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.