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By Jesse Utz 

What happened to us?

Jess, shut up!


Last updated 11/13/2019 at 9:49am

When this paper comes out there will be 35 shopping days until Christmas, and eight days till Thanksgiving. (Pause to let that sink in) OK, breathe. In the past at our house, we would be making lists consisting of ammo, kitchen tools and automotive tools. We could even dig a little deeper on the depth chart of possible gifts and say stuff like, Kanye West album, a recliner or a new pair of boots. But things have changed this year.

We recently bought a luxury kitchen. No, not for our home. Well, kind of; it was for the little ones. We found it on the local virtual yard sale and made the purchase. Sunday was the day of construction and a little over four hours later with the assistance of a princess, the dreamy kitchen was complete with vegetables and bread to be sliced with a wooden knife that would be considered a shank in the prison system. When Ali and Cairo put their precious hands on the dinner maker that was just their size, the flood of ideas was overwhelming for gifts this year.

As the Google search erupted, many things were found that would add to this kitchen, including a child-size Kitchen Aid Mixer, a mini Traeger BBQ, a toaster, a Keurig, eggs, complete with yolks, a mini pizza oven with pizza, and it goes on and on. All of a sudden, all our thoughts went to Christmas morning and seeing the tots opening presents and adding to their Rachel Ray and Bobby Flay dreams of cooking us our Christmas dinner someday. All of a sudden, our lists faded to black, and it was all about the grandchild, the cousin and the niece and nephew.

What just happened? I always heard that when you become a grandparent everything changes. But this is crossing the border over into the insane side of things. The thing is, when you look at the smile of the granddaughter, and she looks at you with those eyes, the reality of what is important rocks you. When you see your nephew figure something out and clap his hands at his own victory, something melts deep within your soul. We realize something bigger is at play, and we could learn a big lesson about ourselves. Sometimes it is not about bringing ourselves up. It is about them being lifted up to achieve, to grab the brass ring. A delicate thing occurs that must be nourished and cultivated. It must be guarded and at the same time be untamed. We must start letting ourselves become less selfish with our own fleshly desires and focus on the next generation. Not to spoil, but to give, so they can stand upon all achieved by us and the past.

So, what did happen? Well, for me, I realized that the future is wide open, not just for the two angels hanging around my place, but for all the youth. We as grandparents, parents, community members and family must do everything in our realm of possibilities to ensure growth, maturity, awakening and dream hood. We must first teach the next generation everything we know and then push them higher and further than they can even imagine. We have to allow them to stand on our shoulders and reach for stars that we have never seen. That can be hard and difficult to even fathom, but we must nonetheless.

Sometimes we can be selfish. Maybe that was just for me, but I know that if we can focus on the future, even one we may not be in, then we not only let things fall off us that shouldn’t be there but we strengthen our bloodline, as well. They may stumble, but we will catch them when they do and push them back up into the stars.

It is amazing the dreams a child’s toy can unleash on a person. Just let your mind wander to what the toy feels like in a child’s heart. A child’s joy is a wondrous thing; may we all feel a piece of that daily. I’m Jess saying!


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