I sit here and look of pictures at a smiling little boy who turns 18 today. My first grandson, Garret. I will never ever forget the feeling I felt holding him in arms that very first time.
Like any little child, he liked to look in the mirror and watch himself make faces. I did catch a great one of him looking at his smile. I remember this picture so well. He had had a bath and had his jammies on. But it was summer and warm and we went out to sit with Papaw on the back patio and his feet got so dirty that I had to stick them in the sink to wash them when we came back in.
He always loved smiling for the camera when he was smaller.
One year we went to my mom's around his birthday and we had him a birthday party up there as well so he ended up with TWO parties that year.
He loved helping out in the kitchen. This was my first time making home made biscuits. Come to think of it, that was the only time I ever tried them. He helped by rolling out the dough. We got a little crazy with the flour.
Those eyes and that smile of his could always bring great joy to me.
This was his dinosaur stage which lasted a very long time. The child was the most knowledgeable person about dinosaurs I ever met. He's chipping away at a rock that was supposed to have fossils in it.
One of his many outings with me and his Aunt Di. This one was at Dollywood.
One of our outings to Rain Forest Adventure. He volunteered to hold a snake. Which made me want to freak out but he had no fear whatsoever. Of course, this is the same child on another visit who volunteered to hold a tarantula as well. Fearless.
Family gatherings at our house were always so much funny because you had no idea what he would say or do next. Of course, that's still true today.
One of his many funny photo faces.
Sometimes it would take many tries to get a good smiling photo and sometimes, you just took what you got and were happy he even let you take the photo.
He's an outdoorsman for sure. Today, he loves to hunt and fish. That's his favorite past time.
One thing you can always guarantee is that there will be laughter when he's around. I don't remember him ever being a difficult or moody child. He enjoys life and lives in the moment.
Although the teen years was when he started his serious "don't take my picture and I'm not smiling if you do" stage. That's when you sneak in to a room, snap and run and be happy with what you get.
Fortunately, that stage didn't last long.
Of course, I can't promise he was smiling for the camera every time I got that smile. It just meant I got better at catching the right moment when he wasn't looking.
It's easy to get him to smile nowadays and I think that's because his girlfriend Hannah makes him smile. It's hard to believe he's dating and heading off to college this year. But one thing I do believe and that is that no matter how old he gets, he will always be Mamaw's little buddy. Happy birthday, Garret. I hope you have an amazing 18th birthday and wish you the very best as you journey through the next stage of your life.