“Poppie, I’m tired”…and with those words, Maya jumped in my lap and snuggled up to me. I felt her warm breath on my neck as we gently rocked back and forth for a few minutes.

My limited skills as a writer from time to time find me using “go to” phrases like “There’s no feeling like that” when I’m overwhelmed with some wonderful occurrence. But this one is different, what am I feeling here with Maya?

Every grandfather or grandmother is going to brag about their grandkids. The kids could be ugly as a mud fence and have an IQ about as high, but to them, they are the most precious treasure in the world .

This girl has a chameleon-like agility to shift her attitude from total love and affection for us to uncontrollable crying, and dictatorial powers that would give Napoleon Bonaparte pause.

We’ve only been in Minneapolis less than a day and here’s a few of the responses from this little chipmunk. Upon arriving back from Norway, she met us at the airport and said, “Welcome home Grandma and Poppie. I missed you.”

This morning as she made her first appearance with braided hair and a cute little dress, Pam said to her, “that’s a lovely dress you’re wearing, Maya.” Immediately she quipped, “ Yes, Gramma, you’re quite right!“ And as I was rummaging around for cereal, I found an interesting one called “Bunny Cereal.” I proceeded to down a bowl of it when without warning, in marched Maya, hands on hips and informed me….

“You cannot eat my cereal, Poppie.. That’s for me, and me only!“….Okay then.

Maya invited me up to her bedroom and asked, “Would you like to play with me in my room?“ I told her I would love to, and quickly followed her up to her digs….but before I could say anything she turned to me and said, “You are not to wear sandals in my room.” (Moses had a similar moment in Exodus 3:5) So anywhoo, she cleared that up for me right away. Little Maya was so proud as she showed me her “Counting” book, her “Where Is Michael Jackson?” book (she found him every time) and her bedtime Maya book, that, as I read to her, she laid on her bed to listen. But the best response from her so far is this.

Yesterday, as we were getting out of the car after a visit to a nearby amusement park, she was being quietly reprimanded by her father, there was a pause…and then she blurted out….”Must you argue with me every day, daddy?”

So what was this feeling that I had as I held her in my arms? What was the meaning? What I came upon, was this. I was holding what once was. What once was me. What once were my children and my grandchildren. I was holding a remembrance, a hope, a legacy. That brought out deep emotion in me….burning wet eyes that expressed the sweet joy and the struggle of it all. My little chipmunk is beautiful….truly beautiful. Life is beautiful….truly truly beautiful.

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