One of the things we human beings learn at a very early age is to live vicariously. It’s what keeps a child on the edge of her seat when the trapeze artist leaves the safety of her own swing and spins into the arms of the barrel-chested guy hanging on the swing across the way. When she is a teenager watching the young actor remove his t-shirt her heart races and her palms sweat as she imagines being the ingénue. The vicarious experience motivates readers to turn pages. Years after our bodies atrophy, it gets us to spend hard earned money to watch some juiced up athlete make tens of thousands of dollars for every swing of the bat.
|Simon is the center of attention for Aunts Heather & Courtney|
and Mommy Beth on their left--your right in the photo.
So, when my younger daughters decided to fly to Milwaukee to see their older sister and their new nephew, naturally my heart went with them. While their mother and I had the privilege of seeing Simon in the flesh first, the amount of change in size and disposition that took place over the course of the past six weeks renders the child they get to hold and love a different individual than the one we met. For Simon the opportunity to be cuddled by these adoring aunts is nothing less than the attention he feels he deserves. After all, he knows his big smiles will melt their hearts no matter how many times he fills his diapers. He also knows that while his mother’s sisters may have the same curves she and his father’s sister have, only Mom has the breasts to sustain him through this portion of his life.
|Simon learns to share the limelight with a Wisconsin favorite|
--a Green Bay Packer helmet hood ornament.
Being the father of three beautiful and talented daughters, the next best thing to spending time with them is seeing them take time to spend with each other. While Simon cannot appreciate how difficult it is for his mother and her sisters to leave their professions even for a short visit, as one fortunate to have completed his time as an employee of a worthy profession his grandfather knows full well the stress and shares this, too, vicariously.
Setting all tensions aside, Grandma Debbie and I are thrilled to be living in a time when we can share some aspects of their visit through social media. We have looked forward to regular postings on both Facebook and Instagram.
|Simon loves all his aunts.|
A little more than a year ago, we visited our great-nephews in Florida for the first time. Then, we were lucky enough to see the younger one, Isaac, when he came to Wisconsin with his parents at the same time we visited last October. Spending time with Isaac, Jennifer and Nelson in my estimation influenced his great-aunts, my sisters-in-law, Kathy and Candee, to visit Simon, their great-nephew when their nieces were in town. They made the hundred-mile journey from Appleton to Milwaukee last Saturday.
While the vicarious experience is better than no experience at all, it pales in comparison to being there. As I write this post we have no specific plans to see Simon. No doubt, this is a shortcoming of being an absentee grandparent. We will have to work on this situation and inform you of its resolution.