On January 20th, my grandson Teddy turns 13. He seems to get taller by the minute, and soon will leave his vertically challenged grandparents in the dust.

As he enters his teenage years, Teddy continues to be a young man we can be proud of. He still wears his heart on his sleeve, is resolutely optimistic, encourages others, and tells it like it is. He loves his video games and often goes to great lengths to explain Minecraft and Mario Bros. to his rather dense and perplexed grandpa.

We love watching baseball and Texas hold ’em together and he has a keen eye for the subtleties of both games. He likes card and board games too, and often teams up with his sisters to “get” grandpa.

He’s been doing well in middle school and when it’s in session he rides the bus back and forth. Otherwise he deals well with online classes. He continues to be a voracious reader and lately has been taking an interest in military history. He’s a math wiz as well.

His Nonna will always have a special place in his heart – and he will in hers. He gives (and gets) – great hugs.

Teddy was born on the day President Obama was inaugurated – a time of great optimism for many. He has carried that optimism into his teenage years, and his Nonna and I pray that he always will let it shine. Congratulations and happy birthday to a fine young man!

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