Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Baby's a Senior

Everyone always told me when I was young that time would go by so much faster when I was older, and they didn't lie.
That summer, Allie and Gentry were both playing Mighty Mites, so most days it was just me and Landry Dale on the hill.
(Well, me and Landry and occasionally the neighborhood children who would wonder in and ask me what was for lunch... )
We took endless walks on Picnic Hill.  His legs would fly as they pumped down past Mrs. Toler's house, and I'd gaze over the hillside where my miracle car accident happened.
I'd be tired, but not him.
We'd walk back up to his front yard and I'd pitch baseballs and throw footballs.
Always a ball with that one.
His competitive spirit started young. Always the smallest grandkid, he made up for his size with his tenacity.  There wasn't a game that he didn't want to win... it didn't matter if it was flag football or a video game.

That competitive spirit may have been fueled by his older siblings and cousins... because he was always good for a few laughs when he got mad.
Landry was born following a tornado, and that always makes me smile. 
He came into this world and has left his mark. Always quick with a comeback, he'll just grin that grin and I'll see him like he was that summer. 
"Just a few more throws, Aunt Lauren."
"Landry, I'm your cousin.  The other Lauren is your Aunt Lauren."
"Oh, yeah..."
Always Grandma's favorite, he quickly became one of my favorites, too.  (It's amazing to look at me and my cousins and see how different we all are... and I love them all for different reasons.)
He makes me smile.
I think he makes the referees smile, too. 
One came over tonight and told Nora, "You'll have to pay more money for prom this year, to get him a date because of that hair."
He's his own kid... always has been.  
I don't know if I'm getting sentimental in my old age or not, but tonight as I watched him on the basketball court, I just about teared up.
It seems like yesterday that he was taking naps in my lap watching PBS Kids.
Just yesterday...
but time really does pass.
Tonight he fired threes and drove into the basket.  His confidence is easily seen.  I joked with Nora that Grandma must have prayed extra hard for his self-esteem.  Nora said maybe he had the self-esteem Wallace needed.
And as I watched him dance on the floor waiting for the ref to make a call, smiling and feeling just as full of himself as a person could. I realized that maybe, just maybe, that self-esteem is from our family...

Maybe it really was prayed for, but maybe it's because he knows he's loved.
THE grandbaby.
Worth rushing to town to get McDonalds on game day.
Something special, that boy... he knows it.
And I'm pretty sure we won't let him forget it, either.
Best of luck, Lan, on your Senior year.  Watching you play makes me remember why I'm a baskeball fan.

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