…All the time.
Whether it be his ability to read complete sentences to his much improved ability to catch the baseball (another post on that later) my little guy finds ways to surprise me.
Many times it is something that he can now do, or reach or figure something out (as a dad I always want to help, and more and more I am hearing ‘I can do that dad’) , but every so often it is something on an emotional level. This post is about one of these instances.
As I have written many times in this Blog, my own father passed away after fighting off cancer for two years. Because of this, the only memories I have of my dad with my son is him holding him as an infant. He never get to see him play baseball, or soccer or have a telephone conversation with him (many telephone conversations with him are usually him asking for something or answering questions with single word answers). He never got to see school pictures or pictures of him in various sport uniforms. My dad’s inability to quit smoking and take better care of himself cost my son the chance to know his Grandpa Tom.
Fast forward to now, where our little guy turned six and is in Kindergarten. In his class, there is a student who is the Mighty Mustang of the week. This past week was Xavier’s turn and he had a small exercise to complete every night and he would present the results of that exercise to his class the following day. One of the exercises was to complete a poster where he answered some questions about himself and either drew something pertaining to the answer or placed a picture related to the answer on the poster. Wait for it…
…Ok, here is the part where I was floored.
One of the questions was ‘if you had one wish, what would it be?’ Expecting an answer about vastly expanding his Nerf arsenal or about owning a gazillion more Lego sets, he says ‘ I would like to be 100 years old so I would have known my grandpa Tom.’
Insert new dad tears here…
…and here. And possibly here.
I was so moved by this. I mean tears moved. Like lifetime movie moved. I had to explain that he did not need to be 100 years old and that I really appreciated his wish.
He has often asked me in passing about Grandpa Tom, and reminds me that he has passed on and can’t meet him in person. I would hope that he would have liked his grandpa Tom very much. And I am pretty sure Grandpa Tom would have loved him very much, and enjoyed seeing him play Baseball and Soccer and ride his scooter and all the other things our little man loves to do. I see the relationship he has with his Papa out here, and at times I am envious of the relationship, wishing he had the same with my dad. Other times I get angry, angry that my dad was unable to put down the very thing that eventually killed him. Angry of the time that has been stolen from us because of his weakness over the tobacco. Most of all I feel joy when I see him and Papa together, because I know he has a close relationship with his grandfather. He also has a close relationship with both of his grandmothers, and loves them both very much.
I hope surprises like this will continue for years to come.