Both of my daughters are very creative, artists really in their own way. Claire is a great photographer and Sarah, among other things, takes Halloween to a whole other level. A couple of years ago she dressed as Fay Wray, Scott was the Empire State Building and little Sam was King Kong. Now that Kate is with us and unable to protest, she is going as Princess Leah, Sam as Luke and Sarah as Chewbacca. Check the picture for a preview of Leah. This is a memory that will last forever.
My friend Charlie once told me of the importance of parents creating good memories for their kids. We carry our memories like luggage with us for a lifetime. They don't have to be a big deal, just special times. It might be a fishing trip, playing catch in the back yard or baking that first pie. The key is that they are positive experiences. It doesn't matter if the pie comes out perfect but that the experience is warm and fun. I plan on giving all my grand kids as many good memories as I can. They take a little time and patience but they will have lifelong positive effects.
I love them all.
As you can see from the picture, I left Kate's pajamas on her all day long today. She isn't feeling good. She has a cold that just hangs on. For a baby that means a runny (and sore) nose and lots of drooling. Besides that it's a rainy, chilly day out and it just feels like a pj's all day kind of day. I kind of feel like I'm catching her cold myself. So we are just hanging out not doing much. Sometimes we just have to take a breather. She's cute even with a cold and I'm just enjoying the quiet. I'm really going to miss this when it's over in about a month. I may end up being a stalker at her child care center.
Kate, you've stolen my heart.
I am worried about Kate. She is losing her hair. Believe me, I know the sinking feeling that comes with the realization that you are going bald. Not that she is worried. As you can see from the picture, she sleeps well. As a matter of fact she is sleeping through the night, yeah! Anyway, babies don't worry about how they look. They just are who they are. There's wisdom in that. The animal world doesn't worry about how they look either. They are satisfied with how God made them. As I grow older I have to reconcile myself with the fact I am not twenty or even fifty anymore. If I don't life gets pretty sad. Kate is lucky though, she has a lot of hair to look forward to. I know she'll be a real cutie, but whatever she looks like, I pray she doesn't believe the lie that how you look determines who you are. I'll try to keep her from believing that lie.
Today is October 17th another day in my adventure in babysitting. If you don't know already, Kate is such a good baby. She is very even tempered. She doesn't cry much. She smiles a lot. Even when she does get upset, it doesn't last long. I can settle her down quickly and easily. I don't think this is because of me. I just think she is a nice kid.
But is that a good? Isn't it better to be a complainer, more vocal, more aggressive? Nice people finish last, so the saying goes. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It seems like our culture admires and rewards the aggressive ones. I for one don't like that about our world today. It's the good hearted, nice people that make life worth living. I hope Kate stays her good hearted self. Most of the people I truly like and value are just nice folks.
How do you raise a nice kid? Help them realize that the most important things in life cannot be had by taking them. Or as the Beatles sang, "The love you take is equal to the love you make." There's a nice smile.
Love you just the way you are, Kate.
It is already three o'clock. This day has gone by so fast. And it's Friday. This week has gone by so fast. It is already half way through October. This month has gone by so fast. Where does the time go? As Judy Collins once sang. Once a wise person was asked what is the most valuable thing on earth. He or she said it is time. Time is actually the only thing we really possess and we must spend it well. I try to make my time with Kate count. I don't have a well worked out plan. I just try to gauge her needs or just see what might get a smile from her. We just try to have fun doing ordinary things. I think that's going to be my goal in retirement...make the ordinary extraordinary. Kate will let me know how I am doing. Oops I think she just pooped and it's no ordinary poop. It's extraordinary! She has that guilty look on her face.
Love you anyway.
Babies are so unpredictable, as we all are. Kate has a cold and hasn't been sleeping well. I was all set for a challenging day today. Plus I have her at my house because the men from Lowes are here, finally putting our new doors in...with lots of noise.
