He is strong enough to make up for being the only grandpa my children have.
I always thought the kids would be much older before they realized they should have two grandpas. They would ask questions that I didn’t want to answer so I would brush them off. This worked for a while. Until Gavin insisted. So far he’s satisfied with me telling him the grandpa he does have is the only one he needs. I will tell him what he needs to know about my dad when he is much older.
Grandpa loves them so much. That’s all they really need.
Grandpa and Gavin Washington Christmas 2003
Parker and Grandpa San Francisco January 2008
Grandpa holding a sleeping Gwen for the very first time California April 2008
So many people get uptight when they think about their in laws. Not me. I don’t know what I did to deserve the family I married into. We have the best relationship.
I remember the terror I felt 10 years ago when I met Heath’s parents for the first time. It was one of those what have I done moments. My mom had always told me to date for at least a year before getting engaged. Heath and I dated for a month. And my mom also told me in no uncertain terms that when I marry someone I marry his whole family too so I better know what I’m getting myself into. I met Heath’s parents after we got engaged!
But you know what, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Dawn and Barry are the best mother and father in law a person could ever ask for. I think they hugged me when we first met at baggage claim in the SeaTac Airport. I expected it. But by the end of the trip they hugged me goodbye and I didn’t mind. Kind of a big deal for me. I’m not the hugging type.
I remember the first time I cried when they left. They had come for Grandpa Westover’s funeral in Idaho. I remember how much fun we had together during their stay and how grateful I was to be able to attend that funeral. I learned so much about Grandpa Westover.
Barry taught me to love football. It’s true. There was a football game on during that first visit 10 years ago. I knew football was a big deal in this family so I thought I’d give it a try. Barry and Heath were so patient and so willing to explain the game to me. Barry used to play high school football and I love hearing his stories. The one where he scooped water into the face mask of an opposing player is the best!
Heath is just like his dad. I have never once seen Barry get mad at anyone. Barry fascinates me with his color blindness. He has good taste in restaurants. Azteca and Alligator Soul being two of my favorites. I love that he pours Sprite on his mint ice cream. I love that he falls asleep in front of the TV every night because I do that. I love that he was a little rebellious in his time and stole the Phillips 66 sign because that was the year he graduated.
I love that he ran at a track meet because Garrett started running track. I love watching him with his grandkids. He is so patient, so kind, so loving. I love that he hangs up their art work in his office. I love that today is his birthday so I have an excuse to gush about him! Happy Birthday Barry.
I think about what a wonderful father he has been to his boys and what a wonderful grandpa he is and I think how lucky are my kids! A grandpa who loves them is all they need. They have one. He reads to them, listens to them, plays with them, and above all he loves them.
This is Gavin’s picture for Grandpa. He is fishing with Grandpa, something he talks about doing all the time. Grandpa is on the far left and his shirt says I heart CA. Gavin’s shirt says “nice.” You can see the two blue fishing lines going down to the water. There are two very large pink fish in the water. Just above the black waves you can see the smiley faced worms on the fish hooks. The Space Needle is next to Gavin. And there is a smiley faced sun in the upper right hand corner just above Gampa and Me!
This is Parker’s picture. I love how Grandpa looks just like Grandpa! So cute. Parker was all upset that he forgot to draw himself. I told him that he’s not as tall as Grandpa so he should fit in there just fine. It could be like Grandpa has his arm around Parker. Parker turned out a little monochromatic but I think it looks great. On the back, since it’s kind of showing through the scan, it says: To Grandpa I love you Parker
Gwen is a true modern artist. Isn’t her use of color fantastic? On the back it says: To Grandpa love Gwen
I held her hand while writing Gwen. She was very pleased with that.
Grandpa should get his pictures in the mail soon. Happy Birthday!