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Category Archives: Parenting

There may not be a better time in the life of a grandparent than right after your toddler wakes from a nap. All rested, peaceful, and anxious to cuddle with her grandfather, 21 month old Harper climbed up in my lap to say hi, rest her head on my shoulder, hold her blankie close, and stay…for a minute.

I left Harper’s house a little later thinking about how precious those moments are and how they just don’t happen often enough. So many grandparents I know don’t live near their grandchildren and those moments are nearly nonexistent to them. Ugh!

I realize the day will come when my grandchildren may not have time for Pops. I don’t look forward to that day. I’d rather just sit on the sofa with a lap full of little girl. I find myself reflecting on the moments I have with my three granddaughters, thanking God for the privilege of being their Pops. I hope I’m up to the challenge!

As I drove away the other day I remembered to pray 1 Timothy 4:12 over Harper, Olivia, and Caroline: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”

Just so you’ll know, there is nothing better than time with your granddaughter!  It really doesn’t matter if she is asleep or awake, happy or cranky, clean or, well, you know.  I am a blessed man with three wonderful granddaughters and grown children who have turned out to be pretty special parents.  Their mom taught them well.  We were so fortunate to have the whole crowd at our home on Memorial Day.  I sat at the end of the dinner table out on the deck and looked over my family.  It made my heart happy!!!

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Pops getting some quality time with Harper Steele Beaty.

As a minister I love officiating weddings; especially when I know the couple and have invested in their lives. So to have the opportunity to officiate my daughter’s wedding was a special treat for me. But what if I cried? What if I could not continue with the ceremony? A daddy is supposed to cry at his daughter’s wedding. Right? I had officiated the wedding of my son, Matthew and his beautiful bride, Ali just seven months before…and I cried. But it all worked out to be a perfect day and wedding.

The first time I knew I was in troubDSC_1248le at Emily’s wedding was as I walked my beautiful bride of 36 years down the aisle…and cried, although it was silently and I covered pretty well. Then as the doors opened and I stood there with my precious daughter on my arm facing the crowd of people who were there to express their love to Emily and eat my tacos, I cried. I walked her down the aisle and ever so gently, cried my eyes out. It was such a precious time for her and for our family. I was finally giving her away to a special guy who adores her and is a wonderful husband for life.

Steele’s best man was his dad, Russell who finally asked me that question every father either dreads hearing or has anxiously anticipated, “Who gives this woman in marriage?” “Sherri and I,” I replied. Then I took my place in front of the couple and throughout the service, struggled keeping it together. It was fun and having the opportunity to officiate my kid’s weddings is an incredible experience for me.

I try to keep from developing unreasonable expectations. I think getting through the weddings of my son and daughter without showing any emotion is pretty unreasonable. So, my expectation of crying at my daughter’s wedding went fulfilled…and I survived.

The other day I was looking out the front window of my home and saw the neighbor boy running up the sidewalk, wearing his Superman t-shirt and cape.  He had his hands out in front of him and I am sure he thought he was flying.  I watched as he stumbled, fell and hit the pavement with both knees and hands.  It startled me but for some reason I just kept watching.  He rolled over and sat on the pavement crying and yelling for help.  In just a moment his ever-vigilant dad was kneeling at his side, holding his little hands and checking out his bloodied knees.  And then, all of a sudden, it occurred to me who the real Superman was!