As my regular readers know, my blog is inspired by the stories of my wonderful grandfather, Dr. J.R.B. He was an amazing storyteller and had quite an imagination. He also wrote a column for his city’s paper for 20 years about his children, pets, his wife, family, and friends.
In 1985, he and my grandmother gave all of us in the family an amazing book of his columns and some family photos. It is one of my favorite and most special treasures. I love that my writing is often similar to his. Today, I was looking at this book and came across a great column. When I read it, I thought of Ian who has just had a birthday and my nephew Isaac who will turn 17 years old tomorrow.
This photo was taken of me with my amazing grandparents in 1986 – one year after receiving this precious gift. I have enjoyed reading it on occasion ever since and draw inspiration from his columns and his stories that he used to tell. I still miss both of them very much and wish they could have met my husband and son.
Here are my grandpa’s words on Parent’s Hardest Job, which was published in November 1950:
____”I’ve been watching our small son wrestle with Brownie, our family pooch. It’s man-style wrestling now. All at once I knew our boy is a baby no longer. The little baby has gone forever.
“Know how I feel? Like boo-hooing. I think a parent’s hardest job is watching the little ones grow up. Do you feel that way too? They grow up so doggone fast.
“Probably our regret is selfish. One reason we love our children so much when they are little is that they make us feel very important. Their helplessness feeds our big-shot appetites. Compared with them we’re competent, successful, brilliant.
“We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t enjoy these superior feelings.
“Then they grow up. They become more and more independent. They compete with us. We become small potatoes. And we don’t like it.
“What should I do with my son, and you with yours? I should be more generous. I should get my thrill out of his new accomplishments. I should encourage his growth in all ways.
“So, little boy, go ahead and wrestle man-style. Nice to see your progress.
“The trouble is that your father is a soft-hearted old lump-in-the throat guy who just can’t seem to practice what he preaches. Oh me!”____
Aren’t these words amazing? I teared up when I read them today. I thought about Ian and Isaac and the rest of my nieces and nephews and how quickly they are all growing up. Time moves so quickly and there is so much change in our children.
I am honored to be able to have a front-row seat at my son’s growing up years and so many other amazing young people. I feel blessed and humbled about that. I wish them all the best!
I wonder if I could put this feeling into words as well as Grandpa did? I am just glad to have his words to read and learn from.