February 1, 2005 Carter was born, I was there about a half hour after his birth and the very first time I held him I felt like a grandfather. His Mommy and Daddy asked me what I wanted to be called, I said I don't want to be called Grandpa, I would rather be called Papa, so I became Papa to a little guy who made a drastic change in my life.
I have so many great moments to remember since his birth but one I will never forget happened one time when a lot of the family was meeting at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I was outside waiting for Carter to come with his Mom and Dad. He had not been walking very long. I was on one side of the street and he was on the other, when the traffic cleared he pulled loose from his Mommy and came running across the street yelling Papa, Papa, and jumped into my arms, with tears running down my cheek I looked up and said now I know for sure there is a God. That also assured me I was a Papa for sure.
At work one day we were talking about the movie The Bucket List. Some one asked me if I had a bucket list. A list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. I said I have been so lucky in my life, great family, great friends, traveled a lot, seen a lot, done a lot, so my bucket list is not very long. I said I want to live long enough to make enough of an impression on Carter that when he gets old enough to realize that I was not his biological Papa that it won't make any difference to him. And if I am lucky enough to get to Heaven and one day I am looking down and some one asks him about his Papa if he says my Papa was a cool guy, that would make my bucket list complete. Now that Griffin has come along I hope the same applies to him also.
Before Carter started pre-school and now kindergarten he used to go to work with me on my part time job. He had just started to walk and was still in diapers. He enjoyed being with Papa and the people in my office and along my route each day just fell in love with him. They would ask him, is this your Grandpa and he would say no, that's my Papa. LOL
I picked him up from school one afternoon and his teacher said when he came into class that morning the first thing he said to her was my Papa is picking me up today. I can't tell you how good that made me feel.
Joan told me one day, Joe you do realize as he gets older his priorities are going to change and we won't be as important to him as we are now. I told her I do realize that but before that happens I want to have enough memories saved up to last me the rest of my life.
Every time he calls me Papa it still is such a beautiful word coming from him. He knows I am his Papa but he also thinks I am just a big over grown kid that wants to have fun with him. When we are together and doing our thing he always seems to have a lot of fun, but I think Papa is having just as much or maybe even more fun than him LOL
Cuddling with Papa New Years Eve
I could write a book about what having Carter in my life has meant to me. For those of you who have received the hundreds of pictures of him I have sent you over the years, read all the praises I have written about him on my BLOG, in my E-Mails, in my conversations with you about him bear with me I am really going to wrap this up. LOL
I have loved going to his T-Ball games, his soccer games, and his basketball games. I get very emotional when I have attended his Christmas Pageants, his graduation from kindergarten, etc.
In other words what I am trying to say is he has been such a blessing in my life, he has brought me so much happiness it is hard to put it in words.
He is such a good kid, so polite, so caring, so helpful, always smiling, and so out going. He loves playing the role of Big Brother, and is a big help for his Mommy with Griffin.
He has had such great guidance from Barb, Brett, Susan, and Bill his other grandparents, from his loving Nana, and hopefully from Papa.
Carter, your Papa loves you so much, remain the same wonderful kid you are today and your future will be unlimited. Papa hopes to be around a long time o share some of it with you.
Just a few of the hundreds of pictures we have of him at different stages of his young life.
HAPPY 6 TH birthday Carter.
Guideposts Magazine asked for pictures to celebrate their Fourth Of July edition, out of the whole country they picked only 5 pictures and Carter's was one of them,
With Rachel Ray
Ok That's All Folks