This past December, my daughter and son-in-law drove 1000 miles to surprise me for my 50th birthday. You could have knocked me over with a feather. My wife sent me a text message that she had made lunch and come on down when I can break away from my work.
I finished up what I was doing and went down stairs… to find these kids (adults) sitting on my couch in the living room. WOW! What an awesome surprise.
Well, as you can probably guess from the title above, they were there to say much more than “Happy Birthday”. We are going to be grandparents in June! I was standing at the counter in the kitchen when the news came. I had to sit down. Shocked and elated all at the same time!
I’ve had some time now to let this sink in and I can’t wait until June!
I’ve been thinking about this grandchild thing. It wasn’t easy raising kids and despite my parenting skills, our three turned out just great. Mostly by the Grace of God and the diligence of my bride.
We are living in crazy times. I watch parents with their young kids and I think, “Wow, I’m not sure I could do that again”. There are so many pressures today and so much noise out there, and so many dangers.
How do you protect your kids in this day and age? Well maybe you can and maybe you can’t. At any rate, I have three things I wish for my grand baby. There are WAY more than three, but I’m going to limit this to three that I think are key.
Little Baby Breyer… (and I don’t care if you come out as a boy or a girl, papaw will love you a billion times a billion either way). Anyway, we’ll call you BB for now.
BB, for you I pray that you grow up with three traits that your Papaw holds near and dear in his heart. They are Honor, Courage and Commitment.
Let’s begin with Honor. I pray that you will honor your mother and your father. They will suffer greatly for you until you are able to suffer for your self. They will give until they have given everything, then they will give more. Your parents will teach you everything you will ever need to know in this world.
I pray that you honor your family. I can promise that they will honor you. I know most of them and you can trust me on this one! You can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family, they are FOREVER, honor them. Honor them even when you don’t feel that they are deserving.
Honor others. There was a very wise man that lived many years before you were born BB. His name was Dale Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie once said, “in some way every man is my superior”. BB, he was talking about both men and women here. What he meant by this was that there is something great in every single person. Find that thing in everyone you come into contact with and “honor” that.
Finally, BB, honor yourself. You come from good stock, which I can guarantee. You have a seed of greatness in you. You say, “Papaw, how do you know, I’m not even born yet”! Trust me BB, I know! There is a seed of greatness in you. Honor that. Play hard, for a season, and then work hard. Develop that seed in you and become what God created you to be. Honor yourself because you are AWESOME!
Next let me tell you about courage BB. I pray for great courage. Life will twist and turn, it will be fun and it will be scary. Be courageous.
While you are small, your mother and father will protect you. And God will have to protect anyone who harms you from your Papaw… just sayin! Anyway, your parents will teach you to be brave. Listen to them and emulate their courage.
As you get older, cultivate the courage that you learned as a child. Practice it and use it for good. Another great man who lived before you was named Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Mandela said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man (or woman) is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”.
So BB, be bold and grab the brass ring. It’s yours for the taking and it is only available for those who have the courage to reach for it. It will be scary at first but most things that are worthwhile are.
Have the courage to stand up for your convictions. Have the courage to stand up for your beliefs. Living a life of integrity will require courage. I pray for you to be courageous.
Lastly BB, I pray that you are a person who understands the power of commitment.
Your parents will be totally and completely committed to you. Commitment is not to be taken lightly. Commitment is unconditional. You decide once what you are committed to and you make that commitment good every day.
Many things in your life will cause you to question your commitment. When you slip and fall in a ballet recital or when that touchdown pass bounces off your shoulder pads in the last game of the season, you will want to quit. Don’t do it.
When you make a commitment, it is your word and your word is your bond. It’s sad to consider right now since you are not even born yet, but you will not live forever. The only thing you leave on this earth that has any true value at all is your name. Keep your commitments and you will keep your good name.
I pray BB, that you will commit to your family, you will commit to your faith and that you commit to yourself. Some day you will marry and commit to your spouse. Stay true to your word and you will live a life of very few regrets, if any.
So kiddo, there you have it. That’s the best I can muster from my 50 years of cruising around this big blue marble. When you get here, I promise to model these things for the rest of my life.
I love you BB and I will see you in June. Now you just hang in there and grow a bit every day. Give your mom a kick for me.
Love ya, Papaw