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Column: GET HIGH ON LIFE

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / March 16, 1998

LOVE THE CHILDREN

Jeanne and I have 15 grandchildren. (Yes, I’m bragging, and also thankingGod for these special gifts.) We have 11 girls and four boys. The oldest is15 and the youngest is 2 years old.

I’ve enjoyed each one of them and have learned a lot just from seeing them grow up. The sad part about seeing them grow up is that after 13 or 14years of age, they have a tendency to step back a little. In other words,they want some space. I can understand that.Many people often ask who is my favorite. In all honesty, they are all myfavorites. When riding with just one of them, my question is, “Who do youthink is Paw-Paw’s favorite grandchild?” Whoever it is always smiles and answers, “Me!” I say, “You’re right, you are my very special grandchild.”They all know that I ask each of them the same question and that the answer is always the same, but it doesn’t seem to bother them.

The other day I had two of them with me, David, 9, and Tiffani, 5. Inaturally told them they were my two special grandchildren. Tiffanismiled and received it like an innocent little girl would. David had heard itso much he just nodded his head in agreement. David then asked, “Paw-Paw, am I a Catholic or a Christian?” I told him, “Well, you attend St.

Peter Catholic School, you were baptized, but do you have Jesus in your heart?” He said, “Yes,” so I said, “Then you are a Christian who goes to a Catholic school.”I told his mother about our conversation, and she shared with me a conversation between David and his dad. The priest, Father Mac, has aroutine of entertaining students who make their First Communion with a visit to the rectory. He gives them ice cream sundaes.His mom was telling his dad about David’s ice-cream experience a few months ago. His dad asked what they had done afterward. “We walked inthe church,” he said sincerely. His dad said with a little sarcasm, “Thatsounds like a fun time.” David, like only a child could answer, said, “Ifyou’re a kid, it is!” As I get older, I can see why I enjoy children more than adults. I alsofinally understand Jesus when He said that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we have to become like little children. It’s too bad they have to grow up sofast.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

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