Saturday morning –– the weather is gorgeous. I take my second cup of coffee onto the deck and listen to what Kathy calls the “dawn chorus,” that joyful singing the birds do in the early hours. The breeze has just the right amount of coolness to make staying outside feel good, even as I swat a mosquito away.
I pull out my phone to catch up on the news from last night. In my role as grand-
parent, that means checking out Instagram for latest photos and blurbs about what those four wonders have experienced, enjoying life as true experts of living large. I am instantly captured by the smiling face of Stuart in his ball uniform astride first base, glove ready, looking like a true boy of summer. In a few more seasons, his focused athlete gaze will change. But now, Stuart looks right into the camera, looking for all the world like he is in the middle of the best life ever.
Our first grandson has a big personality and a huge can-do attitude, a combination that makes him stand apart from the crowd. Stuart is fearless. He looks at obstacles as challenges, and in his world, challenges are opportunities to have new adventures and attain new skills.
As a toddler, Stuart cannonballed into swimming pools a few minutes after his first lesson at the YMCA. Last year in school, he joined the chess team and competed against much older students. When we went to the zoo a few summers ago, he climbed every boulder and jumped from the highest tops. On camping trips with his dad and brother, he fishes and shoots arrows from bows and sleeps under the stars. Among my photos, I see the big fish and the bulls eyes. Stuart considers the world a playground, and he believes he can do anything he imagines.
Last week in a letter to us, Stuart said he hopes our summer is going well: “I’m having a perfect summer,” he assures us. And I know he is. He makes it that way.
Recently, Stuart told me he was writing cartoons. He sent some examples, sending his words and drawings from his Rocketbook to my iPad. I laughed aloud. He is witty, almost tongue-in-cheek, with his observations on life. I showed Kathy his work, commenting on the unique humor and perspective. We looked at each other and grinned. The cartoons are quintessential Stuart. I called him and asked him to create something for a back page story in Charity & Children. “I can do that, Papa,” he told me. “I know it will be great, Stuart,” I responded.
It is one of God’s richest blessings in my life to watch Stuart’s life unfold. Sometimes, I see Kyle in his actions or hear my son in my grandson’s humor. Most times, I stand in awe of the young man who shares my last name, and the pride I feel almost causes me to burst. His parents are rearing a fine child, and they have instilled within him the belief that he can do anything to which he sets his mind, coupled with the discipline to work at tasks he deems important. How wonderful to admire the work ethic and character of one’s own grandson!
My coffee is cooling, and I look at just a few more photos. There is a snapshot of Stuart looking out a window. His blue eyes shine. The look is anticipatory, watchful. He invites the day to come on –– he is ready and willing to meet it head on. I look up and look out at my world and smile. Today, I promise myself, I will take on my world Stuart-style. Let the adventures begin.
Homeword is written by Jim Edminson, Editor