Surrender 44: Beautifully Unique

I had the opportunity today to spend time with two of my five grandchildren, along with daughter Elissa and son-in-law Josh. Papa Greg joined me on these adventures. One of the joys of being a grandparent is celebrating the accomplishments in the lives of these precious kids. 


The first event was an award ceremony at Missouri Southern State University, where granddaughter Aubrey was honored. During halftime of the Lady Lions basketball game, elementary and middle school children from Joplin and the surrounding towns received certificates and recognition for academic excellence. 

Two students from each class in these area schools were nominated by their teachers to receive the Most Improved Student awards. The kids not only had to demonstrate excellent academic progress, they also had to possess the desire and the self-motivation to excel. 

I’m so proud of Aubrey, who is a first grader, for being her bright little self and desiring to be the best she can be as she learns. Aubrey’s mom, little brother AJ, and Nana Beth and Papa Tom were proud spectators along with Greg and me. Her daddy had to work today, so it was my honor to be present as she was recognized. 


While Aubrey’s mom and other grandparents took her out for a celebratory lunch, Greg and I drove to Pittsburg, KS to do the same with grandson Jonathan, Elissa and Josh.  Jonathan, who is a Boy Scout, recently won first place in his troop’s pinewood derby competition. He also was awarded the Most Unique award. 

That win qualified him to participate in the regional pinewood derby races today, held at the Meadowbrook Mall in Pittsburg. Although he didn’t win that competition, I’m so proud of Jonathan for all of his creative work, his determination and his follow through on this project. He’s a smart young man who likes to compete. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future. We arrived just after the races completed and enjoyed a festive lunch at Del Rio. 

I love my grandchildren, all five of them, and I am proud of each one of them as they discover who they are and what their gifts and talents are. I am reminded this evening, as a winter advisory has been issued with the possibility of light snowfall, that they are each as beautiful and as unique as snowflakes. No two snowflakes are alike, and no two grandchildren are either. I am blessed, and grateful to be their Yaya.