Rock-A-BYE BYE the Years By Lori A Alicea

You don’t think about it during the bedtime hour while rocking your grandchild to a peaceful sleep. That gentle back-and-forth sway of the chair accompanied by a grandmother’s quiet whisper of Rock-A-Bye-Baby, together circling the moon and starry skies along the way to a child’s land of sweet dreams.
Me kissing Kizzie head USE THISYou don’t think about it while staring in the stillness of a child’s face, whose long eyelashes flutter between rest and slumber resembling butterfly wings flittering in a grassy field of wild flowers.
Kizzie no thumb USE THISYou don’t think about it when a child’s pacifier, security blanket and lullaby of a grandmother’s heartbeat calms their innocent worries.
Kizzie in chair sucking thumb USE THISYou don’t think about it when a child’s piggies and a child’s sweet toes have all been counted like sheep to be whisked away to sleep.

It’s in this moment when a grandmother stares into the innocent face of her sleeping grandchild, slightly grazing those rosy cheeks and ears with her fingertips and gently kissing the top of this precious child’s head when she realizes that all her grandbabies are no longer babies anymore.
Kizzie asleep USE THISIt happens just that fast.
It happens when you least expect it;
It happens when you close your eyes for just a second;
It happens when you look the other way momentarily;
It happens though you think that day is years from now.
Yet that bittersweet day finally comes and it has happened to us.
We bid Rock-A-BYE BYE the Years.

Our ten grandbabies are no longer babies anymore.
Kizzie by rose bush USE THIS 1Though our youngest grandchild hasn’t let go of the comforts she enjoyed as a baby just yet, her pretty pink boots tells the story of the steps she’s beginning to take into a little girl’s life.
Kizzie by rocks 10Climbing new heights and discovering her world revealed in the smallest of details, this child is growing up, no longer a baby anymore.

She’ll steal the hearts of many as she already has this grandmother.
Kizzie dressHow I wish Our Rock-A-Bye memories made together could somehow remain in pause, at least for a few extra unexpected trips around the moon.
Kizzie asleep USE THISHow I wish I wouldn’t have been caught up in the chaos of bottles, dirty diapers and sleeplessness during the midnight feedings when the other nine grandbabies had their time with me in the rocking chair. I know I cradled and adored them as they all slept in my arms.

Yet I wish my lullaby playlist would have had a few more selections.
I wish I wouldn’t have been so concerned about the kitchen sink full of dishes or the laundry billowing over to the floor.
I just wish I had believed when others told me that time with them as babies escapes as quickly as the spoken words from our mouth.

May the memo get passed around to enjoy the moments, however big or small, of every day with them.
Savor the little things with them.
Capture their world in a time capsule and bury it in your heart.
RSVP as their favorite invited guest to a child’s tea party.
Remembering it doesn’t take much to make them smile.
Another trip to the park; a walk to the ice cream store.
It won’t cost you anything but being present in their life.

Because one day, a day closer than imagined.
One day where swings and slides will no longer interest them.
One day on the other side of the park, where a new field of their life awaits them to discover.
kizzie walking with sisters USE THISA day you’ll bid Rock-A-BYE BYE the Years.

A “CHIPS AND POP” KIND OF DAD By Lori A Alicea

Daddy’s are one of a kind.  Not a cookie cutter in the bunch.  Their personalities outnumber the thirty-one flavors at the ice cream parlor.  Dads come in all sizes and shapes.  Dads get up every morning to jobs that are as night and day from the other.  In my family alone we have a control room operator, mill guy, custodian, truck driver, dentist and a funeral director; all million dollar hard workers, dedicated at providing the best care for their families.

Daddies are the centerpiece of the home.  The table set isn’t complete without their presence centered in the hearts of their children.  The impact they have follows through the generations.  The hand-print they leave doesn’t involve money or lavished gifts.  Their legacy will be written in memories broken down in moments, small pockets of time spent for no other reason than “just because.”

A few months ago at their papa’s 60th birthday party, the grandchildren were asked to recall their fondest memory spent with their grandfather.  Having ten grandchildren with eight that could talk and two babies unable, all gave vivid memories framed in the “little things”.  Our seven year old Ethan said it best, “What I love about my papa is that he comes to my games and buys me chips and pop at the Dollar General.”

granchildren at birthday party

While there is nothing wrong about being that hero in your child’s eyes, they really just want you to be that “chips and pop” kind of dad, making memories with them framed in the “little things”.

I can’t imagine any child not treasuring the time their dad spent helping them conquer the two-wheeler without those training wheels.  Dad passing on his confidence in them that the world is their stage; they can do anything; they can do this!

Father's Day Picture 2 Kyle helping Ethan Ride a Bike

Boys sure watch their daddy’s with eyes following them everywhere.  They want to be like daddy morning, noon and night.  It’s these moments that write the pages and chapters of a “father – son” best seller.

Father's Day 3 Ethan Shaving

Daughters are smitten with their daddies also.  Daddies are their only boyfriend before that man one day sweeps her off her feet.  Until then, little girls love simple time with their daddy; like time spent together on her rope swing, a swing daddy made especially for her and moments for them.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Daughters love to tag along, having daddy all to herself.  Hand in hand she follows daddy’s footsteps, trusting his lead along the way.  These walks around the block will follow her the days of her life, never tiring a stolen moment with dad.

ayva and daddy walking

Blossoming into a princess, daddy is her prince charming when he serves his “lady in waiting” in the glamour she delights in.  A precious few minutes together, to be remembered a lifetime by daddy’s little girl.

Father's Day Picture 1 Nathan painting Brystols Nails

Memories don’t cost anything but time and your heart.  Memories are dividing up your collection of rods and walking to the pond with your grandchildren a few streets a way to see what fish are biting.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Memories are made with your eyes beholding the child God gave to a daddy.

daddy child love

Memories that children remember will not revolve around daddy’s money or the lavish, but the moments he framed in the “little things”; their hero dressed as a “chips and pop” kind of dad.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Daddy’s, your little girls will only be little for a short period of time.  They are Cinderella’s wanting you to teach them to dance for her ball. One day you’ll blink and realize she’s all grown up.  The days pass by so quickly.

Frame a moment with her and teach your Cinderella to dance.

Below is an impromptu moment between a papa and his granddaughter,

Their Cinderella Moment Together.

Video Courtesy of Debbie Hritz
Song:  CINDERELLA, By Steven Curtis Chapman