Doesn’t seem that long ago that Obama was being inaugurated for his first term, the world was in economic turmoil, and we were off to Montfort hospital to see our new grandson. Sarah and Dave named him after his great grandfathers and so Edward Vincent McLean became “Teddy.” He still is going with it, although “Ted” is creeping in as another nickname.

As he gets to his 9th birthday, Teddy is thriving under his mother’s home school program. He loves math and reading – dinosaurs are his specialty along with Star Wars Lego. He’s getting taller and taller but he’s still rapier thin – even though he can polish off 7 pieces of pizza in one sitting.

Teddy has a devastating wit – he loves puns and bad riddles. He has a jokebook collection that would put Henny Youngman to shame. His laugh is still the most infectious of all the grandkids. And who the heck is Captain Underpants?

He’s a kind and sensitive kid with deep emotional motivation. He is also an eternal optimist – one way he differs from cynical Grandpa. In other ways he’s almost an uncanny mirror image of myself ca. 1955. He wears his heart on his sleeve, whether he’s missing his dear old feline pal Gunther or sad to see Nonna and Grandpa leave for home.

Just mention his upcoming holiday cruise with his family and grandparents and he cheers right up. He’s thinking of the Celebrity kids club you see – not to mention those sausages at the breakfast buffet and pizza the rest of the time. Oh maybe toss in a bit of pasta as well. He’ll never go hungry.

We’ll be down tomorrow to help him celebrate and I’m sure he’ll find some time in between his Laser Tag birthday party and opening up his presents to give us a big hug. That’s the Teddy way. Number 9…Number 9…