Growing Grandchildren

Posted on July 16, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

No, this is not a follow-up post on my gardening and yard work. After reflecting on the excessive heat in the last post we did enjoy rain showers everyday this past week. It is hard to think of anything more relaxing than watching a summer rain while rocking on the back porch with a big glass of sweet ice tea. And now we are headed to cool Winter Park, Colorado for two weeks with Antioch Ministries International’s gathering of personnel from around the world, leaving our friends and neighbors to swelter in Mississippi.

I found it easy to deny reality and hold to the myth of my youthful self-image until grandkids started coming along. Now that they are maturing and moving toward inevitable adulthood, our identifying as aging grandparents has to be accepted. I recall asking someone if they had seen the pictures of my new grandchildren (after a couple of new additions); they replied, “No, and I appreciate it!” Okay, so everyone may not be as interested as we are, but it is amazing that the two little children we remember raising could produce such beautiful, outstanding offspring!

Three of the six had birthdays in recent weeks, including the oldest and the youngest. Zachary hit 17 and at 6’1” loves to lord it over his Papa. He is an amazingly talented kid. Drums and painting are his passion. He freaked out when we gave him a pack of canvases for Christmas. He loves playing with the youth praise team at church, but can you imagine having to endure his practicing at home?

Some will remember his going to Peru with me on a mission trip when he was 13–his life has not been the same. He is currently in New York City on a mission trip ministering in the inner city and in the last couple of years has been to Mexico, Nicaragua and Haiti twice. He often asks his youth minister for opportunities to share with the youth group, and I love the occasional postings on his facebook, such as, “I’d rather die for what I believe than live my life without meaning.”

His little sister, Anna Grace, turned 10 and is a true “tween-ager,” loving play time with her dolls and stuffed animals but learning to engage the joys of life. She loves a good time and is always making a party out of our family time together. While her two older brothers are not into sports, Anna Grace plays on the basketball and softball teams.

She is her Dad’s little princess and can wrap him around her little finger, as evident in the photo of her adoring parents on her birthday. To our alarm, one of her favorite activities is going on motorcycle rides with her Dad.

One of our highlights each 4th of July–which follows by a few days the birth of our youngest grandchild–is to celebrate Gloria Ruth Moses, dressed in red, white and blue, getting her U.S. citizenship at age two. Born in Central Asia, she was so petite that she did not even get on the pediatric height/weight chart until she was four. But what she lacked in size she made up in energy. It is hard to believe she is now an adorable seven years old, still loving dogs, rabbits, frogs and anything that moves.

Our six grandkids think it is amusing that all of them were born in places that begin with “T”–two were born in Texas, two were born in Thailand and two were born in Tajikistan. More about the others later, but they all bring great joy to these later years for their Papa and Bubob.

One Comment on “Growing Grandchildren”

  1. Monica

    Beautiful family…beautiful legacy!

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