Maverick’s Birthday

It was a beautiful day in a beautiful place in Pagosa Springs on Saturday. We got up early and drove up from the high desert to join in a celebration of our great-grandson, Maverick’s first birthday. Micheal’s family were there to celebrate along with our family so it was a big and happy event. It is a little hard to believe that a full year has come and gone since getting in the van and driving to North Dakota to see my new-born great-grandson and then bring Darlene home from her flight up to be with Sierra during Maverick’s birth. But it’s real – a year has come and gone, and Maverick is a year old.

Maverick, of course, was the center of attention for the afternoon. He does that really well – he’s never one to fuss, and he puts up with being passed around, and though he clearly has his favorites all of us get to hold and hug on him without much protest. Darlene and I are proud great-grandparents and with that we have joy in seeing Sierra and Micheal do such great jobs as parents.

Joe grilled up burgers and hot dogs for everyone – there was a thousand different kinds of chips and a nice pasta salad and of course birthday cake. We put up with the terrible tradition of watching Maverick deal with his own cake and become covered in neon green icing. After watching this ordeal a bunch of times over the years it has become clear to me it’s for the benefit of the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles a lot more than it is for the joy of the one year-old. But tradition must be served, and it was fun to watch Maverick being encouraged to make a mess of himself and his mother.

It is a wonderful thing to be part of a family. There were two families of us together on this day – together in harmony – enjoying the blessings of children and the bounty of life that God gives freely to us. We do good when we take time and drive miles to participate in being family – it doesn’t seem like an effort – it feels good and right. One of those things that enable knowing joy are the personal bonds with each other created and maintained in the heart.

Of course, there were presents also. Lots of toys and clothes – all of that a little beyond Maverick’s understanding – it’s a joy to give and a way to show the love we have, and it’s all good, and we are blessed from it.

We’ll watch this young boy grow up. We’ve learned they grow up before we know it, even though we watch them all along the way. We have great hopes for it all and there isn’t any of us who wouldn’t do all we can to ensure his happiness. We’ve learned over the years that the children are more of a blessing to us than we can ever be to them – we all pitch in, though, and family is the result and life is good.

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