Monday, July 26, 2010

Grant Alexander

Sixteen years ago we were on our way to Muncie. Our daughter-in-law, Dan's wife seemed to be going into labor. I can't express our excitement on the way there and we casually thought it was a good omen when we saw a beautiful rainbow.

We were there at the hospital when Dan came out and told us we had a new grandson but, he added a little nervously, he seemed to be having some breathing problems - nothing serious. He went back in the room and shortly after I saw a nurse rush from their room to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit across the hall carrying a baby. My heart fell to my feet and being ever the anxious (nosy) one, I casually strolled down the hall and looked in the window. Right under the window was a newborn, our grandson, in a bassinet or maybe an incubator. I'm not sure which because all I saw was a baby with no color, no crying, no kicking or arm-waving no movement at all. Just limp - arms out to the side, eyes closed. A nurse looked up and rushed over to close the curtain. I turned around, looked at my family and fell apart. I sobbed into Dave's arms because I knew that I was seeing more than 'a little breathing problem'.

As it turned out, Grant's lung collapsed right after he was born. He spent at least a week in the NICU and his lung collapsed again after the breathing tube was taken out of his back. One more time and he would have been on his way to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis but one more time never came. He turned the corner and has been 110% ever since.

That was when the rainbow became our totem. If we had only remembered it in the midst of our fear and apprehension, we might have been reassured.

Anyway, few babies have been more loved and anticipated than this one. His dad and mom could not get enough of him and neither could anyone else.

He was such an agreeable little boy. Whenever we went to a restaurant, he was happy to suck on a lemon. I don't think it was because he liked them so much but because he enjoyed the response his sour little faces resulted in from the watching crowd.

He also enjoyed the response this look got from everybody:

He was only about 2 1/2 when his dad was assigned to a unit in Hawaii. Two important things happened while Grant was there.

His dad was promoted to captain:

And his little baby brother was born:

They spent about two years in Hawaii then transitioned to Georgia. As Grant grew he was helpful:

And sweet and thoughtful:

He was also athletic and participated in many sports:

I know the trajectory may not look too great in this one but sometimes form is everything:

One thing that Grant had a real passion for around this time was Legos. If you wanted to be his friend, just buy him a set - the bigger the better. There was nothing he couldn't build:

Including his own inventions:

Obviously a boy of many talents, he soon became interested in music:

Please don't ask this grandmother to explain why she doesn't have a picture of him playing his guitar (his current passion) because that would be cruel. Suffice it to say that I fell short in my picture taking objective (and that doesn't happen very often - obviously lol).

As Grant grew, he changed. First of all, we got to see how handsome he was in glasses.

He was fearless when worms crawled on the train window right next to him!

He participated in rallies for the troops when he was just a little guy.

And welcomed his daddy home from Iraq at our house where he and his family had taken refuge from Hurricane Katrina:

When Grant lived in Kansas, there was another momentous occasion in his life. His baby sister, Tessa, was born.

And after they moved to Colorado Springs, his mom took a picture as he and his sister and brother waited to welcome their dad home again.

Last year Grant changed again.

Here he is in July:

In August:

And in November, after joining ROTC at his high school:

We visited last Spring and got to watch a competition in which he participated, at the Air Force Academy. We could not have been more proud:

And here is our second grandson a couple of weeks ago just before they left after a short visit:

- as handsome and sweet and wonderful as ever. Grant, we love you and hope your sixteenth birthday is AMAZING!


  1. for real HE IS DAN'S OTHER TWIN!!!!!!!! what a nice post, and Happy Birthday, Grant!!

  2. I am glad you have such a big family because I LOVE your birthday posts. Did he leave his family and go off to military school? Or is it just an ROTC program? You sure can tell he belongs to your family. Those genes of yours run strong!

  3. Thanks! I edited the post to reflect that he joined an ROTC program. He's very involved in it and it seems like a perfect fit for him - just like the Army was a perfect fit for his dad and his uncle.

  4. Just like all of your other posts, I could read this forever and look at the amazing pictures forever. I can't even stand how much I want to squish his little face when he was so small and I love seeing the pictures of him growing up, he is such a handsome young man and I agree, especially in the one of him competing in the ROTC competition he looks just like his dad. wow. Happy Birthday, Grant!!!

  5. Oh Mary, you have youself a very handsome young man in the family. He looks so much like
    his dad (and uncle). I love these posts. It is amazing how your love for your family just oozes out of your words. Happy Birthday Grant!

  6. Happy birthday Grant!! I cannot believe how old he looks! And how much he looks like Dan! They are twins! Great post again grandma! I do love your bday posts!

  7. oh he is a handsome young man, and it seems like he has his eyes set on the stars....i can see your pride from here!

    *and i love the name Grant, its our choice for a boy!

    Happy Birthday Grant!

  8. I love your birthday posts! He's such a handsome young man.


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