I could not decide which blog I should post this on. This is a post I have thought about writing many times. A post that I will have run by Amanda before I post it. There are things that are just family business, but I am hopeful this post will encourage someone. I have received many emails and comments about PARKER, THE BABY THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING. If you have read my blog for anytime you know Parker is our oldest “little” who is eleven and not so little anymore. It literally seems like yesterday that my then 18 year old Amanda, sitting in our pastor and good friends office, both of them crying and looked at me and said “Mom, I’m pregnant”! I can tell you a thousand things that would have rocked my boat more than that. She will confirm to you that my reaction was not much more than, “We need to get a nursery decorated”! And we did. I had just finished tree season and so from that very ordinary day in January until May all we did was plan, decorate, dream and eat. We laugh at how many times she and I ate out. Within a week we knew it was a boy. And this was a boy that I could not wait to get my hands on. From that moment in the delivery room when I got to cut the cord, I have been crazy in love with this boy, a love I never knew existed. Thank you Amanda for handing me that precious gift. Parker was our only grandchild for seven years. When Greg married Dana, we were blessed with Austin. Then eight years after Parker, Jack came on the scene…and then the next year we were blessed with Grayson. BUT PARKER had a LONG TIME where he was the one and only. He and Amanda lived with us the first five years of his life. He is the meaning behind the title of this blog. He DID CHANGE EVERYTHING.
In other posts I have told you all about him. He is brilliant, he is well traveled, he knows the Mouse well, he is kind, he is well mannered, he is handsome, he is a little adult that takes being a big brother to Jack very serious.
He said tonight, “Grammy doesn't Jack have the cutest laugh” and he does. Parker bears the name of both my grandfathers, his great-grandfathers. He is called by my Moms maiden name, his Moms middle name. There is no doubt in my mind he will be a world changer. Yep, he is pretty near perfect, at least this Grammy thinks so. I have told you all that before. I have also told you how protective we were when Amanda married. How scared we were. In some cases, how we needed to back off. Amanda knew who she loved. I just needed to be sure that person knew how to love and parent Parker. I don’t have to tell you I had some pretty hard qualifications. Amanda married Micah when Parker had just turned 8. (I think) You can read the Micah post here. I got this one wrong…and everyday I am thankful that I did. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Parker would ever be such great friends with the man that married his Mom.
What I have never talked about is Parker’s Dad. Actually Parker gets really lucky here. He has two. He has never wanted for male role models in his life. He has an Unc (Greg) that has loved him as much as his own from the day he was born. He has two grandfathers that think he is “the best thing that ever happened to them”! He also had the privilege of having his great grandfather in his life for his first eight years. This boy is blessed. And he should be spoiled and I guess he is, but most days I see nothing that would give that away.
BUT he does have a Dad that he loves very much and that loves him very much. This next part will just be from my perspective. (just a disclaimer since its my blog) Have we always had a great relationship? NO
Have I always wanted Parker to have a relationship with his Dad? Yes
Amanda had to grow up overnight. Brad had a choice and for a some years he chose a different path. A path I hated and I think he would tell you one he hated. Never was he totally out of Parker’s life, but at times on a very limited basis. I think there was a period of time I gave up hope. There was a period of time I did not really care. It was easier that way. Did we have problems? Absolutely!
Brad moved away from our town for a few years and in that time I saw a huge change. I am sure he would tell you I watched him closely, always afraid that it was just temporary. It took a couple of years for me to really think it was a REAL CHANGE. Now that it has been more than a couple of years it makes me so happy when I see how much he loves Parker and how Parker is so proud of him. I think in many ways Parker saved his life. This is the bonus. He and Micah have become friends and do lots of things with Parker together. They have been on a weekend camping trip, watched ballgames, shared meals…that means everything to Parker. Amanda and Brad have a good relationship…So what was once a not so great situation, to put it mildly, has totally changed. And in my book, that’s a good thing. Meet Brad, Parker’s Dad.