Our grandson turned one-year-old today. This past year, I kept a journal as though I was writing to him. Here are a few excerpts from it. Most are from before he was born.
8.15.14. Today I heard about you for the first time. A little baby. A baby. Brittany is barely not one herself at 20-years-old. I think her dad, your grandpa who is my husband, got teary-eyed after she told us. He was pretty quiet. Worrying. I wonder how you will change our lives. Will we get to see you often? Will we spoil you? Will we get alone time with you? I have mixed emotions, it seems. I look forward to being in your life, yet I’m afraid that I won’t be in it much. Oh, how I already love you, and I just heard about you. I was only in your momma’s life for six years before she left for college, and so much has changed since then. Oh little baby, I pray for your soul.
8.27.14. A week ago today we found out you were for real. Doctor said so and Bee called her dad. I am excited. I really am. I think it will be neat seeing your firsts. I wonder if you are a boy or a girl. We'll probably know because if Bee wants to know—she won’t be able to not tell. I pray for your soul, little one, that some day you’ll understand your purpose in Christ. I haven’t even met you, and I love you.
9.17.14. Your momma told the world about you today on Facebook. She must be excited. She sure gobbled down the food when we took her out to eat on Sunday. Your daddy was watching football with his family. I got to meet your daddy's mom and his sisters and some others. It's a full house. I think you will be well-loved there. You were at the doctor today with your momma, and I guess you’re okay in there since she announced it.
9.27.14. Oh, little baby, your parents got married today at the Keeper of Plains in Wichita, Kansas at 3 pm. I hope you know you are loved. I hope you bring your mom around here more often.
11.13.14. I know your name. Jack Von. You are a boy. A grandson. Saw pictures of you today. Your momma posted sonogram photos on Facebook. She called your grandpa too. Jack Von Schmidt. Such a neat name. I bet you’ll be an interesting person. A deep thinker. Your mommy really loves your daddy. I think that’s important. I hope you see that. But more importantly, I hope you love Christ.
11.17.14. Oh Little Jack Von, your momma came out for a visit today. She told us something might be wrong. Weird stuff showed up on your sonogram that could lead to extra chromosomes. You may be a special needs little fella. We love you all the same. God is making you the way He wants you to be for His reasons.
2.21.15. Baby shower tonight for you, Jack Von. Your mommy got lots of nice things. Glad your Great Aunt Brenda took the time to meet me and come as we’d planned—even though the time had changed. Wonder if I’ll get to be a part of your life. So ready to meet you, learn to know you, learn to have fun with you, watch you grow and become.
4.13.15. Today you were born. I met you, Jack Von Schmidt. I’ve never been around a baby only a few hours old. It was really something. Seeing you get all that love from both sides of the family. You, little one, just might be the tie that binds. I hope I really get to be a grandma to you. I love you, little guy. Just love you.
8.2.15. You, little baby, have brought Brittany home. Home to Cheney. She and your daddy Nathaniel have moved here for the time being. Today your mommy became a full-fledged adult. She turned 21. Had someone told me two years ago that she would want to be here with us calmly celebrating her birthday, I wouldn’t have believed it. God seems to be using you to bring the family back together. Tonight your bio grandma, Grandma Danita, and your Great Grandparents were all here. It was just like it was when your mommy was growing up. I spent all Sunday afternoon preparing your mommy’s favorites: pineapple ham and twice-baked potatoes. It was a labor of love, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Tonight I held you in front of our bedroom mirror and talked to you about the things on the little shelf nearby: the doggie figurines, pictures, a crystal heart, the cross symbol, the courageous Cameron bracelet. That's for your second cousin who fought lymphoma cancer and won.
8.13.15. It is the day before I report to work, teaching school for the twenty-seventh year. Your momma called. She asked me to watch you this afternoon while she goes to work. This is the first time we’ll be all alone together. Just you, me, and the doggies in my house. My first reaction was yikes, for I haven’t baby sat much. But your mommy said, “I know you won’t neglect him.” It means the world to me that she has allowed us into her life with you and your daddy. For that, I am blessed and thankful. May you and me love each other—always and forever.
4.13.16. It's your birthday, little fella. You're a year old. Already.
Words escape me now.