Wednesday, January 28, 2015


We’re about to welcome our twelfth grandchild to the world and into our family, thus making it official. We’re a tribe. Which is a shocking development when it becomes evident how incredibly young and adorable my husband and I are. But what can you do? He’s crazy about me, and we’re crazy about our kids, and they’re crazy about their spouses, and we’re all crazy about those kids.

The crazy escalates when I tell you that our oldest grandchild is eleven. Do the math. Sunday dinners at our house are a raucous, lively affair resembling a frat house party without the alcohol poisoning. 

Or as my husband once remarked after an evening of visiting with our daughter’s rowdy five, “There’s nudity, sword fighting, jousting, and mud wrestling. It’s like visiting a medieval bar.”

Fun. That’s what it is. But we’re not a bunch of whiny, prissy, don’t-be-too-loud, or mess-up-the-house types. We like jousting.

We find jousting fun and . . . joyous. 

As grandparents we bring love and applause to the table. And Zoe, Emma, Conner, Kipling, Sadie, Zachary, Reagan, Griffin, Hero, Scout, Leidy, and the newest of the new in August bring a sense of wonder back into our lives that we weren’t even aware had slipped away a bit over the course of our serious, sensible, self-absorbed adulthoods. 

When Zoe, our first grandchild, was newly hatched and still dazzled by . . . well . . . everything, her father carried her to their car one evening after a visit. She was so young she didn’t even have serious hair. It stuck out in spikes and whirls. Her vocabulary consisted of a handful of single word commands: drink, more, please. She was little. 

That night, she looked up at the glittering night sky and added another word to her childish vocabulary. 

She pointed up and said in a breathless whisper, “Wow.”

Everyone stopped. We looked up and saw again for the first time in a long time what she saw. She was pointing to the whistling wind in the thrashing treetops, under a sky dripping with star shine and moon glow, and it was completely and totally—wow.

And we were reminded to be dazzled.

That’s what they bring to the table: wonder, delight, and wow—also sword fighting. 

How sad that so many grownups these days have been told to be afraid to share their lives with the next generation, worried, perhaps, that all the jousting might knock over the crystal or muss the table settings. 

Linda (Dazzle Me) Zern 

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