Donald Dodd, Publisher

It’s called a Chairmate high chair. I found that out by looking it up on the internet. Before that, it was just the baby’s chair.

It’s one of those baby chairs with a removable tray, and the baby chair attaches to a regular chair. It was a fixture at our dining-room table for almost 10 years now.

We didn’t have that high chair when Brayden came along, but Konner ate his ice cream in that chair. Then Eavie learned to slurp spaghetti a strand at a time. Henley picked her food up off the tray and rubbed it in her hair. Then along came Sadie, who early on ate whatever you put on that tray as fast as you put it on there.

Not long ago we removed the tray and pushed the seat up to the table because Sadie, who turned three Aug. 30, declared she is “a big girl.”

A few Saturdays ago I received orders to take the Chairmate high chair and big chair to the basement, Sadie didn’t need it anymore and it looks like as far as grandkids go, we were probably at the end of the line at five. What?

The news hit me hard. The prospect of no more grandkids was a reality I had not fully realized. As I slowly trudged down the stairs to the basement with chair and high chair in hand, quite a few memories ran through my head.

How many of our grandkids ate their first Fourth of July barbecue in that chair? Got their first taste of one of Neena’s chocolate-chip cookies or watched the older kids and adults play Mexican dominoes?

My eyes tear up a lot easier the older I get, not that I did when I turned my back on that old high chair and headed back up the stairs.

Grandkids are wonderful, a lot different than kids, who are a different kind of wonderful. There is something about seeing your children have children and another generation materialize and grow before your eyes that is unbelievably hard to describe.

Just like with your kids, you reach grandkid milestones that make you sit back and appreciate the journey. Things like first steps, no more diapers or high chairs, and before you know it, there are graduations and marriages.

You hope that along the way you teach them more than how to slurp spaghetti and keep their hands out of their hair, though those types of things are necessary in life.

Being a grandparent should carry along with it not all, but many of the same types of personal responsibilities as being a parent. If you are a good parent or grandparent, you know the list.

Donald Dodd is president and publisher of Salem Publishing Company. He can be reached at donald@thesalemnewsonline.com or 729-4126.