I met with “Ted” yesterday; told him what I wanted to do; he told me he wanted it too. As a matter of fact, he told me that he was “going to ask me to adopt him.” Oh yeah? And when was that going to occur, pray tell? “When the time was right,” he proudly said.
I told him that if he were to be my grandson, then he needed to stop calling me Jack and begin calling me “grandpa” immediately. He did so, although he told me that it “felt funny.” But within the next hour, “grandpa” rolled off his tongue, like I’d been his grandfather forever.
When I brought him back from the visit to his unit, I updated the staff person about what was going on. She – very good move – asked me, in front of him, if that meant that when Ted was acting up, she could tell him that she was going to tell his grandfather. I said absolutely. But, I continued, “I better not find out that you are causing trouble with my grandson.” Guess whose eyes lit up and who got a huge smile on his face? He gave me, and I gave him, a big hug and I left.
I received a report today that “Ted” has been walking around since yesterday smiling and acting as though the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders. Uh huh.
That’s just wonderful. It actually made my day when I heard it.
And then I stopped – and asked myself the question I’ve been asking for nearly forty years:
Why should any kid have to walk around with that kind of weight on his shoulders in the first damn place? Every kid has a God-given right to be loved, and claimed forever, by some adult.