EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the A to Z Challenge, an exercise in self-flagellation we bloggers inflict upon ourselves to teach us discipline as writers and to build audience. During the month of April, I’ll be posting 26 times, once for every letter in the alphabet. Looking on the bright side, we can each be thankful this is an English language exercise and not Khmer, the language of Cambodia, which sets the world record with a 74-character alphabet! After some misgivings, I’ve decided to proceed with my initial idea of blogging about the special people in my life whose names begin with the appropriate letter. There will be difficulties, like having more than one special person whose names begin with the same letter, forcing me to choose. And then there are those letters — O, Q and X among them — where no name springs readily to mind. What will I do then? We’ll have to wait and see!
C is for Caleb
You might think writing about my own relatives is cheating, taking the easy way out in the A-to-Z Challenge. After all, it’s not hard to imagine that a writer would have plenty of material to draw upon when writing about the people closest to him.
Certainly it’s true that I have years of impressions about my wife, children, parents and grandparents, but when it comes to my grandchildren, it gets a bit dicey. What do I really know about any of them?
Although I’ve been a grandfather for awhile now, I feel that I don’t quite have the hang of it, and writing about my grandkids is a nerve-wracking experience because, the truth is, I’ve never actually lived with any of them. All I have are scattered impressions — a day spent here, a day spent there — which may or may not be accurate.
And there’s this: I can reasonably expect my grandchildren to survive me by many years, and some day (if people are still reading in 2050), these boys and girls are liable to read what their grandpa wrote about them. That’s certainly something I never had to endure, and the very thought leaves me feeling a bit queasy.
Enter Caleb, not the first chronologically, but the first of six grandchildren, alphabetically. I’ll be touching on some of the others very soon!
If Caleb grows up to become a doctor or a lawyer, what will he think when he reads that his grandfather took one look at him and decided he’d be a major league catcher? I mean, if you’re a baseball fan, how can you look at this kid and not think that he’ll be a catcher?
All my grandkids are great — at least I think they are — but there’s no denying that this kid has a certain panache. He’s at ease in front of the camera, and exudes a quiet confidence that tells me he won’t be afraid to call for the slider in the dirt with the tying run on third, and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Yep, Caleb will be grandpa’s catcher, I’m sure of it, and he’ll get me free passes to all of his games, including the World Series! Unless maybe he becomes a doctor, a lawyer, or the president of the United States!