You gained about five pounds and you grew about three inches! Since you were a little over seven pounds when you were born, that means your weight went up over 70%! If Grandpa did that in the last two months, I would have gained over 150 pounds! I don’t care how much I like pizza, cherry pie, and donuts, I don’t think I could ever be an eating dynamo like you!
The good news is, you are supposed to gain as much weight as you want now, because all you are eating is your mommy’s milk. It’s good for you! And one invention I really love is the bottle. This way your daddy can feed you with your mommy’s milk, too. He get’s to see you tucked close and staring right in his eyes while you eat.
Grandpa gets to feed you, too. I find it fascinating that you know just when you have had enough. You wiggle your tongue around and move your head back and forth because you don’t want to suck the bottle anymore. If you do happen to eat more than you need, you take care off that, too. You spit up on my black shirt because I forget to put a cloth over my shoulder when I am holding you!
OK, I guess I have to make sure I have a cloth at all times after you eat. There is no way I am going to miss my post-meal “hugging, burping, squeezing” love time.
Maybe I am going to have to start wearing more white shirts.
Come on, Kaylee, I’m partial to black! I find it quite slimming. Are you going to be the source of a clothing shift for me? My granddaughter is already working on my ensemble?
O well, I guess I should have seen this coming. You see your mommy has always been my fashionista over the years. My “What to wear or not wear/ What to buy or not buy,” personal valet.
Your Nana always says, “Kristina, you go with dad,” whenever I go clothes shopping so your mommy can be Nana’s eyes while we are picking out clothes.
“Not thaaat shirt, dad!”
“I think those shoes are really cool, dad, but mom’s not going to like them.”
O, that’s another thing, Kaylee, I’ll let you in on a little secret.
Your mommy has learned a lot from me because I am her daddy. How much Jesus loves us. How daddy’s love their daughters lots and lots and lots. How daddy’s love mommys lots and lots and lots. But, one thing I taught her that isn’t always a daddy thing?
Shoes and bags. I “love” shoes and bags.
So, guess what? Two of the favorite things your mommy likes to shop for?
Shoes and bags!
Hmmm, who knows, Kaylee? I can see a little shopping trio being formed sometime in our future…
Can hardly wait!
What a special day you had yesterday! You are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You are now a new child in God’s glorious Kingdom!You are my granddaughter, and now, you are my sister! When you get a little older we’ll talk about how that can be…
Something happened yesterday, Kaylee, that will have significance for eternity. When water was poured out over you, and God’s Word was spoken over you, God’s Spirit touched you with a kiss of new life, and you made sure everyone knew you were joining the rest of us in our battle against the spiritual forces of darkness. Your cry is our battle cry!
Some of our Christian brothers and sisters have a hard time using “warfare” type language when it comes to our faith, and I respect that. Yet, Grandpa is fond of looking at things from a slightly different angle, as you will certainly learn. So, here is what I think you have become part of, through Holy Baptism.
As Christians we aren’t fighting with bullets or bombs. We attack much deeper. We use love as our greatest weapon. Bullets and bombs may defeat and protect, but only love can pierce the soul. Until Jesus brings in God’s rule for good, Kaylee, I’m afraid there will be “wars and rumors of wars,” but, eventually, nothing is going to stop God’s love from winning.
You see, Kaylee, through Jesus, the victory is already complete. Now we are simply mopping up by taking no prisoners. By that I mean, we won’t leave anyone alone without experiencing the love of God. Not if we can help it. There isn’t a person you will ever meet whom God doesn’t love just as much as you. That’s why spreading God’s love and joy, bringing freedom and new life, is the greatest cause in the galaxies! If people want that new life, they get it. No matter who they are, and Kaylee, you need to know, we are God’s secret arsenal.
The way God reaches people is through us using God’s weapons of choice: love, joy, and forgiveness. I already know you are going to be a 5-star general in the “love” and “joy” category. You are already showing your expertise at that!
