I remember the first time the old age truck got me with a hit-and-run at Christmas time.
It was Christmas Eve. My daughter and her husband were bringing our first grandson over to our house for our Christmas get-together. Our grandson was all of six months old. As they were coming in the door with their arms full of baby, baby seat and baby bag (and some presents, too), it suddenly hit me: “They’re coming to grandpa’s house for Christmas…and I’m the grandpa!”
Fast-forward eight-and-a-half years later: on Thanksgiving of this year, we discovered our second grandson doesn’t travel very well at this stage of his life. He’s just over one year old, and the kid likes to move around. (Boy, is that an understatement!) On the two-hour drive back to Linton from my sister-in-law’s house, the baby cried non-stop for the entire trip. He really doesn’t like being strapped in his car seat that long. He got so upset he actually made himself throw up. (Sorry if you are reading this at breakfast.)
So my daughter and her husband decided that they weren’t going to put the baby through that ordeal again at Christmas, that they were just going to stay home. I was a little sad, but I totally understood and supported their decision…until I overheard my wife on the phone with our daughter saying, “Yes, we can just come over to your house this Christmas, so you don’t have to get the baby out at all.” And I said: “You mean my grandsons aren’t coming to Grandpa’s house this Christmas?” At which my wife said into the phone in a low voice: “Let me call you back.”
My grandsons came over to Grandpa’s house this Christmas. I mean, come on: it’s only two blocks.
When you have a nine-year old grandson and a one-year old grandson, your Christmas get-togethers go by like a freight train. Swoosh, they’re in the door! Whoosh, the packages are opened! Boom, the floor is covered with toys and torn wrapping paper! In the aftermath, the adults dazedly munch Christmas cookies and sip coffee, and the kids lay on the floor and play with a cardboard box. Before you know it, the baby needs a nap (and so does Grandpa) and it’s time for them to go home. Smiles, hugs, laughter, presents exchanged and the kids being cute, and it’s all over before you know it. Time spent in our little family Christmas cocoon goes by in a blip.
After losing my mother nine years ago, and my wife’s mother three years ago, it’s easy for us to think back on how our holidays used to be. But our daughter said something very wise this Christmas. After looking around at our family gathering, she said, “I’ve realized I need to quit thinking about how good the good old days were, and think about how good these days are!” That’s a great thought.
Let us always be grateful for what God has given us in the past. But let us also be thankful for what He has allowed us to experience with our loved ones right now. It’s the same show, but with a slightly different cast. I’ve noticed we have more two-and-a-half foot tall family members than we used to have. And now I get to open my presents with the old people. How did that happen? But how good it is!
“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24
Life always has it’s challenges. But as God gives us life, and with His help, let’s go make some new memories and a whole new set of “good old days”.
Happy New Year, everybody!
Solo Deo Gloria!