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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ode to Gwampa


I had an idyllic childhood. I really did, and I owe so much to my mom and dad for giving me that gift. I hold them in the highest regard.

Both of my parents made a visit at the end of May, which sent all of my children into fits of joy! And there's nobody better at riling my kids up into a frenzy than my own dad! (particularly when it's right before bedtime.) He's a real joker. (We're talking about the man who walked off the plane to visit us once, wearing a pair of kid underoos on his head just to make preschool Carter laugh. And laugh he did!)

My dad came out to help when we first brought the triplets home from the NICU and were simultaneously moving into our new house. (Ugh- I'm tired just remembering it!) He was so funny, doing little "pop quizzes" by holding up a baby and saying, "Quick, Kel. Which one is this?" (Believe it or not, they actually looked a lot alike as newborns!) When I'd return the favor and "quiz" him, he'd have to lift off their little newborn hats, turn them sideways to see their profile and the shape of their head to make his determination. It was very endearing!

There's lots to love about my dad. His honesty. His integrity. His commitment to family. His devotion to the gospel. His wacky sense of humor. The way he seems to make every stranger his friend. (My neighbors, whom I barely know, are always asking about him, and he remembers their names each time he comes to visit.)

And then there's the quirky stuff: the way he stops to practice his golf swing, multiple times throughout the day and without any warning. (Recently we were on the beach at Hilton Head. My dad was walking up the pier when, abruptly, he stopped midstride to take a couple of golf swings. Tanner turned to me and said, "I love it when Grampa does that! But why does he?")
I love the way my dad watches conservative news stations with the same zeal with which I follow "Lost" and "Survivor." And gets just as incensed by the characters and storylines. I know that Dad gets a lot of guff for being a "conspiracy theorist," but everything he says on such matters makes perfect sense to me. (And fills me with not just a little alarm.)

But I love best the amount of effort that this man puts into keeping our large and geographically spread-out family together. My parents drop everything to be regular visitors and constant players in our life out here in Florida.

So I'll close with a little "pop quiz" of my kids, listing their uncensored answers to the question: "What do you like best about Grandpa?"

Carter: (currently away at Scout Camp- he will "phone in" his response.)

Taylor: my favorite thing about Grandpa is that he married Grandma! And that he calls beans "chipmunk doo doo."

Tanner: my favorite thing about Grampa is that when I was a baby he took me for a silly ride to see Superman. And I love it when he tucks me in.

Sydney: I love that Gwampa takes good care of me when I was a baby and I love him forever 'cuz I'm a big kid now.

Bailey: Gwampa is my favorite silly friend and he sang me a song when I was a baby.

Riley: I like Grampa to play silly giggle games with me. He is my best best friend.

Out of the mouths of babes . . . .We love you, Dad! Thanks for everything, and Happy Father's Day!

3 comments:

Konchar Family said...

Your dad...he had me at "Droolie".

(look--my non-long-winded comment must be acknowledged!)

Julie Konchar said...

Against my new resolution to NOT dominate your comments page, I must add that to honor your father, I will forever more promise to refer to all beans as chipmonk doo doo. It shall be his legacy here at the Konchars.

SpaceyKasey said...

Second! He is the best. Well put.