Cohen Alan

Frank Schaeffer, Cycle of Life, and What Matters

“See, I will listen to Dad,” said the pediatrician as she put her stethoscope to my chest. She did not know I am Grandpa, not Dad.

Generally my weekly schedule is flexible. Should Kimberly or Tommie need me to go with them and one of the Grands to their pediatrician appointment, I can get away. Call it a perk.

Wednesday, Cohen began running fever again and the pediatrician suggested they check to see if his ear infection persisted. It had. A new bout of antibiotics were issued. I could not help but remember when his mother faced those irritable ears. We would go to her pediatrician. “Yes, another infection.” We would pay for the office visit and collect another prescription of amoxicillin. Back than the two expenses would take a Benjamin – $100. Rick, my mentor, had been through the same with his children. He decided there may be another way to cure the pain of an ear infection. He suggested we lay a child on the couch and wave a $100 bill over them. It seemed reasonable since it took $100 to address the situation. We would cure the child and keep the bill. No, it did not work. We did not even try. Their ears were too important for us to be so cavalier.

Frank Schaeffer wrote a piece for The Huffington Post on Wednesday. I clipped it to read later. After watering the flower beds this morning I sat down to post a Friday Photo piece. Working through some photos from our July 4th here at the house I thought I would pause to read Schaeffer’s post. The title was enough to catch my attention, “The Real Biological Clock Is Bigger Than Asking ‘When to Have a Child?‘ Here are the first lines, for those who have not clicked over to read. More after you make the jump.

Love is the only path to immortality. And love has a name: Grandchildren. Everything else is just a footnote.


“Let’s Get This Started” – Copyright 2013, Todd A. Littleton

You guessed it, the photos I planned to post would be of Cohen and Max. I decided to post a bit more than the normal Friday Photo. I thought about how many times I get, “You don’t look old enough to be a grandpa.” Sometimes I am flattered. More than once I reply by saying that we were fourteen when we began having children. Might be true several thousand years ago. Even in the late 1970’s we would have been stigmatized rolling a stroller around.


“Long Hot Day” – Copyright 2013, Todd A. Littleton

The truth is we were 22, well I would be less than a month after Kimberly was born. Even at that, reading Schaeffer’s article points to the false perception that parents know more later than sooner. The question is, “What more do they know about?”

Frank does not suggest those waiting to have children in order to pursue education and career are dumb. He simply suggests that there may be an underlying impulse of which they are unaware; a cultural influence so intertwined in our lives that we miss it. You may deny the subtle forces of the economy but read through Schaeffer’s piece again and you cannot escape that he attempts to rupture the notion of what we need. In the end he claims we need to create beauty, love, and peace. That, he believes, is found in what we invest in others, especially our grandchildren.

What I like about Schaeffer’s piece is that he does not make the matter a moral choice – children early or late. That would only serve to feed the ego of one or the other. “You should have waited.” Or, “You should have started sooner.” No, the underlying issue is how we promote community and continue to invest in others despite economic forces that lead us to believe what matters is what we make, what we achieve, and how we are perceived. All of us, early age parents or older age parents, need to remember what really matters are people in whom we invest.

We plan to see the Grands today.

Digging It – Friday Photo Journal

digareaKids are not the only age group that enjoys digging. Patty began planning once she learned we would be grandparents. Day trips. “Once the boys are old enough,” she would say, ” we are going to take them on some trips here in Oklahoma.” Every Saturday she funds her imagination with Discover Oklahoma. It paid off.

A couple of weeks ago we took our first day trip with the boys. We let their parents tag along for good measure. Our designation? The Great Salt Plains near Jett, Oklahoma. Why the Great Salt Plains? We were going crystal digging, selenite crystals to be exact.

pattykjdiggingOur event would be no spectator sport. Grammy had as much fun as the boys, maybe more. Patty and Kimberly kept digging and skimming. We learned as we went. “Dig a 2 foot by 2 foot hole. Skim the edges of the hole and the sandy dirt hole that fills with water.” I am not sure we actually found any selenite. We still need to wash and examine our haul.

tddiggingTommie took digging to a whole nutha level. We monitored her closely lest she dig a hole so deep she might disappear.

theboysdiggingThe boys? Well, when there is room to roam, roaming they will do. They dig a hole and it ended up being big enough for the both of them. They were not real interested in finding crystals. But, Max found the salty dirt to his liking. Cohen simply saw the wide open space and it was work just to keep him in our dig area. At one point we looked up and he and Grammy looked to be a quarter of a mile away.

We dug for about two and a half hours. It was enough to work up an appetite. We found a Mexican food restaurant in Enid and took care of our growling stomach.


“Max Digging” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton


“Cohen Exploring” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton

Now our appetite is truly whetted for the next trip. It may be the Fall before we take another day trip. Before then we will load the boys up and head for Missouri and our annual Family Vacation fishing trip. I am thinking the boys may need a bit more time to enjoy the confines of a boat. However, we will be sure to find fun and the pool and beyond.

Walking In the Sun – Friday Photo

Oh what fun these boys are and will be.


“Cohen In the Sun” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton


“Max in the Sun” – Copyright 2013 Todd Littleton

Two For Whom I Am Thankful – Happy Thanksgiving

There are any number of people for whom I am thankful today. It is hard to narrow it down. But I am sure you will understand why I have chosen as I have.

You will have to turn your laptop or tablet 90 degrees for this one.


Cohen Explores the Lego Store

Suddenly things changed. I now have an understanding of, “as in the sudden-ness of child birth.” This morning just after my normal bowl of oatmeal and a banana, it hit me. Reading the paper did not help. Less than an hour later my Dad arrived to take me to the ER. Maybe it was my appendix. Or, it was a kidney stone.

We navigated rush hour traffic and arrived at the hospital just as another wave of pain grew stronger. After the normal texts for pain in the abdomen, the ER Doctor announced I would get to keep my appendix. But, I would want to get rid of the kidney stone. Now I wait.











The sudden interruptions of pain, like Cohen’s sudden drop to the floor, gave me time to work on a friend’s website and upload a video of Cohen I have had for several weeks. Watching the grandsons in videos certainly helps take the mind off the pain, even if it does little to reduce it.