I don’t even know where to begin with your letter. For every grandchild, I write them a special letter from me on or around their birthday. I started it with your cousins Hudson and Harper. Now, it’s your turn.
I think I have been expecting you for a little more than 31 years. When your momma was born, I KNEW that one day she would have a little girl who would bring as much joy to her as she brought to me. Your momma is the definition of “Daddy’s Girl” — always has been, always will be. Based on my very early observations, I have a feeling you are going to be a Daddy’s Girl too. That’s a good thing. As you grow, I will teach you how to use that to your every advantage. I’m already watching you wrap your daddy around your finger and I’ve been standing back and smiling because I KNOW what’s going to happen.
There are a few things I would like to share with you as we start this journey of life together.
First, and you already know this. God loves you, your parents love you, and Nana and I love you. Those are three things you can ALWAYS count on. I don’t care what happens in your life or where you go in life, our love for you is unconditional. There is absolutely nothing you can ever do to make us stop loving you.
I think you already know how much God loves you. I think all babies know that because I believe that the last place you lived before you were in mommy’s tummy was in Heaven. You were quite stubborn and didn’t want to join us in the “real world” yesterday (8/21/17). I wasn’t there, but your daddy told me that he thought you had latched on to mommy’s insides with your toes and weren’t going to turn loose! That sounds about right. I know if I had to leave the warmth and comfort of Heaven and my mommy’s womb, I’d want to stay too. We will do our very best to make you feel safe and loved here too. Don’t worry.
The second thing I want to tell you is about your nickname. I actually titled your letter, “Every Poppo Needs A…” as a little tease for your nickname. Every time a grandchild is born, I get to know them a bit and then give them a name that is special for them and that I call them. I call Hudson, Scooter — you will understand that soon enough. I call Harper — Little Bit because she was so tiny. I decided on your nickname before you were born.
When your momma was born, she was the first grandchild for my parents, Granny and Popple. Popple is the one who started this nickname thing. Oh how I wish you could have known him. He lives in heaven now, but I feel like he is with me and I am trying to be as good a Poppo as my daddy was a Popple. The grandchildren called him Popple because of your momma. That’s the advantage of being the first grandchild. You get to pick the names of your grandparents and the rest of the grandchildren basically follow along. For some reason, your momma couldn’t quite say Pappa and it sounded like Popple. So that was it.
It didn’t take him long to give your momma a nickname. She was his Punkin Doodle. I have absolutely no idea what a Punkin Doodle is but that’s what he called her. Popple had a very special relationship with my sister (your Aunt B) and your momma. I always wanted that kind of relationship with my daughter too. And I have it with your momma. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about your momma as you get older. She thinks she rules the roost, but I’ve just let her believe that for almost 32 years. There are some good stories I will tell you. Stick with me Ellie and you will be running this house in no time flat!
Back to my story. After Popple went to heaven, there was nobody who called your momma Punkin Doodle any more. Popple called your Knuckle Dustin, PeeWee and I always have called him PeeWee and now YOU can call him Knuckle PeeWee! But when Popple died, the name Punkin Doodle faded away.
The more I have thought about it, the more I have realized that Every Poppo Needs a PUNKIN DOODLE….so there you go. That’s your name. You are my Punkin Doodle. After having met you, it fits. I still don’t know what it means, but when I saw you, I knew I had made the right choice. My daddy would be proud of me and he would so love you.
The third thing I want to tell you is that this family is CRAZY! The more I hang around them, the more I realize that the only sane ones left are Scooter, Little Bit and Poppo! You have joined a very exclusive club. You will meet them all — Nana, Knuckle PeeWee, Aunty Em (I just decided that’s what you would call her), Granny (don’t even get me started) and ALL the rest. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but again…stick with me. I will guide you through the maze of craziness and you will come to love all of them. They really are cool people!
Finally, I want to tell you about your momma and daddy. They have their quirks but I can already tell that they love you more than anything. They have that look in their eyes when they look at you. Your parents are going to teach you so many things as you grow that will help you later on in life. I have watched them mature and grow since they got married and I’m convinced they are ready for the challenge. You won’t always agree with them and there will be times when you don’t like them very much. That’s ok. Just remember they are doing the most important job that God every gave to people — raising children. They are going to tell you about Jesus and they are going to show you what it means to love Jesus and follow Him. Watch them, listen to them, cut them a lot of slack — they really are doing the best they can.
You are a blessing and miracle from God for us. I look forward to watching you grow and I can’t wait until you are big enough to play with us. It’s going to be a blast! I’ve gotten quite good at this whole Poppo thing, if I do say so myself.
Punkin Doodle, always remember that God has a special plan for you and there is absolutely NOTHING you cannot do when you follow Him and trust Him. Nana and I love you and I promise you can always count on us.
Welcome to our world! Let’s go have some fun.