My oldest grandchild is 5 years old today…almost to the minute. What joy he has brought into our family. On that warm spring day five years ago, I had left Carrie in the capable hands of her husband and father to scoot out to Wal-Mart for a few goodies, including some beautiful flowers for the soon-to-be little mother. Upon my return to the hospital, I stepped off the elevator to the sound of Carrie’s screams and the sure knowledge that her little boy had decided to make his entry before any of us were really prepared. That’s a post for another day. This post is for Braden.

His Grandfather Crolley and I stood outside of the hospital room listening to the cries of our daughter and the murmuring of the doctor and Rich. What was taking so long? How much longer could Carrie endure this? I was so uptight and anxious that I couldn’t even speak, a rare occurrence for me. AT LAST, we heard Braden cry, low and soft at first and then loud and vigorous. I cried right along with him, tears of joy, relief, and happiness. Finally, we were admitted into the room, and there they were: a family of three, Carrie holding her baby boy and Rich with his arms around them both. The rest of the day is a blur. I know that she (they) had several visitors and that I had to keep looking at Braden to make sure he was breathing and REALLY HERE.

Now he’s 5 and what a grown-up boy he is, a big brother to his little sisters, a recent preschool graduate, a future rock and roll star, and a blue-eyed hamburger lover who’s won all of our hearts. He likes to draw (quite the little artist), to read and write, to play games, and to run and swim and just in general to enjoy life to the max.