Thursday, July 29, 2021

Love the Feet

May you live to see your children's children.
—Psalm 128:6

It was a scorching August day in Jacksonville, FL twelve years ago when we took Nathaniel for his first photo session. Daughter Becky, her husband Victor, granddaughter Charlotte and I took our little peanut into the studio and began to prop him up for the camera. There were many other pictures that day, but this one has become my favorite, especially because the company created this presentation of his little feet. It has been on my shelf ever since.

Nathaniel is the youngest of our four grandchildren. He's got a personality as big as all outdoors and a smile to match. He wants to do everything - play sports, swim, ride his bike, play video games, enjoy his friends. You name it...and be careful if he talks you into a game of Monopoly. One recent game ended for me when I landed on one of his properties. We had humored him when he kept adding houses. The joke was on us. My rent was $1200. Wiped me out, to his great glee. To say that he's competitive is...well, you know.

Nathaniel's feet work just fine and believe me, they've covered some territory. His natural ears, however, don't work. He has been deaf since shortly after he turned five. The doctors can't tell us what happened—probably a virus we didn't even know he had. At first, the news knocked our family for a loop. How do we deal with this? But we pressed on and our little guy threw himself into the game, as he always does. Within two years, he had a cochlear implant on each side of his head. The surgical procedure put equipment on the inside of his head and there is a removable magnetic piece that attaches on the outside. It looks like big hearing aids. For Nathaniel, his "ears" are a conversation starter and he's very knowledgable about the technology. Recently, he had a nice conversation with a little girl in a restaurant. She told her mother she wanted to talk to him because she had them, too.

This youngest grand of ours will be 12 years old on August 7. He outgrows his clothes as fast as we can buy them and I see him becoming a teenager in front of my eyes. When they come for a visit, he's always the first one up every morning. He quietly gets his cereal, turns on the TV and lets the rest of us sleep.

And while the rest of him grows, well...there are those feet.

Do you have photos or mementos that capture one of your family members—a "grand," a great," or anyone else—in a particularly endearing way? What about grabbing a cup of your favorite beverage (for me that would be coffee, but you do you!) and taking five minutes or so to write a little bit about it? You can share your writing with family and friends or just use it to savor that person's unique place in your life.

While you ponder that, I'll take a moment to wish my daughter's sweet child a happy birthday.