I went to a Roberts’ family reunion several years ago up in Kentucky. Now, I wasn’t actually kin to nobody in the family. But this affair is so huge up in the northeastern part of the state that folks there didn’t even take note of “one more mouth”. I tried to look like a brother-in-law from Flatwoods.
I was directing traffic over by the kitchen door in this large hall that Aunt Nell Ruth had thoughtfully rented, “Put the chicken and dumplings on the long table, the turnips and the rutabagas go down at the end, fit the Deviled eggs in between the baked beans and the coleslaw……..here, let me hold that apple pie for you.” A cousin from over in Johnson County came rushing in about the time the blessing was fixing to start with an asparagus casserole in one hand and a peach cobbler in the other and declared loudly, “The later we come, the better looking we get!”
That adage ran through my mind as I looked down on my sixth, and unless God “wroughts forth” a blessed miracle, my last grandchild. Maxwell Kennedy Colbert is an extra handsome baby. Just ask either of his grandmothers! My goodness, I had forgotten how small they are. And innocent. And vulnerable. I didn’t think he had his mother’s eyes or his father’s chin or a head shaped like his older sisters’ at a similar age. I thought he looked like Max!
They let me hold him. There are things in life worth a heap more than rubies and gold. He was so warm. You could feel his little heart beating. And when he shifted ever so slightly in my arms, squinted up through those inquisitive eyes and grinned……he hooked me forever and ever!
My mind raced forwards and backwards. I certainly worried about his future. I hope world leaders, local politicians and folks in general will start conducting themselves with Max’s best interest at heart. Let’s tone down the hostility and start accentuating the blessings that abound on every side. If we’re not living today with an eye toward the growth and development of our little ones…….what good are we?
I wondered if phones would be built into our ears by the time Max reaches his teen years. School might possibly be on the internet. You wouldn’t have to walk over to Susie’s or Uncle Ted’s, you could just “face to face” them on your big screen. He may not need a driver’s license, the car will propel itself down to see granddaddy. I wondered if there wasn’t another beautiful baby smiling up from her basinet this morning in Toccoa, Macon, New York or somewhere across this great land that might some day catch Max’s eye.
I found myself back in my childhood and wondered if Max would ever know the thrill of running barefooted down a shaded dirt road. Would he have the chance to put a nickel in a Coke machine, pull the handle and hear the wonderful workings from deep behind the red door that pushed, tumbled and dropped a six and a half ounce bottle to the opening at the bottom. Would he ever spit at a crack in the sidewalk, throw rocks at a Pet Milk can on a fence post or settle down on the top step of Woodrow Kennon’s Store and pour Tom’s Peanuts down the throat of a Royal Crown Cola.
I want the two of us to build a Tinker Toy skyscraper and a Lincoln Log house. I want Max to feel the wind in his face as he rounds second base in the back yard pick up game. I want him to swing on a grape vine and get smacked up side the head in a crab apple war. I want him to fall off a horse at least once in his lifetime. I want him to place a penny on a railroad track and hide behind the bushes and watch as the train flattens it out. I want him to sit beside me at the City Café and asked me how it was when I was a boy.
My dreams have dreams when it comes to this little one.
I pray God allows me the years to watch him grow. I want us to pull the covers off the bed and make a fort. I want us to hide in the big closet from his older sisters. I want to make a little wooden boat and set it afloat in Everett’s Lake. I want to drive up in his front yard and have him burst out the door, jump the front steps and leap into my arms. I want to tell him about the American Revolution, Will Rogers and the times America went off to war. I want him to understand the wisdom, forthrightness and work ethic of his great grandfather.
When he is older and life gets a tad more complicated, I want him to seek me out. If a storm arises, I want him to clearly know where at least one port will always be. I’m not going to waste precious seconds telling him how important love is in this old world……I’m going to give him a walking demonstration of it every second we have together!
Can’t Wait To Get Started,