Yesterday Anne and I joined our son Kyle and his and Diane's baby Ikaika, 10 months old. This tiny blond haired, blue eyed baby boy has a life's journey in front of him that none of us can imagine.
Yet this journey will contain great joys and heartaches, as is true for every life, and at the end he will leave wiser from all the lessons this journey will provide, which is also true for each of us.
Ikaika has a family that loves him and we would do everything in our power to protect him from the heartache that will befall him, and yet by doing so, we would only stunt his growth. For his destiny is to confront that heartache and grow from the painful lessons it will present.
However what we can do is love him, nurture him and bring all the joy into his life we can, for what is life without love, encouragement and joy, along with plenty of laughter and good times to stoke those feelings.
We can also provide him with the tools he will need to confront life's heartaches starting with compassionate listening and a reaffirming sense that we are there for him at all points in time, good times and bad times.
We will also teach him to forgive so that he will not have to carry the immense burden of anger nor the self-destructive desire for revenge.
We must teach him as well to say goodbye to the many wonderful people who will depart during his lifetime and to celebrate their lives rather than to mourn them. We would like him to feel in his heart a sense of happiness and to treasure their memories, thankful they were a part of his life.
But this is in the future. Yesterday we allowed him to briefly grab Anne's glasses and in his tight little fist he grabbed my gray hair and wouldn't let go. Based upon the big smile on his small face and the sparkle in his eyes, these acts brought him real joy, a joy that was shared all around.
Although I must say dear reader I left with a warm glow but a few less hairs than I arrived with.