“Honey, (My wife sometimes calls me honey..not because I’m so sweet but usually just before asking me to do something) why haven’t you ever blogged about Tara? You’ve written about all of our grandkids and their achievements but nothing about her. You know she might think you’re not as proud of her as the others.”
Well, that’s just nonsense. Of course I’m proud of Tara..it’s just that telling her story forces me to open up and share a few things about myself that i’m not very proud of.
But, as I sit here late on the eve of Tara’s 28th birthday I figure, what the heck…so here goes.
I had been dating Linda for a couple years when she got the call from her daughter, Brenda, saying she was going to have a baby.
Now, both Linda and I were parents as teenagers ourselves so we didn’t have a lot of moral high ground on which to stand to be critical. But, we wondered, how is she ever going to manage? Well, a few months later, Tara arrived right on schedule. I don’t even remember going up to the hospital to see her. I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t all that excited about this new baby or the fact that she made my girlfriend a grandma.
Now, I love kids..I really do but I didn’t like the idea of this kid horning in on my time with my wife to be. I was such a fool and it didn’t take long before God took me aside and shook some sense into my sour soul.
It happened one evening when I stopped at Linda’s over my supper hour from work. She said there’s a little girl in the other room who might like to see you. There sitting on the bed was seven month old Tara playing with a toy. When I sat down next to her, her eyes lit up and she gave me a big dimpled smile then reached her arms out for me to hold her. As I did, a wave of shame washed over me for my selfish attitude toward this precious little one. But that was soon followed by another wave.. one of unexplainable unconditional love for this beautiful innocent gift from God who melted my hard heart.
Linda had been smitten by this kid from the beginning and knew it was only a matter of time before I’d come around too.
From then on, I’ve cherished every moment we’ve had together…and there have been lots and lots of wonderful ones.
But as I learned with my own daughters, there comes a time when the training wheels come off and you just hope and pray they’ll be alright without you around to hold them up.
I know Tara believes that I still want her to be that same little girl who changed my life so many years ago and feels she’s disappointed me in some of the life choices she’s made.
But she needn’t worry.
I adore all of my grandchildren, of course, but Tare Bear you were the first to steal my heart and you’ll ALWAYS have an extra special place there.
Happy Birthday, Tare Bear!
Love, Grandpa Doug