Grandchildren Pride

Posted on October 8, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

We thought we would be with our grandchildren more than we have been–after all, isn’t that what retirement is supposed to be all about? With three of them living on the other side of the world and others entering into teenage years with their own busy schedules and activities, frequent leisure time together has yet to happen. We have to acknowledge that our own continuing travel and ministry has contributed to this dilemma, but we resolve to make giving attention to them a higher priority.

Our trip in July was the first time in more than a year with our Central Asia kids, but we do hope to converge with them in Indonesia early next year, introducing the grandkids to their mother’s roots. Meanwhile photos and occasional skype calls on a limited internet system has to suffice. This recent picture of Mia and Gloria with their mother reflected that matching dress is in vogue in Asia.

Mia is eight and in the third grade; she loves baking projects and concocting innovative recipes in the kitchen and all things involving arts and crafts. Gloria is the ever-active tomboy. She recently chopped off her hair explaining to her mother she didn’t like fooling with all the tangles and brushing and most of her friends had short hair. However, the real reason was so she could disguise herself as a boy and play soccer with the neighborhood boys in the street!

It is hard to believe Sam (pictured on a adventurous rock-climbing expedition) will be 13 on his next birthday in January. His growth is reflected in maturing discipline and responsibilities. He loves his dog, Smokey, and menagerie of turtles, rabbits, pigeons and a captive owl. He could watch Animal Planet for hours when he was stateside and enjoys scientific and mechanical projects.

We could deny our aging and hold on to a more youthful self-image until the grandchildren show up. I resolved never to use the trite expression, “My, how you have grown!” But when Zachary reached 6’ 1” and celebrated his 17th birthday, it became evident our grandkids are moving toward adulthood and we are getting old! It is especially scary to think of him being turned loose on Nashville area traffic with his brand new driver’s license.

At 13 Joseph is trailing not far behind. After homeschooling for several years he is back in public school for the second year. We joke about him being in his own world as he is a prolific reader and thrives on his own disciplined schedule regardless of what the rest of the family is doing. In addition to his growing interest in girls, he has followed his grandfather’s legacy in taking up the saxophone in the school band.

Anna Grace is 10 and is her daddy’s “little princess.” She enjoys their date nights together and riding on the back of his motorcycle. In the fourth grade, she is the athlete of the family playing softball and basketball, though she hasn’t yet outgrown her dolls and stuffed animals.

Third John 4 says, “I have no greater joy that this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” Our greatest blessing is observing the passion of our stateside children and grandchildren for worshipping and serving the Lord, actively ministering in their church, looking forward to the next mission trip and those overseas living in obedience to their mission calling.

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