Monday, August 13, 2012

Gramkids for Sale!

How much is that gramkid
in the window?
Everytime I see a kid in a grocery cart, out of the blue this question springs to my lips: "Wow, they sell THOSE here? How much do you pay HERE?  (Insert Mom's smile and on we go!)

I would use a question like that to get a Santa conversation started...but last night that gramkid for sale idea took a wonderful welcome turn.

Our son has been penpaling a lovely Chinese damsel...and his prayers have included Sanji almost every night for months.....then suddenly his plans to take a trip to China were set aside.

An old College Chum he fell in love with as his own first marriatge was winding down called to ask a favor...She was moving to a town a couple of hundred miles away and our son's free mechanical skills were, well, badly NEEDED.  

My brother Tom and I had a conversation that life is lived on "TICKETS!"   Our son grows a great garden, shared super computer tricks and tips...and lives in our basement (has for the last three years) decompressing from a few sad decisions--among them foreclosure on a HUD house his former wife NEEDED, a six figure debt in college loans in computer science and a Kevin Spacey style downward swoop as a strategic way of holding off the EX and Sally Mae while he decides his next steps.

NOTE:  My own family has had a kid for sale.  The late uncle Zachary Champlin was an only child of an Air Force Officer at F.E. Warren Air Force Base and principal subject of a sad little newspaper ad in the Cheyenne Wyoming Tribune:  Child Available for adoption.  Recently widowed, cannot do career and little cute dark headed boy at same time.  Call: 555-5555.

Father left son and a small suitcase and went back to work.   The Family who adopted him raised him well in modest circumstances and Logan Utah Attorney and church Leader Elray L. Christiansen paid for his tuition to Utah State Law School.  He married my aunt Helen Marie Hunt and raised nine children in a spirit of humble defiance.  (The girls have his gorgeous black hair and the boys inherited he Hunt family bald gene..and we are cosins still after all these years.

Tonight Jeff is nursing Noah and Gabriel's mommy's car to Richfield...and I was proud to be able to make a gift of a Benjamin Franklin--and a couple of iced big cups of powdered Tang...and Jeff left for a couple of days of instant fatherhood.

Once upon a time we hosted Mommy and Noah, before newborn Gabiel arrived...and young Noah was full of questions for the then 2 year old.   We have some stair blocking kid proofing and closed doors hat left the little guy magnets and plush toys to entertain himself while we got better acquainted with Mom.

Years ago we informed our dear first born (after Rosie's son Michael) that his "job' was to make and take 1000 dates--His Liz was number 75 as I remember.  After ten years of marriage (off and on) Jeff is sadder, but wiser.  Excessive debt won't break up the second marraige.  Discipline to a budget broadcast on our main screen TV and a gentle, healthy dose of Vitamin N all of which would have saved much of his former relationship...that's what Jeff is taking back to a second marriage at 36.

I married a ready-made family, in fact Rosie's six year old proposed to me because he wanted ME to be his Daddy.   We had fun...and then I took him to church.   Matthew 5:48 kicked in and my patience with a 7 year old figiting didn't last long.  Parents and gramparents should take it easy on young'ins who figit in church lest they drive the youngster away.

Carol Sullivan told me the story of her oldest son, Big Mike's Little Mike who was quite the drummer as a teenager.  At the big Talent Night over at the church, Little Mike was adjusting his precious set of drums when a leader with a chip on his music appreciation shoulder stalked up to the teenager.  It was the sxties and the Beatles had just invaded.

"And what are those, young man?" the leader sneered!

"Drums...aren't they great?" Mike responded eyes shining.

Then the unexpected from the youth leader:  "Young man, take those drums, put them back in their boxes and take them out of here and don't you ever come back!

Great parents, leaders and gramparents should never be in the business of stopping a kid doing what he shouldn't---unless it's life threateneing:  Traffic, drugs, unmarried sex etc.

Authority figures should develop the skill of helping kids GOTTAWANNA and start the good things.   And then follow through

Forty years later in our own Talent Night a young break dancer showed off his skill developed on the street with a friend from downtown...and the crowd stopped the show and stomped and cheered!  What a difference in tolerance and appreciation has happened in the same church where Little Mike learned to be obedient to a cretin.

Gramma Rosie, who listens to every post before I publish mused, "some people don't have the good sense God gave Geese!"

Over the last three years especially, our zero tolerance has grown to include a Sleeping Beauty who wouldn't help chop onions in our kitchen as she auditioned for our family...even after Gramma Rosie showed her how to use lemon juice to stop the smell on her delicate little fingers.

When one girl who should have known better got hooked on a bit too much forbidden slosh, we bit our tongue and hoped the situation would right itself.

When another confessed mental problems we wished her well and our son made a better choice.

Noah and Gabriel's mommy has never demanded any child support from her sons' father and we pray that someday the sperm donor for each child will be brought to jusice for the privilege of participation at the conception only to waltz away blameless!   If called upon, this bunkhouse lawyer will recommend a paternity DNA check and regular paynents to be court awarded if necssary to the kids college fund.

Valentine's day is the stay tuned!

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