PROLOGUE: I know what’s on your mind … it’s the same thing that’s on mine. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, but we’re tired of hearing about it for today. Besides, there’s nothing we can do, but bear silent witness to the terrors of this situation, as they unfold across our nation. Nothing that is binding, aside from maybe finding a bright spot to focus on, to carry us through to the next dawn. Hmmm, accidental poetry is always fun ☺.

Under the circumstances it seems a little heartfelt humor is in order. So humor me while I try to forget what’s on my mind and take yours off it for a moment. To share what’s in my heart and the bright spot that keeps it ever hopeful and beating. Ack this is going to be one of those sentimentally sweet columns isn’t it?  Well let’s get on with it before I come to my senses.

Our first encounter was brief and fleeting. It’s doubtful he has any recollection of it because he was infantile… and tiny babies don’t pay attention to anything. For me it exists as a surreal memory, which only resides in reality via a handful of digital photos. It couldn’t be real — because I wasn’t ready to become a grandparent. To be fair nothing could have prepared that kid for me to be his. Then he was gone.

A year later we reconnected. He had grown to be a plump, grumpy little thing. For a time I sorta babysat him while my wayward daughter worked toward straightening out her life. Shortly thereafter they moved in. Then, suddenly and without warning… actually it was through a sea of bulls** and with a lot of unnecessary drama, she was gone and he was there to stay.

Everything changed. My world as I knew it ground to a halt, future plans were cast to the wind, dreams flushed down the toilet. All because this little not quite yet a person needed to be loved by somebody…sigh…babies…am I right? It seemed as if, once again, my life was over, which was okay this time, because a new one that needed me in it had begun.

They say that kids grow up so fast but OMG this is taking forever! He’s been here like 8 years!!! Shouldn’t he be headed off to college or the Marines by now? Digressing and in all honesty the point has long ago been reached where I wouldn’t know what to do if this little fella wasn’t in and such a big part of my life.

Likewise, at some point early on, he decided I was his “favorite person ever” in his. This has presented some challenges. He goes where I go, repeats everything I say and wants to do everything I do. So I have to be careful when I say where I’m going to do something.

Now we’re “best buddies” every day, complete with a secret handshake, good-morning caricature notes and a toiletry song…which must be sung in tandem harmony, so he doesn’t keep popping his head in to see if I’m done and ready to play.

At 4’10” 115 lbs. he’s big for his age but he has to be… to carry his heart. Sweet, thoughtful, caring, smart, considerate and kind is he. Does what he’s asked, is respectful, helpful and maintains a continuously optimistic happy attitude. Careful there… or I’ll start sounding like every other grandparent, talking about how great they think their kid is. But I’ve met other kids… they kinda suck in comparison. In this respect perhaps it’s not the child’s actions and attitude that should come under scrutiny but the quality of the parenting of said child.

There are textbook right and wrong ways to raise children and that’s fine. But I firmly believe parenting means existing in a constant state of wondering — “am I doing this right?” You can never assume you are and in effect never know if your parenting is good. In the end there is only one person who can pass judgment on you in this respect — the child. Even then you are forevermore left with wondering, was I a good parent or did I just get lucky and get a good kid… I know I did.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me directly at [email protected]. Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!