Thursdays with Augi

“The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begets a wise child shall have joy of him. Your father and mother will be glad, and she that bore you will rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” ~Proverbs 23:24-26

Thursdays and Fridays have become two of my favorite days of the week. Not because they are the end of the week but because we have our one and only grandson, Augi, on those two days. I get to relive days that have long since passed as my two sons are now 29 and 34. I had forgotten how truly precious the young mind can be and how open it is to new experiences and how it views life through unclouded eyes.

When he walks into our house on Thursday mornings he comes in with the biggest smile you can imagine. He either plays hide and seek or rushes into our arms. I sometimes pretend like I can’t see him and I say “I can hear you but I can’t see you!” He waves his arms and says “I here Tata! I here!” It makes me think of how many children there are in this world that truly aren’t seen or heard and my heart hurts. In my line of work, all too often, I see the effects on neglected children and this makes the moment all the more poignant.

Augi is now three years old and his vocabulary is rapidly growing. For some reason he is now saying “Meanwhile back at the ranch….” which causes me to break out into peals of laughter because this saying must go back nearly 50 years or so taken from some TV western of yester year. How did he learn that? Is he watching old reruns of Bonanza and gleaning the lingo from that great series?

He makes me enjoy the simple things of life. Once, when he was about two, he kept looking at a giant mulberry tree we have in our back yard and said “Climb, climb!” I said “Augi, you’re too little to climb a tree.” He said “No, we climb!” Against my better judgment, I took him in my arms and climbed up several branches before I realized how high up we were and that I was wearing flip-flops! I sat there, 10 or 15 feet in the air in the tree branches, worrying about how we were going to get down. Meanwhile, he is looking at the leaves; spotting nests and birds; and enjoying the tree. The saying “Up a tree with no way down” took on a new meaning to me. I carefully made my way back down with Augi safely in my arms and was relieved to touch mother earth with only my flip-flops slightly askew…. Next time I will know better and wear tree-climbing apparel.

Augi reminds me of things I need to do, like fix my old Ford truck. We go outside and he wants to climb in. He tells me “Fix the truck, Tata!” In the meantime we sit in there and pretend we are going to the circus or rodeo. Along the way we encounter bears, tigers, eagles, elephants and other sundry beasts who all want to go with us to the circus or rodeo. They get in the truck with us and Augi yells out “Put your seatbelts on!” We sing a song as we go on our merry way. I am totally into this imaginary road trip and I am transported to my own childhood days. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I can hardly wait for Thursday to come around again. ~ Chris Baca

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” ~Robert Fulghum

(Thursdays with Augi is a guest post written by Chris Baca, President/CEO of YDI Foundation and YES Housing, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico)

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