There was a time when I thought I had all the grandchildren allowed me. My son had a couple of kids; my daughter had her son. I figured I'd sit back and wait for great-grandchildren.
Then my daughter divorced her first husband and married her second. And shortly thereafter, Monica was born.
I was blessed to be able to spend lots of time with my first grandchild, Arick. He holds a piece of my heart that nobody else will ever claim, and I still melt when he hugs me.
His sister, Amber, was such a sweetie. I loved to hear her chattering to herself as she played with Barbie and "Kim"... she never quite got Ken's name right.
Then came my daughter's firstborn, Brett. He was a solemn child who was born knowing how to pout. Amazing. Tickle him as you might, he never cracked a smile.
And I assumed I'd have no more grandchildren.
Monica was the first surprise.
And my daughter and her husband were willing to share her with me for 24 hours each week!
I'd bring her home with me on Wednesday nights and get up with her during the night when she cried (with Cliff saying, "Why are you doing this?")
I'd tell him, "So she'll know who I am."
Monica amazed me by recognizing the letters of the alphabet at the age of two.
She's going to attend a dance Friday night, and tells me she'll be hanging out with all her "peeps". She turned eleven today.
Happy birthday, Monica!