This is the week we wait for all year long. On Friday afternoon, we leave for New Jersey!
I have never been impressed with NJ as a state, or even as a vacation spot. Until my grandsons moved there.
To me, Jersey was just a place - but an important place, now, since it holds a large part of my heart.
Kaiden was six months old when he left Michigan. After his dad, Scott, got through his Boot Camp days in the Coast Guard, they packed up their belongings and we waved goodbye, through our tears, to the most precious little life and his parents.
Over the years we have managed at least one trip a year, as a family, to where Kaiden lives. It's always an added blessing to have time with Britt and Scott too, but the main draw is Kaiden.
In the fall of 2007, Keegan joined the ranks. His cries were louder when he was born than I remembered Kaid's, but just like his big brother, Keegy's little fingers wrapped themselves around our hearts and now we had two very special reasons to travel the globe and back.
I have been fortunate enough to fly out in between our yearly visits, especially during the times that Britt was due to deliver these blessings. I have even managed an extra trip "just because" I really needed a hefty dose of grandkids to get me through my days.
The last trip out was in March for Scott and Britt's birthdays, and also to get in on a little extra loving from the baby of the family, Keane, whom we had only seen at his birth last October 10th. They all came for a short visit in June, but since they were needing to spend time with Britt's brother before he went into the service himself, that time was exceptionally short for us. (Of course, it usually is, regardless of how many days we get to be together!!)
The main thing is, we are getting ready to head out to see those beautiful boys and by saturday, Lord willing, we will be watching our road weary kids splashing in the kiddie pool with their young nephews, and I will be snapping pictures right and left of the bobbing blonde heads of my favorite grandsons!!
It is a moment or two when time stands still and we can enjoy the bond that glues us together as a family.
Kaid will start preschool next month. He's turning 5 on October 3, and I wonder where that time has gone? It seems impossible to fathom that he will now have a great amount of influence from others around him. He will make choices and decisions on his own now, perfect at his age. He will meet new people, and broaden his mind and horizons. His parents have chosen a good school, and he is so smart and ready for it. I am proud of the little man he is already, and look forward to hearing all of his plans in the days ahead. I asked Britt if I could go back pack shopping with Kaid when we are there, and he sounded excited about it!! I wish I could be there for his first day of school, but I know his mommy will let him call me to tell me all about it.
Keegy wants to go to school too, but he is just turning 3 on Sept. 23. He is such a little man. His hair gets blonder every time I see him, with all that Ocean sunshine and fresh air! He loves the beach, and animals, especially cats and horses. He has his own way of talking that sometimes mystifies this gramma, but his dimpled grin gets me even when his words don't make sense. He's a spitfire, since day one, when we could hear his loud cries in the halls of the OB unit!! He was the first "real" Jersey kid, but I hear traces of an accent in both boys voices now when we talk on the phone. Keegy is a bit shy at first, but warms up and skips and laughs right along with all the others. I am taking a bag of preschool goodies for him to stay busy when big brother goes to school.
Hard to believe that Kaid and Keeg are out of the toddler stage now, and on to more important big boy things. Like bikes, skateboards and surfing. They jump the ocean waves with such confidence, telling us about the shells on the beaches and the wonders of their world. I can't wait.
Keane is on the move since the last time I saw him, and it sounds like if he's not walking this week, he will be before we leave Jersey. He's built alot like Kaiden was at that age, thick and soft, a sturdy little man. He's got the bluest eyes I have ever seen on a baby, and he looks so different than the others with brown eyes. But he's definately "one of us" and makes me remember the stages the other boys went through at his very age. It's all happening so fast - he's learned to say "Ball" and "Dada" and "Momma" and before you know it, he will be another little voice on the phone saying "Narly, Gramma!" That's my grandsons!! I know Keegy and Keane may be too little to spend the night in "Papa's" camper, but we will soon be there, around the campfire, or playing in their back yard, making memories to last us through the long winter months while we are apart.
I don't know where their next stop in life will be. I know Scott and Britt are beginning their international adoption process right now, and their next child will be just as loved and wanted as the first three. We will watch and wait with anticipation to see which child we will welcome into our family next, and continue to pray as that child waits for our love bonds to bring us together. I am not sure where God will be leading them over the next year or so, and where their life work will lead them. My heart would love for them to be right in my back yard! But God has a greater plan for their family.
Until then, we pack the trailer, plan meals and get things ready to leave here.
Boys, Papa and Gramma are coming - get those surfboards ready!! See you Saturday!!
Hugs and kisses, until we see you again!