Like father, like son. This afternoon, I watched my 18-month old grandson, Daniel, play with miniature cars on my kitchen floor. The sounds of running cars that he made was unmistakably familiar. It’s the sound all little kids make — the one where you hum through your closed, but vibrating lips. It’s similar to a raspberry sound, but there is no spit — it’s almost a mumbled sound. I’m guessing his Daddy taught him all about it.
When Danny’s father was a toddler, his fascination with cars became clear. Bryan would sit for hours and amuse himself with his ever-growing collection of Matchbox cars. To this day, Bryan is an aficionado of all kinds of cars. He never misses the annual car show, and you can usually spot car magazines around his house. His dream is to own a 1961 powder-blue Corvette. He’s a pretty determined young man. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes that dream come true one day. There were two toys my son loved — Matchbox cars and Legos. Daniel is still too young for Legos, but it will be interesting to see if he shows an interest when he’s a little older.
So, there I was on the kitchen floor, alone with Daniel, watching him absorbed in his play. I joined him in talking car. I picked up a car and made my best “zoom, zoom” noise as I pushed it around the chair and under the kitchen table. I made my “brrrrrbbbb” sound as close to his as possible. Danny looked up at me with those gorgeous brown eyes and long lashes, as if to say: “Moma, please just let me play with my cars, ok?” I fell into an instant daze as I thought about how in love I am in with this toddler. He has a “sturdy” build. There is no mistaking my family’s physical genes in this child. His hands have the same characteristic as most of us with Passaro blood. Large, meaty palms, fat fingers with an index finger that curves to the right as it lays along the third finger.
As I watch this little guy, I think about my Dad. He so loved his grandchildren. He died when they were all young. He did not get to see any of them graduate high school or college, get married and have children. His great-grandchildren number fifteen and growing. How proud he would be to see his legacy. Hopefully, he sees them from wherever he is and blesses them with his presence. And this latest little guy, less than two years on this earth, bears remarkable likeness to his great-grandfather.
My two other grandsons are much older, 16 and 12. It’s been years filled with girl after girl until Daniel came along. And this afternoon made me realize that little boys and girls, despite the generation, continue to socialize in a traditional way. I don’t remember playing cars with Ella, 8, Anna, 5 or Leah, Brynn and Charlotte (3, 2 and 2 ). These little princesses opt for other pursuits. They love their dolls, they follow their grandpa around like he was a god, and they talk incessantly! But, I think the difference extends to how they feel about the opposite gender. I love all my grands, but I notice the boys are sometimes more affectionate with me and the girls are more affectionate with their grandfather.
The little girls are crazy about their “Ta,” and the feeling is mutual in all six cases. The boys can make my heart melt with a smile and they know it. When the oldest, Mark, was a toddler, he spent a lot of time with us. It gave us the opportunity to form a special bond that I believe will never be broken. He’s a teenager now and I have to be careful how I choose my words or show my affection, but still, I can count on him to build me up, love me and generally be in my corner when I’m down. Then there’s Cameron, his younger brother. Cam and I have our special thing too. We are both middle children. We commiserate with one another about the woes of our birth order. He is a special kid, and I’m nuts about him too. He was a character when he was very young. He used to cheat in games all the time! I would always tell him, “cheaters never win and winners never cheat.” Not surprisingly, that stage passed without incidence. My guess is that he liked the attention his antics generated.
Last week, another little grandson arrived. Dylan Michael graced us on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, just after 5:30 p.m. EST. A week earlier, his cousin, Avery Jane, arrived to join her sister and the rest of her girl cousins. I’m guessing Avery will be like the other girls and idolize her grandfather. I’m hoping Dylan will be another grandma’s boy. Heck, I’ll buy as many cars as needed!
When I kissed Daniel on his head this afternoon, I said a little prayer of thanks to my Creator for all His blessings. There is absolutely nothing I would rather do than spend time with my family, especially these little people God brought me.