I'm paying attention, Grandpa


My grandparents came over often when my kids were toddlers. This was when my grandfather could still drive, which seemed like a long time ago, but really wasn't. When his health slipped downward, I suppose he fell quickly even if it didn't feel like it the last couple years. Anyway, on this one occasion, my grandpa said to me, "Pay attention. They grow up fast." He was holding my son at the time. Now he's gone, just six months actually, and I forgot to tell him he was right. Although, I'm sure he knows it.

I took those words to heart and am enjoying every single moment with my kids. Now, the problem I'm having is realizing they aren't getting any younger. None of us are, but when you're a parent of a sixteen and seventeen-year-old, this is a bit more apparent than at other time in your life. The other time this is noticed, is when someone you love dies. Maybe that sounds morbid, but it's true. I probably feel time moving forward at a faster rate than others at the moment, because I'm currently experiencing both of these things.

You see, I have great kids. I know most parents will say this, but for me this is really true. My grandpa told me this all the time. They're both responsible human beings and perhaps even more importantly, know themselves well enough to make mature choices. And if they do something not so mature (we all make mistakes after all), I know for a fact that it was their choice. They weren't influenced by their peers. Neither of my children can be talked into anything they didn't want to do. Truthfully, my children have spoiled me. I haven't really experienced the rebellious stuff the way that some parents do.

Like I said, I've recently lost 3 of my grandparents, all in the last six months, so maybe that has me remembering every small moment with them. At the same time I just recently put a curfew on my kids. Practical stuff still needs to happen whether I'm grieving or not. It was when I was talking to the kids about the curfew that I remembered my grandfather telling me to pay attention to the little moment.

I guess I took his advice because I remembered him saying it. When my grandfather spoke you listened. That's the type of man he was. And I wish now I would have told him that I paid attention far more than it seemed. Because I remember the way he'd get that shine in his eyes, this sparkle, whenever he looked at my kids, and at me. This was how I knew he loved me. I never needed the words. I remember the way my son's little body wriggled around on his lap, wanting down. My son had picked up a toy car and handed it to my grandpa. They played with it together for a while that day.

So yeah, I'm paying attention, Grandpa. Just like you told me too.







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