this past weekend Caleb finally got to meet his great-grandpa and step-great-grandma. there are a few pictures here. we enjoyed the new aquarium together and had a nice time here at home. they lived in Florida until recently, and having moved near Nashville made it possible for us to finally get together. it’s always fun to see Caleb take to folks so readily, and this weekend he seemed to prefer hanging out with the guys. he had no problem snuggling with great-grandpa, as well as playing with toys and reading books. and we could tell that great-grandpa was quite proud of Caleb, which isnt too surprising, as he’s always telling us that he’s proud of us and is constantly praying for us.
it’s interesting (to me at least) how my attitude has changed about my grandfather over the years. they lived in the same town as we did growing up, so we got to hang out quite a bit. he was (and still is) something of a lay-preacher, never hesitating to bust out a mini sermon on whoever will listen. I think I learned to become immune to and perhaps a little embarrassed of these little episodes, not that they were particularly loud or forceful. it’s just that being in the Dutch-Reformed tradition, you just didnt exhibit your faith that way. in fact, you didnt talk about it much at all. but you did go to church at every opportunity and get involved a whole lot, which was good. but talking about stuff, that’s not our thing for some reason.
which makes me glad I married out of our subculture. Michelle isnt like this, in fact, she’s quite the opposite, which has been great for me. talking about your faith and what it means in our lives is a big part of it all (as well as getting involved in people’s lives and the work of the church, etc). so I’ve come to appreciate grandpa’s heart even though his methods still might be a little chaffing. and I only relatively recently learned that grandpa wasnt always quite the upright, faithful man we know now (to put it mildly), and his preachy ways were quite the turnaround from hard living (I only know vague things of the past, as I’ve never personally known him any different).
so I hear him go on about how things are so bad these days (and nearly laugh inside due to the cliche of it), and I suppose he’s right, but I tire of the judging-the-world stuff, and I’ve read enough books to know that back in his day (or any day) it was just as bad as today.
but I love how he’s got the old man’s attitude of “I’m checking out soon, so I’m not holding back on what I think is important.” I love that he’s not afraid to directly encourage us to pray and to keep the faith. we surely could use more of that. yet I hope that when I’m old and uninhibited like that, I’ll not only encourage folks that way, but be humble enough to admit my mistakes and help folks learn from them. even still, I now realize I can learn a lot from grandpa. funny how your elders seem to get exponentially wiser as you age.