I know you’re only 5 years old now, but when I raised your mama it seemed like a BLINK between your age and when she left home.
My spirit still feels like a teenager sometimes, so it’s hard to believe I’m a grandpa.
Or “Poppy,” as you call me.
When I look at you I know I must’ve done something right for God to bless me so greatly. I don’t deserve such a smart and adorable grandson.
Yet here you are.
Listen, I know it must be tough going from the only child and grandchild to having to share the spotlight with your (equally adorable) little sister.
I further know you’re entering the post-toddler age when some people who used to seem so close will start pulling away from you and closer to your sister.
You’re getting taller and older, and aren’t a little kid anymore. You’re awkward sometimes and the stuff you find amusing sometimes bothers the easily-irritated. Some who used to find you SO adorable will seem to grow distant, and it will hurt your feelings.
I know because I remember feeling like that. Sounds crazy to you because you just see “Poppy,” but I remember pulling pranks on my sister and accidentally hurting her. What I thought would bring a laugh from the adults only brought scorn.
I remember feeling stupid, fat, awkward and in-the-way. Too big to hang out with the toddlers and too small to hang out with the teens and older kids.
But two relatives always made me feel comfortable: Uncle Jim Weddle and Uncle Jim Wright. They wouldn’t ask me to leave the room for “adult talk.” They wouldn’t ignore me or make me feel stupid.
They talked to me. They listened to me. I never felt awkward around them, not even once.
So I shall do my best to carry on their legacy. As you grow older I’d like you to know that I find you just as amazing as the first time I held you. As you grow bigger and your weight fluctuates and you do things you might regret, I’ll always be there for you.
And remember, you can ALWAYS act silly around me.
You’ll always be my little buddy, even when you get bigger than me (which you will, if you’re anything like your daddy). We’ll always be pals, and I’ll do my best to always make you feel like the unique GIFT you are.
When life or others make you feel weird or awkward or in-the-way, call me and we’ll hang out for a couple hours until you feel special again.
Because you are.
Joshy, you are my inspiration, and I’ll always cherish you. Though too big to carry in my arms, I shall always carry you in my heart.