As far as the forgiveness part is concerned, this is going to have to be something you learn as you watch your mommy and daddy, as you watch me and Nana and all your other relatives; as you watch your brothers and sisters in the Christian Community. It’s up to us to teach you the forgiveness part.We will teach you about Jesus and how he makes forgiveness possible and we will teach you by modeling forgiveness given, and forgiveness received.
So, Kaylee, you let out your battle cry anytime you want. It sounds like victory to me…
Well, your Nana’s mommy is visiting. Your mommy calls her, “Nana,” and that’s how your Nanna got that name. Your mommy’s Nana loves you so much. Just like the rest of us. Uncle Greg is home for a couple of weeks before he starts school again. He wants to hold you and poke you and imitate you with your, “Eh, Eh,” sounds.
You will need to get use to Uncle Greg and Uncle David. They like to make a lot of sounds around the house. They like to caw like crows. They are very foolish sometimes and your Nana says it drives her crazy. I don’t know where your uncles learned to make such sounds…
So, Kaylee, now I have two more people in the house. That should make me happy, and it does, but it also means I am having to share my holding and hugging with everyone else. That’s all right, though, I suppose. There is enough loving to go around.
Here is what is fun. I get to see four generations of strong and beautiful women together.
Nana (sr. )
Nana (jr. )
I love all of these women in my life. They are a part of who I am. I’m glad you are catching up, Kaylee. You are changing my life, too. Even physically. You are expanding my heart and you are making my face hurt-
So many smiles…
Guess what? I get to see you a lot now! Your mommy is back at work and Nanna is taking care of you during the day. That means I get to see you, too! We spend about an hour together before I leave for work. Also, one day a week, I am going to take care of you, too. I get to watch you grow, grow, grow. At least after finishing three bottles on Friday- it looks like it!
Your mommy is glad to be back teaching her students, but she is sad because she isn’t with you all the time. It’s alright, though, because Nanna knows all about mommy stuff. After all, she is your mommy’s mommy. She is a math teacher like your mommy, too, so I guess you could say they are similar in many ways.
Your mommy teaches mainly 8th and 9th graders how to do math. These kids don’t usually like math because it is hard for them. Your mommy is a really good teacher and she gets along with the students, even if she is a little tough on them. They even asked her to give the graduation speech last year! They think she is fun to talk with, and they like to talk to her about things other than math. I know they are especially excited to talk about you! You visited your mommy at school on her first day back. So, now they know that Kaylee is a real, live baby!
Some day you will start going to school, too. In the meantime, you are in the school of life and you are learning what it means to be our little Kaylee. That’s my favorite subject!
I just got back from a weekend spending time with young men who are in prison. This was a wonderful time to share God’s love. I made sure everyone had a chance to see a picture of how precious you are! I told them how much your mommy and your daddy and the rest of us love you. I used you as an example of what a gift it is for God to give me such a beautiful granddaughter!
A lot happened over the weekend. What a joy it was to see these men transformed right before our very eyes into people of hope! They couldn’t resist God’s love that kept pouring out from us, and his love was pouring out from them towards us and towards each other.
It was a sad weekend, too. It would be hard for you to understand how mommies and daddies might hurt their children. But, it happens. It would be impossible for you to understand how mommies and daddies might not want their children in their lives. But, it happens.
If you can imagine the worst things for a child to experience, that’s what what most of these young men experienced growing up. For some, no daddies in their life. For some, daddies who hit mommies and hit their children. For some, no mommies or daddies to take care of them. For some, they had to take care of themselves when they were 10 or 11…
No birthday parties.
Never hearing, “I love you.”
What must that be like??
You won’t know what that will be like, Kaylee. This will be something you will never experience. You are our own precious Kaylee, and we will protect, provide for, and love you with all of our hearts.
And that’s what is so amazing about God’s love! Growing up in that kind of love, makes it possible for you to share this love and watch it pour out to others.
Who knows, maybe some day you will join me, reaching out to young men or young women in prison, letting them know that God is their Heavenly “Daddy”- who will never let them go. Maybe someday, you will be God’s messenger who declares,
“There is freedom in Jesus!”