It's hard for me to believe, but the one who started me on this wonderful Granma journey will be 10 this week. Wasn't it just yesterday that you used to sit on the counter and play with soap bubbles in the kitchen sink? I can never wash dishes without smiling at the memory. I would put a finger-full of bubbles on your nose, and we would laugh. You would return the favor with a toddler-sized fist-full of bubbles and put them somewhere near my face. You would laugh. Well, I would, too, for the joy of it all, but not until the bubbles were cleared from my mouth and eyes as needed.
Did you know that when your Daddy was born, Grampa and I set forth our favorite names: Colin and Bryce. Your dad got them both, and in that order. I didn't know I just had to wait another generation for my choice to get top billing. You were most definitely worth the wait, Bryce!
Do you remember coming in the door and threading your way through as many bodies as necessary to run and jump into my arms? There was one Thanksgiving when everyone arrived at the same time. It was quite the obstacle course, but you were up for the challenge. When I close my eyes, I can see it all again and again. You were doing exactly what I wanted to do, though your low center of gravity and agility were far superior for the task. That, and it's so much cuter and more socially acceptable for an adorable midget to elbow elders out of the way. Such behavior from Granmas is frowned upon.
The Bryce and Granma duo have seen much joy, and shed a tear or two together as well. We have had the greatest of adventures. Some that we discuss often and with great fondness, like the trips to Door County and to Iowa. There are others that live in infamy, like when you dropped the rock on your toe at the Arboretum and I carried you on my back the rest of the trip - poor, dejected toenail. My back felt your pain.
As we move in to our second decade of loving each other, this is my prayer: That you may remain young enough to glimpse the wonder of us, and that I can be old enough to grow up with you. I'm plenty willing to elbow my way through the crowds to wrap my arms around you. And I'll keep bubbles at the ready for more good, clean fun.
'I love you' doesn't really say how deeply you reside in my heart - how the tentacles of you wind through me, surrounding and supporting my heart. Three small words cannot be expected to say what you mean to me. But they give you a starting point and a reminder.
Happy Birthday, Bryce! I absolutely do love you - now and forever!