In a few days, I will go to NC and see these three sweet children.
I will surely take my camera and won’t be able to resist taking pictures because to Grandma everything they do or say is shutter worthy.
However, I have done nothing with the pictures I took on my last visit in November and lest I get too far behind in recording these special moments, I am doing another recent history post.
I am tempted to give a play by play of our entire visit but will limit myself to just reflecting on things observed, enjoyed, appreciated about the kids—characteristics that I love.
Sweet Ryan is a nurturer. For a long time, he had a special stuffed animal that he cared for—Fanny the fox. But that is no longer good enough. Ryan wants a pet—something real—something alive—something to care for. A pet is just not an option for the family right now and so I gave him an ant farm. And though the whole family did enjoy it, it required to no care and eventually the ants all died.
Later Ryan received some tadpoles and watched them develop into little frogs. That was some improvement over the ants. While I was visiting in November, it was time to release the little creatures. It could have been a traumatic except that his mama figured out how to lessen the pain by including friends and following up with the gingerbread party.
One way that Ryan expresses his nurturing is in his care of his little sister. Ryan knows how to make her smile. He plays with her and comforts her when she is sad.
He rescues her when she get stuck or needs a boost on the play equipment.
He watches over her and makes sure that she is safe.
Ryan loves Allie and it is just sweet to observe.
Ryan loves building things whether from legos, or setting up the train tracks or hot wheels. It seems to me that his joy comes from the sense of accomplishment in getting it put together right and working.
While we were visiting, the kids got flue shots. G & G promised them a treat if they were brave and both of the boys were incredibly brave with no tears. When we went to get a surprise for the boys, Ryan said, “I don’t think I really deserve a treat because it really didn’t even hurt.” That child is such a sweetie and so responsible.
Mom and Dad also gave us permission to take the kids for a haircut. Their daddy usually cuts their hair but had been busy and it is a process to get both boys done. This was their first time in a regular barber-type shop. Again, both boys were scared but very brave. Ryan was willing to go first.
Jacob makes me chuckle. Jacob plays basketball all day, every day. There is a hoop in the family room so it is handy to toss a ball and make a basket before coming to the table or quickly before putting on his shoes. He usually plays for Duke but sometimes he plays for the Bulls. He knows the players by name and even recognized one in Dunkin Donut one day.
One thing that is fun about Jacob is that he changes clothes several times per day. If he is playing basketball, he runs to put on his basketball shirt. When he plays with cars or trains, he has a need to be dressed appropriately for whatever activity he is engaged in. He loves “short pants” finding jeans and long pants too confining. He frequently asked if he could wear shirts with “short pants” also. His daddy reminded him that those are called short sleeves but I think it is so cute that I never correct him.
Jacob loves cars and trains. He has loved them since before he was two years old. He is consistent in that.
Jacob also loves music.
He was into Toby Mac in November. Jacob is the DJ. He does not read but knows the track for every song on every CD they own or have from the library so that if you have a request, he immediately chooses the correct CD and selects the track and plays it for you.
Allie is becoming more her own little independent self. She likes to do things by herself and she wants to be included in everything that her brothers are doing.
Wherever they are, she is not far behind. When their daddy is tossing the football with the boys, Allie has to have her turn running out for a pass.
If someone is wrestling, guess who is right in the mix.
I get tickled when the kids join forces. “Me and Ryan want to talk before lights out.” “Me and Ryan like McDonalds.” Recently, Andy (their daddy) posted on his facebook page a little video of Allie joining forces with Jacob. Jacob was in the bedroom with the doors closed playing with Ryan’s legos. When their daddy started to go into the bedroom to see what was going on, little Allie came and pushed on his legs to keep him from going in the room. Then she said, “Bye Bye” to Daddy and closed the bedroom door clearly protecting Jacob by being the bouncer.
Allie also loves music and dancing and can act like a singer. She knows when she is being a ham. Oh how I love these kids.
The kids have great parents that are teaching them the things that they need to know. I will end with this little bit of evidence from a recent conversation.
Andy to the kids: "We don't like commercials and advertisements because they are always wanting us to do stuff we don't need to do."
4-year-old Jacob: "Daddy, you are kind of like a commercial."
They are going to keep me busy and smiling. What a privilege!