What a difference a year makes. Last week our grandson, Blaine, came to visit. (He brought his mommy and daddy along with him.) It was almost exactly one year since his last visit to Pennsylvania.
To say there was quite a change from a 6-month-old baby to an 18-month-old toddler would be an understatement. Last summer, the little guy was crawling up a storm and learning how to pull himself up on furniture. This summer, he raced around the house like there was a jet pack in his diaper. (Unfortunately there were considerably worse things in there.)
Last year, Blaine was silent, except for the occasional cry or giggle. This year, he babbled nonstop. He even said words like "eat," "mama," "dada,", "ball" and "monkey." (He got a stuffed one when the family visited the zoo.)
Last summer, the little guy was content with a bottle of formula and a few tastes of an ice cream cone. This summer, he tackled corn on the cob, nachos and salsa, salad and caramel lava cake with cinnamon-sprinkled ice cream.
Last year, Blaine was oblivious to our cat Minnie. This year, he was downright delighted with her, along with our most recent feline, Checkers. Unfortunately, the feeling wasn't mutual. It all started when Blaine walked in the door and spotted Checkers lounging comfortably in the rocking chair. Blaine ran to the chair, petted the cat with a heavy hand and shrieked "kitty cat, kitty cat."
With a look that hovered between annoyance and terror, Checkers leaped off the rocker, darted past Blaine and raced upstairs where he remained during their visit. He would only make trips downstairs during nap time and after bedtime.
Minnie, bless her heart, is less skittish than Checkers. She attempted to socialize with the toddler until he got too excited by her kitty-cat presence and gave her a few of those over-enthusiastic pats. Eventually, she gave up trying to be a furry goodwill ambassador and joined Checkers upstairs. (Thankfully, we keep a litter box and a food and water dish up there.)
Feeling a need to protect their property or claim their territory, both cats took turns carrying their toys upstairs. I realized this when I got out of bed and stepped on a mouse. Because it was hot pink and had long curly eyelashes, I didn't panic.
All too soon the visit ended. I know next summer the changes in Blaine will be even bigger.
Growth is inevitable for babies; it's just a natural and good part of God's plan. Growth is also inevitable for Christians if we follow his Word. Are you still a babe in Christ? It's time to grow up.