My sweet Pa-Pa visited from Florida last week. My kids talk about him all. the. time. Just when I start to think that surely they can't remember him THAT well, and maybe they just love the IDEA of a great-grandfather and the fact that he lives in Florida and visits to him sometimes involve a day-trip to Disneyworld, he actually comes to visit and I realize they are just totally and completely in love with HIM. He's not up and around quite as much as he used to be. He doesn't get in the floor with them or run and chase and play. He doesn't bribe them with treats and goodies. He doesn't do anything special except just be his wonderful self. And they eat. it. up. It does help that he thinks they are the best kids ever and tells them constantly how sweet and precious they are. When we were visiting him a couple of years ago, Jack had some little suede loafers that looked like grown-up shoes but were tiny. Every time Pa-Pa came across them (which was often, because we like to make a mess wherever we go), he would just turn them over and over in his hands and stare at them lovingly. It was the sweetest thing. He loved those little shoes that reminded him of the precious little feet that fill them. They (the shoes, not the kids) "mysteriously" were left behind at his house and still have a place of honor on one of his display shelves in his den. So I think it's fair to say that the admiration is mutual. It makes me just a little bit happy to see people I love so much love each other so much. Just a tiny bit.
The last time we saw Pa-Pa was the summer of 2006, when our Jack was barely 2. So a few days before Pa-Pa's arrival, I asked Jack if he knew what Pa-Pa's "big name" is. Without missing a beat, he said, "He's Jack, jus' wike I'm Jack!" I can't believe he remembered, but he didn't have to think twice about it. The rest of the week, he kept holding up 2 fingers and saying, "There's TWO Jack's, dis one's me and dis one's Pa-Pa!" I always joke that naming a child Jack is just asking for trouble (because mine is not the only Jack we know who is currently giving his mama a run for her money--Crystal, you know who you are!), but truthfully, I wouldn't have him any other way, and I just hope he's as fun and cute when he's 82 as the "original"!
These kids also love their aunts and uncles! We're so blessed to have them close by, I just wish we would get our schedules together and see them a lot more often!! Uncle David used to be the reigning "Crazy Uncle", but Philip has learned to hold his own as a "crazy uncle", at least with Jack. Maybe it's the 3rd child thing. They kinda like each other, can you tell??
And the other boy especially loves the aunts. He enjoys some craziness with the uncles, but he's just such a sweetheart. He does love attention from pretty girls!
I love these very serious pictures. Such concentration! I think this was Madeline's first time to read the comics in the newspaper (since we don't get one). And Jack had to make sure all his play-dough cookies were "jus' wike dis. You has to make dem jus' wike dis." I'm relieved to see that "calm and focused" are still occasionally part of his repertoire. You can see why I might worry.
Then, of course, there's this one. I don't call him "my happy-ness" for no reason. Despite some very orckin teeth, which we will probably not be laughing about in a couple of years when we spend eleventy-gillion dollars to correct them, there's no doubt that this is a happy kid. And that, obviously, makes for a pretty happy mama, too.