Updated: Dec 21, 2020
A person's a person, no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss)
It was a typical Turpin Family Christmas. My wife prepared her normal fit for a king production of the century; she cooked a hen, roasted a ham; decorated the table, making it look like a million dollars. She bought presents and set up a bounce house in the back yard for the grandkids.
We ate together, told embarrassing stories of past antics, and enjoyed being together. All six children were present, five grandchildren, two daughters-in-law and one good natured son-in- law; the one who was the brunt of many, probably far too many jokes. As evening approached Nanna and I shared the privilege of taking two grandchildren to the movies: Four year old Sydney and three year old brother Wyatt. Alvin and the Chipmunks was the only kid movie playing so we went to see it; don’t tell anyone my secret, but I enjoyed it as much, maybe more, than the kids. We returned home at about nine—bedtime for the grands. The adult children had planned an evening out; they also planned for Nancy and I to babysit. So as our kids bolted out the door at the speed of light, Nanna and Papa assessed the situation and developed our strategy for the evening. Two year old Isabella was asleep so that was easy. Eighteen month old Deacon woke up ten minutes after Issac and Courtney walked out the door—that was a problem. Nanna had six month old Austin on her lap. Sydney, Wyatt and Deacon were wide awake so I put on a very educational movie—Mary Poppins and the three of us lay on my bed watching it. Finally, at eleven o’clock Wyatt and Deacon drifted off to sleep, missing the best part of the movie—Mary Poppins singing a Spoon Full of Sugar helps the medicine go down …. Nanna and the babies were in the back bedroom.
Three of the kids were asleep on my bed, but Sydney “the stay awake all night and torture her feeble grandparents” remained awake long after Mary Poppins faded from the screen. She asked, “Papa, rub my back.” So I rubbed her back and head, hoping she would relax and go to sleep. She asked questions; made comments and my response to most of them, “Shush, close your eyes and go to sleep, Sid. But that was not a part of her game plan. Then she asked, “Papa, did you miss me?” It had been a few months since we had been together. My heart melted. Sid finally drifted off to sleep, but I remained awake thinking that even at four years old, Sydney needed me to affirm my love for her and know that she was important.
Every person has been created with a desire to be desired, a want to be wanted, a need to be needed and a love to be loved. These needs are present at birth. The most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of family (Jane Hull). If a baby’s need for love and acceptance is not met, a void will form in his or her heart, a void that will be filled with uncertainty and vice. One of the priorities for which we were created and for which we exist is to meet the need for love in others; especially the little ones because every child you encounter is by divine appointment.