Last Saturday was a special day. June 3rd, was a ‘milestone’ birthday for me. (I’m still processing this birthday, and will undoubtedly be writing more about it in the future.)
The most special thing about June 3, 2017, however, is my firstborn grandson, Jackson, graduated from high school.
When Jackson was just a tyke, I realized how little I knew about boys. I’d relished being a grandma to his two older sisters. I love to read, and Sydney and Mackenzie enjoyed cuddling on either side of grandma while we read book after book. The first time I tried reading to Jackson, the little guy didn’t remain still for a moment. In fact, he crawled over my head while I was attempting to share the wonder of words!
I wasn’t sure I even liked little boys!
Then, when he was 5 years old, my daughter told me a story Jackson’s kindergarten teacher told her during their parent/teacher conference. A little girl joined the class mid-way through the year. She was shy and a bit backward. When the group of kindergarteners walked as a group to the library, they were asked to hold the hand of a classmate. The teacher inquired, “Who will hold Katie’s (pseudonym) hand?” The children all turned away, except Jackson who said matter-of-fact, “I’ll hold her hand.” Katie was happy, and the teacher told my daughter how Jackson’s unpretentious kindness impressed her.
This little story warmed Grandma’s heart, and from that story to this day, I’ve adored the first ‘man child’ born into our immediate family.
Jackson, the little boy who crawled over his grandma’s head when she attempted to read a book as she perceived it ‘should’ be read, has never stopped moving. He’s also never stopped being kind, considerate, unpretentious and able to stand up against unhealthy peer pressure.
Our grandson is a naturally gifted athlete, but he’s also been willing to listen to coaches and work hard. He played most of the past football season with a seriously-injured hand, and in spite of physical discomfort, he excelled and was named his team’s MVP.
In September Jackson will join the Eugene (Oregon) Generals Junior Hockey team to play his favorite sport at an advanced level.
Youth is a wonderful time when the body is strong and possibilities for the future are endless. It is also a time when defining decisions can change the trajectory of one’s life. Millennials, the generation to which Jackson belongs, have adopted an acronym, YOLO, which means “You Only Live Once.” There’s great truth in this acronym even though I realize sometimes hedonistic or flat out dumb decisions become justification for ‘YOLO.’
Like millions of parents and grandparents across the nation, I wish only the best blessings for the precious young men and women who grasp their diplomas while we in the audience recall the passing years, clap, cheer and snap photos.
To Jackson, who introduced his grandma to the delight of little boys, I hope and pray you’ll always remember YOLO! Your ‘Baby Boomer’ grandma wishes for you:
Choices made wisely.
Days blessed richly.
Joy on your journey.
To each reader and those special ones in your lives, I pray blessings on your journeys…