Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pick Up, and Hug Your Kid

This is something that only a grandpa would think of, I believe--or possibly another artist. Certainly, it takes an older person who is less involved with the daily work force to entertain such a thought as that of mine, which follows.

We babysit our two youngest granddaughters for my son and his wife about three days each week. When my daughter-in-law's van rolls into the driveway, I am almost always the first out of the door to greet my grandchildren. One little girl is now four, and the other about a year and a half. The little 4-year-old raises her arms to have me pick her up, and I pick her up while her mom unloads the car, (and the other little girl), and I hug her, while she snuggles her head on my shoulder. She is not a "morning person," and she usually likes to cuddle, pretending that morning is not really happening, I suppose.

The thought I had, today, while holding her was that kids grow up, and much too soon, of course. But, somewhere between her age right now, and, let's say 18 years old, there must be a specific moment in both our lives at which she is too heavy and big, and I'm too old to lift her up, any more.

I got to thinking how profoundly sad that really is. I realize that at some moment in both our lives, I am going to cease picking her up any more. The day before, I may have picked her up, but perhaps today I won't. That one day of picking her up and giving her a big hug when I did, may come to an abrupt end, without either of us having ever realized it. And, THAT is the really sad part.

It will have been the very last time that I picked her up, never to do so again, and that fleeting moment will be lost in the history of our lives, never to have been appropriately celebrated, or even acknowledged by either of us.

Personally, at 72 years of age, I plan to pick up, and hold my granddaughters as often as I possibly can, while they are both small and light enough for me to do it. I want there to never be a time when I won't do that, although I know for sure that time will eventually arrive.

And, when that saddest of sad times arrives, and passes.....neither of us will have noticed. Well, perhaps I will have; I'll be the one with a tear running down my cheek.

Pick up, and hug your kids/grandkids. You'll never get another opportunity.



  1. Bill: I can so relate to what you're saying here. I sit my grandchildren 3-4 times a week and my 4 yr. old granddaughter always wants her cuddle time and reading to her time. I try never to say no to any of it because I know someday that will all stop. I will give hugs and cuddles for as long as they will let me. I already can't easily pick her up because she is too big for me to lift her. My grandson is 8, but he too still likes hugs. Too soon all of that is gone.

  2. Bill, how funny I am reading this today even though you posted it a few weeks ago. you see, I was thinking the exact same thing during a quiet moment at work today about my fast-growing 4 year old.

    In fact, i often think about "last times" for things, little things that are generally routine and their passing goes almost unnoticed, replaced by other happenings. I also try and notice them before they are gone, because these are the special moments of life. I guess it's about appreciating each moment in the present and not taking it for granted. Yes, it is sad that our babies grow up so fast.

    Thanks for posting's one of those subtle things that we all experience as part of our humanity, probably things many people think about at some point, but don't often speak of. What a special grandfather those children have!!

  3. Bill, this is a great posting. I can relate so much to your feelings re. the grand children. My two are boys which are now too big for me to hold and I have to tell them to give me a "manhug" to get a quick hug again from them. My oldest grandson is 17 and now I have to joke that I have to "hugup" to him as he is so much taller than me. They indeed grew up so much faster than I realized and we live for those moments when we can share a piece of their lives with them. Thank you again for sharing with us and also many thanks for sharing your vast experience and knowledge of art with us on your blog and wet canvas.

    Jimmie Bartlett
    jbart on wc

  4. Bill, this is really touching. I cant tell that you LOVE your grandchildren. Made me think about my son. Im turning this thing off to grab him on my lap!

    Your WC! pal,
    Alex Sunder

  5. This is really moving. How much love!

  6. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  7. What a lovely post. You should save it for your grand-daughters to read when they're older. Really. Having concrete proof that someone loves you so much is priceless.

    I know what you mean about the last moment. My youngest is 12. Every morning, he's really cold and, up until about three months ago, would snuggle with me to warm up. Not any more, though. He's too grown up now, and that time in our lives is gone forever. I have four other children, so I know something about the lifecycle of raising a child, and I knew the day was rapidly approaching, so I threw my heart into those last snuggles.

    There will still be hugs, but it won't be the same, and, as you say, that's the really sad part.


  8. there will be a day when they are just too heavy to pick up!!! but it wont matter. being there for your gandkids is just the most amazing thing you can do for them- it enriches their lives and is such a special gift. even when they get to be old, big and grumpy with teenage hormones this will still be the same.

  9. ive joined your blog- i am from wet canvas under the name kate252 (which is my real name) (not the 252 though!!)

  10. Bill, I'm late to the party, but I'm sure that everyone else who hasn't commented on this blog since the last one did would agree. This is moving. It brought tears to my eyes. Though I'm a father of a now seven year old son, it's all the same. He's getting too big for me to hold him now (much more difficult to carry him), he's tall for his age. I try to be aware of each moment, give each moment all I've got. Since we never know when our Father will take us I try to give my son everything I've got, because there won't be anymore after that. Speaking of those last moments, I think that folks ought to look at life in general like that. Such as co-workers. The moment I left my last employer, in a different state, I knew that would be the last time each of us ever saw each other again. My co-workers, all gone, forever. It is sad.