Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kids and Other Intriguing Challenges

Being an only child, I was often lonely as a kid.  Consequently, when I grew up and when my wife and I had children of our own, I enjoyed the background hum and chaos of having three kids in our home.

The birth of each was a momentous occasion.  I was at work when I got the call to head to the hospital the first time.  In those days, fathers weren’t allowed in the delivery room so I had to wait until the nurse announced to me that our first son had arrived.

I was present for our second son’s birth which happened to be on our first son’s first day of kindergarten.  He drew a picture of his family that day with three stick figures and a blob.

The early morning our daughter was born, we dropped the boys off at a friend’s house, dashed off to the hospital, barely making it in time.  Our daughter was anxious to get out into the world.

I have fond memories of the kids growing up.

In a restaurant in Santa Barbara, our four-year-old son was acting up, and we were contemplating mayhem when an older couple came over, and the woman said, “Isn’t he cute.  He reminds us of our grandson.”

When we were considering moving to San Jose with IBM and were discussing where to raise our kids, our second son piped up to announce, “I don’t want to be raised.”  And the expression on his face at the reception after my mom and stepfather were married when he put a pad of butter in his mouth thinking it was cheese.

One time the kids and I went camping and drove on the four-wheel drive road above Peaceful Valley in Colorado.  After a rough Jeep trip, I made a comment that our daughter had cried a little.  She said, “Cried a little.  I was crying my guts out.”

Along the way all the concerts, plays, swim meets, soccer games, Bolder Boulder 10K runs, vacations, ice cream socials, scout trips, Indian Guide/Princess events, hikes, homework assignments, school projects, birthday parties, minor emergencies, lost sun glasses and swim goggles.  My wife and I wonder how we did it.  We must have been younger and had more energy then.

So now we’re into the grandparent era.  This is the world of rent-a-kid.  We can spend time with our grandkids, spoil them and then return them to their parents for the hard part.

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