She is three. I am 68.
I get up around 5:30 AM each day so I can have that first cup of coffee and read the paper before she comes at 6:30. Except for occasional days when her Mom has holidays off she is with me till 3:15 PM and has been so for over three years. And she has transformed my life.
When I was young and dreamed dreams, I thought of success, riches, travel, and adventure. My dreams were of happiness around the corners of life. Now as round the last decades of my life, I can truly say this little Imp has given me the biggest surprise of all. It is a happiness and contentment beyond those early dreams.
But this is a not a tale as simple as retired man approaching seventy and his beautiful granddaughter. Yes, she is beautiful and tenacious, but she is severely handicapped, and may never walk or talk. That’s right, she will never be the athlete zipping the softball from the mound nor will she be president of her college class. Yet, she has transformed all around her. I get to see her not only through the eyes of her loved ones, but through the eyes of her therapists and doctors and it was through their eyes I first saw the imp. To put it simply she makes them laugh. She makes me laugh all day long.
But the strangest thing of all is that for all my efforts at trying to discern how she does this, I cannot see it clearly. So the way I figure it, if I blither long enough, throw enough words up, sooner or later a few goods ones will stick and I will know.
I do know with great clarity that at my age my ability to attend to her is far beyond what it might have been when I was in my early years. At my age, struggles of polishing off your own identity, collaborating with a young wife doing likewise, chasing a career, and charming bosses and clients have faded into the past. My focus yesterday, today and tomorrow, is her coming and going each day.