The other day I was on the phone with Grandmommie. She was talking about my kids, rambling on about how awesome they are, and because I am a completely average parent, I was letting her. It's what we do.
"I was watching Jerry carry Maren in the house the other day and I said, 'Do you know how lucky you are that you get to carry around such a beautiful girl?'" I was struck by that. By how lucky we are to have the girls, all of us. They are such a constant reminder of the beauty and amazement to be found out there.
But more than that, I was struck by who there was truly lucky. "I think that my girls are also pretty lucky to have Jerry for a grandpa," I replied. And I am so very, very thankful that is the case.
Jerry is my step-father. He and my mother married when I was twelve. I was always lucky to have him. I don't know if it was easy for him, he's never talked about suddenly have a 12 year old daughter at the ripe old age of 20. He's never once complained.
He taught me to love heavy metal music and Stephen King. He taught me to appreciate viewpoints that I didn't share and to see the good in everyone, which he never, EVER fails to do.
He checked my oil and interrogated my boyfriends, he made sure I was where I was supposed to be and he promised to not tell my mom if I needed a ride home from somewhere drunk. I never trusted that last one, but he still made the offer.
I was lucky to have him. He and my granddaddy made sure that I never wanted for a father even though mine was absent. They made sure that I missed having that and that I always felt loved.
I have always been thankful for them. For making up for a mistake that they didn't make. For loving me, especially Jerry, when they didn't have to. But it never occurred to me, how very, very much I have to be thankful for them as a mother.
My girls light up when "Papaw" walks into the room. They shout his name and rush across the space, they crawl over him and clamor for his attention. They hang on his every word and vie for his compliments. They are the planets and Jerry is the sun, viewing the rest of us as moons, who exist for them, give them light, love them unconditionally, but are really, just a reflection of Papaw.
There are many things my children do not have to fear. And living without a Papaw who thinks they hung the moon and the stars, who never grows tired of them, who is always there with a story, a hug, a bandaid or a kiss is one of them.
I am thankful every day for all we have. We live, despite my constant worrying, in a world of plenty. We have plenty of love, plenty of time, plenty of smiles, plenty of hugs. And Papaw is a big a reason for that.
Thank you, God, for giving my girls such an excellent family, and especially, such an excellent grandfather.