We each have a role to play or a place where we just fit. It has been heartwarming watching family interactions this week and seeing how we all are with each other. Each of us is in a different season of life. Ron and I are past the childrearing years, Cam, Britt, Dorothy and Hector are right in the middle of raising their kids. Mom is well into her 80s and her role is to be cared for more than caring for us now. Her YES attitude is a lesson to each of us. Mom never says no to going and doing. When we say lets go she is finding her shoes and the first in the car. Natalie and Nate are at the beginning of their relationship and spend time getting to know each other better. The rest of the family helps by telling the most embarrassing stories we can remember about our Tillie. Then there are the kids that are in middle school or younger. Each of them is becoming who they are meant to be. It is enlightening to see how each of them approach the ocean and all its majesty. Some run into the cold crashing waves and others tiptoe in oohing and awing as each body part is lapped a bit higher with each step. Still others are content to sit on the beach under the umbrella waving at those who are splashing a few yards away.
Ami gets to be the baby at 3 years old. She is a master at her role. I was crocheting a baby blanket and she wanted it. After I explained it was for a baby, she pointed to her little chest and said, "I baby." Then she touched the soft yarn and said, "Thank you Noni." Once we established that this was now to be her blanket, she kept telling me 'bigger' so I would keep working on it. The reward was when I finished it and she has not put it down. There will be more yarn and time to make one for the original recipient. The joy of watching my youngest grand carry around this soft blanket is priceless.
Timmy was tireless on his boogie board. He is a master at catching the waves. Tim has split his time between Legos in the house, catching the waves at the beach and watching his videos in the blue bubble ball. He is so sweet to Ami when they both squeeze into the ball and watch the video together. He has the most tender heart. Our little engineer is protective of his Legos but will be glad to show you how he puts them together with the instructions. His plan is to be a Lego design engineer when he grows up. If anyone can achieve that goal it is my favorite grandson.
Kayla got up on the surf board over and over again. It was exhausting enough that she took a 2 hour nap on the beach under her beach towel. Papa stuck with her in the waves teaching her and giving her the extra push she needed to get UP on the board. She and Kenzie gave Ami a Bitty Baby American Girl doll. I loved hearing her explain to her cousin how she needed to love her new baby and never be mean to her. They are still thinking of what will be the perfect name for Ami's doll. Kayla always has a book in her hand. She is rereading a book I gave her when she was in second grade. Her love of books matches her Aunt Natalie's. I can already predict her home will be filled with books. I wonder if she will arrange them by color like her auntie.
Kenzie is ready to start middle school next year. What an exciting time as she grows into who she will be. Kenzie is a competitive kiddo and boy does that pay off. She is an awesome soccer player and scored the only goal in her 9 and under state championship match. None of us are able to beat her at Nerts. Even card games she takes seriously. What a beautiful blend she is of competitiveness and compassion. Kenzie is making a cake for Lissa's birthday today. She loves to garden and share her veggie goodness with others. She is already a great cook and loves watching others eat what she bakes just like her Uncle Hector. When she grows up she is planning to play professional soccer and bake cakes. She is definitely our tough but tender grandgirl just like her daddy.
Lissa is going to be a teenager tomorrow. Today she is getting baptized in her ocean by her Uncle Cam our very own Pastor Cam. Lis is becoming a beautiful, young lady. She loves others and is helpful always. She took time out from ocean play with her cousins to come give a quick smooch to her sister. Her heart was torn from being rough and tumble in the waves to splashing with her sister in the bitty waves. She chose today to have her uncle baptize her in the ocean. Her only sadness is that Uncle Tanner isn't here for it. Having the whole family together was her heart for her baptism. Lissa is our gymnast She is enjoying learning new skills but is always willing to help the younger ones with what they are doing. I love seeing her heart. She is taller than most of the adults in our family now and loves letting us know as she towers over us.
Watching this family and especially our grandkiddos enjoying the beach and each other is the greatest anniversary gift Ron and I could ask for. Even piling all of them into our new/old Prairie Princess RV has been a blessing. Last night we drove on the beach at sunset with the waves lapping at our tires and the kids and adults hanging their heads out the windows. This week is coming to an end but the memories and connections will be unending.