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Walter and Me

by Paul Edison-Swift

When Gather invited me to write on the gifts and lessons learned from grandparenting, I jumped at the opportunity. My grandson, Walter, age 21 months, is the light of my life. Now, with the deadline bearing down, I wonder what I was thinking. And so, I’ll apply the first of my list of Walter Lessons right now:

Join the game even if you’re not the best.

As yet, Walter cannot throw a Frisbee. This, however, does not keep him from the game. When a Frisbee is thrown near him, he picks it up and gleefully runs it back to the thrower. So, I’m going to share my thoughts even though I know many Gather readers are better-qualified grandparents to write this article.

Prayer: God, push us outside our comfort zones and into all kinds of new, wonderful experiences.

Childbirth is risky.

When Walter Paul Edison-Albright arrived in October 2011, I was kind of mad at the little guy for putting my only child, Annie, through a very difficult pregnancy and a dangerous 42-hour labor followed by a C-section. As can be expected, once he arrived and my daughter’s condition stabilized, all animosity evaporated, followed by extreme love.

My wife, Sue, and I were privileged to join daughter Annie and son-in-law, Sean, in the labor room. After the surgery that brought Walter into the world, I was in the room where Walter had his first bath, and was weighed and foot-printed. Birth is risky and gritty. What a vulnerable and messy way for God to choose to enter the world.

Prayer: O God, thank you for love so deep, so vulnerable, you risked entering our world as a baby.

Read Paul's other lessons about:

  • Being a grandma

  • Passion

  • More communion!

  • Compassion

  • Sheer joy and abandonment

  • Learning from other grandparents

  • All God's children

Paul Edison-Swift is a web analyst/developer for the ELCA IT department, and spouse to Sue Edison-Swift (“Umma”), father to the Rev. Anne Edison-Albright, and “Baba” (Grandpa) to Walter Paul Edison-Albright. Sally Joan Edison-Albright, grandchild number two, arrived in August 2013.

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