Little whirlwinds have blown through our house through the years dismantling the decorating ideas of my wife and I, and we would not have it any other way.
The current whirlwind is named Carrika; she is the nearly 18-month-old daughter of my youngest son and his wife. Like her brother, Aiden and my other granddaughter, Shelbi the daughter of my oldest son she went from crawling to running with no walking in between.
From the time Carrika is freed from her car-seat carrier in our kitchen until she goes home she is like the little engine that could. I have always been aware of the energy level of children, which is limitless it seems, having raised three children, and being a grandfather of five, and great grandfather of four. The wonderful thing about my grandchildren and great grand children is that they were all different little people. Daniel my oldest who is the son of my daughter Carol, and Bryan the son of my oldest son Darren were quiet children, and while they still had their whirlwind days gave grandma and me time to rest.
The change came with Shelbi who I have written about before. I wore out plenty of shoes following her around as she asked those what and why questions, but her grandmother was the one who camped out in blanket tents, and cardboard boxes with her in the yard, and in the living room. Usually the box or tent was too small for both of them, but they made it work. When Aiden came along he loved the outside, and would aim himself for the far fence of our five acres as soon as he was let out of the car; grandma was always right behind him, although most of the time far behind him. I found by letting part of my grass grow taller, and cutting a maze through it we could give grandma a rest now and then, as he followed the paths I had made. A swing set and other outside toys were a must as the great grandchildren came along, because grandma could not keep up with that many whirlwinds.
As I write this my wife has the house decorated for Easter with stuffed bunny rabbits all over the house. Some of the bunnies are bigger than our whirlwind named Carrika, but that doesn’t stop her from bringing them to grandma and me, filling our laps to overflowing. Luckily our whirlwinds have been spaced out with years enough between them that my wife and I have managed to store up some energy before the next one came along. Marlene has just finished resetting the Easter decorations after the last whirlwind visit, which means we are ready for the next time. We thank God everyday for all our little whirlwinds that definitely keep our lives from being boring.
— Jack Miller is a longtime Sedalia resident whose column will run in the Weekend edition of the Democrat.