‘ ” ” ” ” ” ” ‘‘ ‘‘ ” ” ” ‘is for Leighton and Elijah.
Leighton and her brother, Elijah, are the daughter and son of my daughter’s best friend. A sunbeam from the beginning, Leighton’s glow brightens every corner. Elijah has some of his sister’s sunbeam quality, but more subtle.
Morgi, Leighton’s mom and and my daughter, Susan, were single moms at the same time. Chandler and Leighton are like sisters. They did everything together. I helped them color Easter eggs once. Leighton was three-ish and Chandler was four plus. Color was everywhere. What a splendid time they had. “I love you, Papa,” Chandler said.
“I love you, honey,” I responded.
“I love you, Papa,” Leighton echoed.
“I love you, honey,” I said.
“He love me,” Leighton beamed. The joy of her smile touched my heart.
The day Morgi and Ryan were married was a beautiful, sparkling, clear, summer day. A perfect day for an outdoor wedding. Leighton, four years old, with a white basket of flower petals, was angelic in a floor length white dress, her hair done up in a halo of blossoms. During the exchange of vows, Leighton stood, looking sweetly up at her mom and her soon-to-be new daddy. Following the vows, Ryan knelt in front of Leighton. He took her hand. “Leighton,” he said, “I promise to be the best daddy I can be,” then slid a tiny little gold band on to her finger. True to his promise, daddies don’t come much finer than Leighton’s daddy.
Leighton’s little brother, Elijah, was born a couple of years later. Elijah is one of my favorite boys. I like to do things with Elijah. He’s personable, chatty, observant, having something to say about many things. He’s articulate, too, a quality I love in anyone. Especially in kids.
I took my granddaughter, Chloe, and Elijah to a movie one afternoon, to dinner following the movie, and then to swim at Grammie and Papa Dick’s house. At home, Elijah regaled his mom and dad with details of the outing. “They’re great to take, I said. When I asked where they wanted to go for dinner, Elijah said, ‘It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.'”
“Yeah,” said Elijah. “I mean, like Chipotle, Victor’s, BJ’s. No, not BJ’s, ’cause there you have to reservate.”
Without the emotional and intellectual stimulation of grandchildren, my life would be sadly diminished.