The Gift of Grandchildren

Almost alone among our college friends, Dick and I have enjoyed the gift of grandchildren for a good, long time now. On February 10, 1991, our eldest daughter and her husband started us on this journey when Benjamin Scott Trautwein Fischinger was born by emergency c-section. That dramatic beginning marked the start of a most surprising and delightful journey for us, one that continues to amaze and gratify. So this year, astounding as this sounds!, our number-one grandchild is living with his grandparents while enrolled in the film studies program at SBCC. And he happened to be here on his birthday – number 19. And he happened to have just about a 90 minute window in his very busy schedule as a member of a documentary team from the college who were fully booked most of the last two weeks filming interviews at the increasingly international Santa Barbara Film Festival. So we took him out to brunch to celebrate God’s great gift of BEN to this world.

He ordered the Boathouse Signature Breakfast and seemed to enjoy every bite – crabcakes benedict on a field of breakfast potatoes. Great food and a great view on what turned out to be an absolutely spectacular day for breakfast at the beach.

What an amazing privilege it is to be able to live long enough to enjoy watching your children’s children grow to adulthood. Each one of our six grandsons and soon-to-be two granddaughters (February 25th is coming soon!) is an absolute gift of God and brings a unique gift mix to our family and to the world. We can hardly wait to see how each will unfurl those gifts, those remarkable personalities, as they grow into the people God has designed for them to be.
Our Wednesday Birthday Brunch was followed on Friday evening by a larger family gathering for dinner at Stella Mare’s and Ben’s favorite cake at our house afterwards. We missed Joy’s family – traveling with a boy in a body cast is difficult at best, impossible in Friday traffic! Rachel (carrying baby girl #2) lit the candles and Ben blew them all out while the rest of us cheered him on. Hard to believe 19 years have flown by.
Meanwhile, I am happy to report that our beautiful boy with the broken leg is slowly healing (got his huge cast cut down about an inch last week) and enjoyed a play-date with his almost-the-same-age (one month apart) cousin Grace. The huge cast remains until at least March 4. So we thank you again for your prayers and humbly ask you to continue to remember Griffin and his family as they flex to care for him.
You know – we got into this family-building business when we were ridiculously young and inexperienced. And we’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. But, WE ARE SO GLAD we started early enough to enjoy this whole span of ages, stages and phases – from newborn to nineteen – while we’re still (relatively) young enough and healthy enough to truly relish it all. Who knew it could be so wonderful??

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