It is always a pleasurable thing to fly over the Rocky Mountains and see the change in landscape as you approach the ocean. Descending to Vancouver Island, just the sight of the expansive open water dotted here and there by different sized forested islands and all the boating activities common to any coastline is truly a beautiful sight.
Now for the fourth time we were privileged to spend some time with our family as we anticipated, then celebrated the arrival of grandchild number four. The young lad arrived Oct. 5 weighing five pounds, three ounces with ten fingers and ten toes, and a healthy cry. Although small in size, this little fellow did not come without some difficulties and more than enough consternation, but arrive he did, much to the relief of all. Now a few days later both mother and child are doing great and our grandson is even back up to his birthweight.
No matter how many children one has, each birth is an absolute miracle; there’s just no other way to explain it, and as proud grandparents, we totally agree! The entire process of introducing the newborn to the older three was also a joy to behold; they were excited beyond description. I’ll probably get flack for saying this, but the father in a moment of quiet reflection on his progeny, uttered the comment in a moment of awe, “Man we have a lot of kids.”
A better father than our son-in-law would be extremely difficult to find. What other father would spend a couple of hours a week helping a daughter to practise her martial arts in order to help get her next belt? That or play for great lengths of time with the younger children as if he was one of them, all the while teaching them all the important values of life.
Not that we are biased in any way, but to my wife and I, we have just the most amazing family anyone could have or even want to have. Our own children, both of them married, care deeply about and support each other and that to us is a blessing that not every family can enjoy.
So now on this trip, because of excellent weather on the island, we were able to go with the family for several hikes along the shore, the oldest (six) turning every outing into an adventure, the second (four) finding pretty stones, shells and whatnot to stuff in her pockets, while the third (two) making an effort to keep his pants from getting wet, pulled up his pant legs and walked into the ocean, shoes, socks and all. The fourth (eight days) came along quietly sleeping while being packed around in a wrap bundled snugly to his mother.
It’s times like this where you pinch yourself thinking that you’re in a dream, the pride and joy almost overflowing to the point of exploding. I know that there are many proud grandparents who feel the same way, and each one feels that theirs are special, but ours really are; you can believe me.
In a world as chaotic as what we are experiencing where soon it will be a criminal offence to offer help to another who has made some poor choices, to be with and enjoy a family such as ours, we’re still able to make a little sense of it all. We can only hope and pray that their future will be one full of adventure, hope and fulfillment. Trying to chart a course that will be best for their future will be a daunting task for these young parents, especially now that they have number four!
Chris Salomons is a Retired Red Deer Resident with a concern for the Downtrodden