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Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Echoes Blog

Thinking About Children & Grandchildren

My daughter, Amie, my two grandsons, Liam and Jayden, in Utrecht, the Netherlands

A few weeks ago I was in Holland visiting my daughter, her husband, and my two grandsons. Only when you become a grandparent do you understand why your friends, seemingly normal and reasonable people otherwise, go berzerk-o when they become grandparents. 

It is an unspeakable blessing if, in our life cycle, we can rear our own children and live long enough to see a grandchild. Seeing a grandchild opens our eyes once again to the miracle of life. 

As I have become involved in Pinnacle, I have witnessed our ministry to children in its various manifestations. I am reminded that of all the things we do here, this is job one: to love these children, to care for them, to protect them, and in so doing lead them on to Another who is perfect love.

Do you know the writings of the late Erma Bombeck? Her insights on parenting always made me laugh—or cry. Here is what she wrote to her children when they were grown.

“To the first born......
I've always loved you best because you were our first miracle. You were the genesis of a marriage, the fulfillment of young love, the promise of our infinity.

You sustained us through the hamburger years. The first apartment furnished in Early Poverty... our first mode of transportation (1955 feet)... the 7-inch TV set we paid on for 36 months.

You wore new, had unused grandparents and more clothes than a Barbie doll. You were the "original model" for unsure parents trying to work the bugs out. You got the strained lamb, open pins and three-hour naps.

You were the beginning.

To the middle child...
I've always loved you the best because you drew the dumb spot in the family and it made you stronger for it.

You cried less, had more patience, wore faded and never in your life did anything "first," but it only made you more special. You are the one we relaxed with and realized a dog could kiss you and you wouldn't get sick. You could cross the street by yourself long before you were old enough to get married, and the world wouldn't come to an end if you went to bed with dirty feet.

You were the continuance.

To the baby...
I've always loved you the best because endings generally are sad and you are such a joy. You readily accepted milk stained bibs. The lower bunk. The cracked baseball bat. The baby book, barren but for a recipe for graham pie crust that someone jammed between the pages.

You are the one we held onto so tightly. For, you see, you are the link with the past that gives a reason to tomorrow. You darken our hair, quicken our steps, square our shoulders, restore our vision, and give us humor that security and maturity can't give us.

When your hairline takes on the shape of Lake Erie and your children tower over you, you will still be "the baby."

You were the culmination.”