God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Little Boys and Puppy Dogs

No--this isn't about the love affair of a boy for his dog--in fact, that myth has been neutralized in our household. Casey, for all appearances, is a boy meant to have a dog--he loves them, pets each one that crosses his path and coos whenever he sees a canine on the TV screen--but, having stampeded Ken into getting a puppy for him, I am now in the doghouse. Casey, while he does profess to love Scratch and falls apart if I suggest finding him a new home, is a real pain when it comes to playing, feeding, walking or otherwise spending "quality" time with "his" dog. This is such a puzzlement to us as he is so loveable and loving. Is this typical 7 year old behavior? Probably so! Too many other things to do.

But--as I said at the beginning, this isn't a boy and his dog story. I am really thinking about the similarity between puppies and little boys--they both grow up. Casey is growing up--it's fun to watch and share the changes with him but, I already miss the purity, innocence, perfect trust, quirky smiles and wonder and awe of first sights and experiences.

Our boy is finding a life outside of family--friends, interests, music, opinions--the natural progression leading eventually to adulthood. And--I am too soon waxing nostalgic for the Little One. Today while working with the 1000's of pictures on the computer, I watched the little toddler face change into the little boy face change into the emerging big boy face of a second grader. Angular lines are replacing pudgy cheeks; stubby little legs are becoming trim and muscular in baseball pants; missing teeth are giving way to a white smile (well, somewhat marred by the retainer); big toes would fill the baby's booties.

And--beyond the physical is the mind that expands, ponders, ask infamous "why" questions and has the audicity to disagree with me. He is working at becoming the man he will be. What a transition in such a few short years--actually since just last year or last month or last week.

But--he is still the little boy who wants hugs and kisses, who won't go to sleep without a song, who needs the light on in the closet at night. He wants his hurts kissed; the smiley ketchup faces on his macaroni and cheese and hates anything green.

He is the little boy who says to me "You're my best friend."

And I say to him, "You will always be my boy."

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