I've been thinking about Dad a lot lately and how much he would have loved having Grandchildren. I think he would have really gotten a kick out of Ryder, his tantrums, his trucks and his "hug ya til you fall over" kind of love.
Ryder's obsession with cars and taking them apart certainly reminds me of Dad. The way Ryder prefers to pee outside rather than in the toilet would have made Dad smile. (He himself often peed outside as he shared a one bathroom home with four females!!) I think Dad and Ryder would have wrestled, rode the lawn mower, drove the Blazer and built stuff together. I bet they would have caused a lot of trouble at meal times together (between Dad pretending he couldn't stop burping and talking about how one should "eat every potato and pee on your plate" and Ryder insisting on picking up each bit of food and placing it on his fork or spoon, his incessant tooting and his need to touch everyone sitting near him with sticky, Katchuppy hands) there wouldn't have been a dull moment at the table!
I know Dad would have laughed out loud at Paytons "chubby cheeks" and her squishy tummy. She would have spent hours grabbing in vain for his glasses or sucking on the top of his beer bottle. He would have rocked her in his arms and fell asleep watching TV with her on his chest.
He would have given them both "airplane rides" on his feet and "turnovers" on the couch! He would have told me not to worry about Ryder not saying his "Ls" yet. That they would come. He'd say he talks lots and loud just like you, Jeanne. Don't worry! He would have told me that Payton's chubby baby weight is perfect for a baby and that one day she'll be tall and slim just like her Grampa!
He would have had us all over for his birthday dinner of home made burgers and fries with the peel on and he would have let the kids help him blow out the one token candle on his slice of pie.
Though there are no more candles on apple pie slices to blow out, there are enough memories and stories to pass on to last a lifetime! Tonight Dad's Grandchildren will raise their chocolate milk cups in a toast to a man they have never physically met but whom they will grow to know and love just the same!