|My favorite picture of Asher and Mario|
Over Easter vacation I learned how to make Pokémon card booster packs, simple packages of paper-wrapped Pokémon cards, decorated with pictures of the magical creatures that populate the Pokémon world. My teacher was my grandson, Asher, the step-son of my own step-son, Joe. Asher taught me how to fold the white sheets of paper around the cards he would give me, and then glue them together. I also learned to draw Asher’s favorites to scale, but not without some helpful advice from my grandson who watched me.
“It’s important that you show his webbed feet,” he told me as I drew. “Do you see that color? That’s a mutation that is important. It makes him powerful.” Asher is an expert on the assembly of these packs, he knows which ones to put in a single 10-card pack. He also is an expert on how they should be drawn—which made me nervous as I was trying my hardest to draw the strange little creatures.
“How’s this, Asher?” I asked him, holding forth my pencil drawing.
Asher examined it carefully. Then he pronounced his verdict: “I’ll take it.”
“I’ll take it” became my favorite catch-phrase of our Easter vacation. Asher’s life is pretty sweet because he is grateful for the simple things that come his way. “I’ll take it” meant that he was happy with my effort, even if the finished product was not perfect. He thinks like this about most things, and I marvel at this part of his personality. Asher is happy enough to hold the paper packs for a while –and then open it. This starts the whole process over again.
Today Asher is six years old. For some reason, he seems older to me. Ever since he was a toddler, I called Asher the “little man” –a nickname I gave him because of his serious persona.
|Asher last Christmas--right before bed|
When I met Asher, he was eighteen months old. He was already speaking in complete sentences, although he did not speak them to me. He was wary of strangers because his whole world seemed to be wrapped up in his mother, Ariel, my daughter-in-law Lennae’s sister. Ariel and Asher occupied one room of David and Lennae’s house, so when we would visit our kids and grandchildren, we would see Ariel and Asher.
The same was true with everyone who visited, including our son, Joe. Joe visited David and Lennae enough times to become rather close with Ariel. It wasn’t long before I noticed the attraction between them. When Joe and Ariel started dating, I wondered about how it would go over with the small, territorial little man in Ariel’s life. After a brief warming up period, Joe and Asher got used to one another and began a relationship that looked like father and son. A little while later, Harvey was born and the family blended quite nicely.
When you see Joe and Asher together, you see a unique closeness in their relationship, one that reminds me of how things are between Mario and Vince. WhenMario and I started dating, Vince was 18 months old; when we married, Vince was two and a half.
The blessing of a blended family is that everyone in it has a heart that makes room for each other. While not always ideal, the children learn that they have parents on all sides. When it’s working properly, the child feels loved on all sides. While not ideal, the blended family has a special beauty, with members that can adapt to newcomers easier. Ours is such a family, where we are scattered and different, but we all love each other. Asher helps me remember that life is pretty sweet –if we make it that way.
Happy Birthday, Asher!! You are truly a beautiful little man and I am so grateful that I am part of your family!! Blessings and love today and always! Abuela.
|Learning to draw Pokemon --Spring 2017|