April 22 • 07:01 AM

Grandkids make up a precious, all-different dozen

August 01, 2007
"Hi, Gamma Tanis, I Baseball Katie.''

I had called to wish the youngest grandchild a happy birthday, and her mommy had put her on the phone. I could hear a bit of coaching going on, but it didn't take much prompting to get her to say it, and I was left to conjure up a mental image of this little spitfire so recently swathed in dainty pink.

"She knows what she likes," my daughter said after Katie gave her back the phone. "And right now it's Logan's last-year's baseball shirt, over her diaper, and not much else—except a baseball cap. If that shirt is in the wash, she'll wear another outgrown shirt of his."

It seems her mom, not much for lace and frills herself as she grew up, had so recently discovered the unrivaled fun of putting Katie in all those distinctively feminine gifts friends had brought over. Even when she put her in little bib overalls, she learned to love picking out ones sprinkled in sequins. And now, here was that same little girl, not even potty-trained, exercising her spunky little will to establish her own personal dress code.

How different they all are, I thought. Twelve grandchildren, and seemingly no two of them were cut from the same cloth. I thought of the one who loved nothing more at her age than to play dress up with gauzy curtains for veils and skirts, daintily dancing and curtsying. I thought of the one who followed his dad like a shadow and would have worn his dad's tool belt if he'd been able to keep it on. I thought of the one who came out (well, almost), writing little sonnets and poems, and another who wrote great prose by first grade. I thought of our little "Gumby", who can lie on her belly and reach her toes over her head to scratch her nose. I thought of the one who didn't know Grandma might not be a challenge to him in soccer so long as I came out to kick the ball around with him, (and of the slightly older one who had figured it out). I thought of the one who would have the Uno cards ready when I walked in the door and would challenge me even before I could shed my coat. I thought of the one who seems to be able to roll with the punches, no matter what, and the one who always has a book with him. I thought of the one who could keep score at a sporting event almost by the time she could talk. I thought of the one who probably knew more by two about the coral reef, and salt-versus fresh-water fish than I ever will.

Mmm-hmm. All different. And I just now heard the mail come, so I'm outta here to see whether that picture Katie's mom promised to take and send me has come. (If I weren't so "from the dark ages" I'm sure she would have sent me one I could have viewed on this computer.) But...what can I say? We're all different, with differing gifts. Different folks with

different strokes.

Castle Creek
04 - 22 - 19
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