It’s another one of those ‘family columns’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Warning: I’m about to start one of my “writing about the family” columns.

I say that since these occasional soap-opera type columns I write not only don’t appeal to some people, but others who love to hammer me on anonymous blog commentaries, have made it very clear that they think I’m about the biggest idiot there ever was to think that anyone—and I mean anyone—would be the least bit interested in my family stories.

But you know what? For some reason, people like the stories. I know that since I honestly get more positive feedback about those columns than anything else I ever write in the paper.

So……with that warning out of the way so you “hate my family column” types can move on to something more interesting on our great L’Observateur pages, I figured it was time to “tell you about my grandchildren.”

Don’t you love that line? “I’d like to tell you about my grandchildren!”

OK, so I’m just sort of saying that, but I hadn’t written about them much and naturally there is always stuff going on between my large pack of four children, and the steadily-growing pack of grandchildren—now at two and soon to be three.

Abby, my first grandchild who is now past two-years-old, has found out that I’m really her pal now that she realizes I am the candy supply in the house.

I’m not the biggest candy freak at our house. For that matter, I’m probably the one who eats less than anyone else. But we have always been a family who likes sweets and you won’t have to worry about coming to my house without finding some kind of sweets—and possibly a whole lot of them.

Abby, naturally, has fit right in and has learned that “Papa” is usually good for some candy when she comes up and gives me that cute little, “candy, Papa?” line.

I will sit in my Lazy-Boy chair, and she will sit right up there with me, as I get some sour Skittles out, spread them neatly on the table next to me, and I will tell her that I will “share” with Abby.

Sometimes I go overboard and sneak her a few after mom has brushed her teeth for the night, and the only problem I have is that Abby runs and announces to the whole house “Candy!” which is something I’m trying to work on with her.

And of course I’ve continued my tradition I had with my daughters, and now take Abby frequently on a Saturday morning to the donut store for chocolate milk and donuts.

She is now old enough to begin understanding a lot of what we say, and when I asked her last Friday night if she wanted to go “bye-bye” with Papa the next morning, and get “donuts” and go to the “park,” she figured it all out.

As soon as she woke up the next morning, her mom said she immediately was telling Jenny, “Papa,” “park,” “bye-bye.”

If you are a grandparent, you’re just nodding your head now since you can’t help but love this stuff.

But you know what? This weekend I discovered my grandson, Jerry Scott III.

Chrissy and Jerry call him “The Boo,” which I haven’t really adapted to yet. Many of you remember my story about the little guy being born premature at only 2 pounds, 4 ounces last December. But when they came to visit for the weekend, it was the first time I finally got a sense of his personality.

The little guy smiled a lot, and is now crawling, and has gained enough weight that he is filled out in the face. It all helped me to feel  like I suddenly connected with my grandson, and you know what? I really liked it.

I know that as he gets a little older, and just like Abby, starts getting out those words that are barely close enough to the real thing to understand, we’ll all just laugh and get the biggest kick out of it.

I was telling “Big Jerry” on Sunday that the great thing about these kids is that we certainly sacrifice a lot for them, but the joy we get from them can’t be touched. Hey, maybe God knew what he was doing when he figured out this parent/child thing.

He knew that at times we would be to our last ounce of patience with them, but then they give you that cute smile, and maybe see you come home from work, running up and saying, “Papa!!”

That does it for me. Now I know I have another new buddy in Abby. And I know I’m going to have another one in “The Boo,” or “Little Jerry” as I call him right now.

And then Jenny will have another baby in a couple of months, and who knows what little personality we will come to love again.

Right now the wife and I find ourselves as busy as if we had a house full of our own children living back with us again. The “big kids” seem to never be far from us, and of course these grandchildren are right there with them.

On Sunday I made my usual big breakfast for everyone. We had a prayer and just thanked God for the bunch that was sitting at the table. Yea, we all feel snowed with the troubles of the world at times. Don’t you?

But there is a great feeling knowing that these kids and grandkids are always there for you, and love you no matter what stupid mistakes you’ve made, or even how goofy you might get as the years pile up.

Yea, “Papa” is guilty of that.

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at