In January of 2017 one of our grand daughters had a baby girl, Sarah. This is by no means the first little person to come into the family, but it is the first in a long time. And since I decided to leave the wonderful world of work several years ago, I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Sarah during her first year.
We keep her two days a week while Mom and Dad work. Sarah has gone from a tiny thing to almost too much to pick up. Mom brought her over the first time, she set her carrier down and Sarah woke up. She looked at me and smiled the biggest smile, almost like "hey Pop-Pop, glad to see you, lets play". She still does that when she wakes up and she has added waving both hands at the same time.
She at first just kinda layed around and rolled over sometime and looked at things, pushed her toys and banged on her little piano. Now she is walking all over, looking at everything, exploring, loves to touch new things, open cabinets, pull out pots, and throw her magazines Grandma gave her on the floor. We used to hold her to feed her, now she is in the high chair and has discovered a new game, "uh-oh". Put something in front of her and look away, she throws it on the floor and tries to say "uh-oh" cause she knows I will pick it up. And she looks so innocent.
From day one she has napped laying on my chest at least once a day. And if I go out of the room she will look where I went till I come back. Sometime she will just come over, put her arms around my neck and give me a hug and pat my shoulder.
Do I sound like a proud Great Grandpa? Of course I do 'cause I am. She is wonderful and we spend many hours playing on the floor, looking at trees and deer outside, and just having fun.
So why am I telling you this? Cause the thought struck me today that a lot of Grandpas and Great Grandpas don't get to experience a lot of this. A lot of kids are laying in hospital beds. Too sick for too long to enjoy or even to be able to do what Sarah does. And often even after going home they can't play and run around.
And the Grandpas can just look and hope that one day it will be better and they will get to hold that little one.
We have tried to help reunite some Grandpas with the little ones in the past by riding all over the country to raise money and awareness. This past year we tried to help out the older kids at Our House. They need our help, and yours, just as much as the little ones, many of them don't even have Grandpas to hang out with.
This year we will spread the word about Our House again and let everyone know how they too can help. And even tho' Our House is our main goal, we will still think about the little ones that we rode for so many times, and try to make a difference in some of those lives also.
So in 2018 we will ride again and this time I am dedicating my ride to all the Grandpas and Great Grandpas. They need to be able to sit and hold that grand child and make complete fools of themselves making noise like a 10 month old or just sit with one of the kids at Our House and talk.
I know you Grandpas are out there and we will do the best we can.