So how is Kate? She's been sleeping for four hours non stop. What a sweet heart! Sometimes when we think things are going to go wrong, by the grace of God they turn out ok.
I have been on the receiving end of God's grace numerous times in my life. God just seems to reach down and lift me up when I need a hand. Some people might call these things coincidences but we know they are God-incidences. All I can say is thank you Lord and try to somehow be worthy...I miss the mark on that a lot.
Anyway, I hope I am a sign of God's grace for Kate. And I want to thank everyone who is a sign of God's grace to me, especially Barb, my wife. Take a look at Kate, smiling through the sniffles.
I was thinking lately about nature versus nurture in regards to Kate. To clarify, some theorists believe that a child is born with most of their traits built in and so in a way who they are is predetermined, that's nature.
On the other side there are those who believe that a child is like a blank slate and how they are raised makes all the difference. It's probably a little of both.
Her mother says that though she looks more like her father, she acts more like her mother. It's the opposite with her older brother. Kate is a pretty good little baby. As I have said before she is very calm. It will be fun to watch her grow and see how she develops. I'll do my part with the nurturing as do her parents. I just pray that she continues to have a warm loving home life so she can become all that God intended her to be. I can't wait to see how she turns out.
Check out God's gift to the world.
~ Love Poppi
Babies are so innocent. Maybe that's why people are so attracted to them. They only want to be loved and cared for. They mean no harm and can do no evil. I don't find that to be true for me. I can be very selfish and sometimes mean spirited. I sometimes think our life stages are related to the stories in the Bible. If that's true Kate is in the Garden of Eden stage before the fall. Somewhere along the line we humans learn how to sin and disobey God's command to love one another. When and why does that happen? When do we take a bite of the proverbial apple? Anyway, if Kate is at the Garden of Eden, where am I in the Bible? Am I Moses being told by God to free the slaves in Egypt or am I at David and Bathsheeba? No matter what, we all need a friend in Jesus to free us from our self centeredness like he did for the paralyzed man. It can help sometimes to just go to Jesus and ask to be healed. And ask those we have hurt to forgive and maybe understand. Anyway I better tend to Kate before she gets upset and commits her first sin. Say hello to Eve.
Love you sweety.
I took Kate to the mall today to get her exercise in. I don't think she liked it. She was complaining after about half an hour. So we left. I think she has me figured out. She knows how to push my buttons and get me to do her bidding. Just a look or a smile, a whimper or a frown and I respond. She does things to get my attention. Right now she is in her swing staring at me, kicking her legs and making little noises. Then when I look at her she smiles or gives me a grunt. I know, she has me wrapped around her little finger, but it's fun. It kind of reminds me of The Little Prince. You know the part about allowing yourself to be tamed. She and I have become friends in a way. We know each other. Kind of cool, huh? Here she is just relaxing. This picture is not a set up, either. She's that cute.
Love ya Kate.
Babies need routine in order to feel secure. If their world is predictable they just do better. I think we all do better if we have a basic structure to our lives. There are limits of course. Adventure and excitement are what makes life interesting and meaningful, but a predictable routine is the foundation that the adventure is built upon. Today was not a routine day. The usual eat, change, sleep and play was interrupted. We were having new doors put on our house (remember the break in?). I had to meet the builders at 9:00 so I loaded Kate into the car along with an extra bed and two bags of stuff. I had to wake her up to get there on time. Then they cancelled on me. Meanwhile Kate was great. She was very patient despite being hungry and needing a change. People say patience is a virtue. I think it is missing in our society today. We all have something to learn from Kate. Here is a picture of her looking a bit worried during the crazy day we had.
I love you Kate.
Poppi's Adventures in Babysitting
Jim Kemna (Poppi) was the Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri until he retired at the end of June 2016. Now Jim is becoming an active grandparent. He is babysitting for his one month old granddaughter Katie. Before retirement Jim was responsible for assisting his bishop in promoting the vision of catechesis throughout the diocese. See Meet the Project Team for more information about this author.