Three Great Grandchildren

by Richard John Stapleton

This past summer my son Jonathan and his wife Renee made a swing trough Statesboro and stayed a few days for the first time in a year or so.  My wife Debbye and I and took them out to eat several times while they were here, along with their three children, Walker, Emmy, and Orion.

Friends of ours who saw them in restaurants with us were impressed with them, especially the grandchildren.  One lady told me as I was walking back to our table after going to the restroom, “You marked every one of them,” which was a high compliment.

A few weeks ago Debbye and I were having dinner at the Forrest Heights Country Club here in Statesboro with our friends Beth Hardy and Lon Carnes.  A lady whom I have known for a long time from our days at Georgia Southern University, Mouse, stopped by our table to chat with Beth.  She told Beth, a former mathematics professor at Georgia Southern, that she took a math course from her forty or so years ago, and she made a “B”, the only grade she made that was not an “A” at Georgia Southern.

Beth did not remember her in the course but as they were exchanging pleasantries Mouse noticed me sitting across the table, and as she was leaving she came around and told me, “I want you to know you have three great grandchildren.”

I told her I knew that but I appreciated her saying that.  Mouse and her husband live near my former wife Ginny, the grandchildren’s birth grandmother, and her husband Bob.  Mouse had seen and talked with the grandchildren during the summer when they stayed overnight with Ginny and Bob.

Jonathan graduated from Statesboro High School in 1990, the Star Student of our congressional district in Georgia that year, and went on to Rice University in Houston, Texas where he met his wife Renee, from Montana.  Jonathan maxed the math part of the SAT and the GRE exams.  They then went to Seattle, Washington where Renee got her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Washington.  Jonathan taught school and invented things, such as his Reptangles toy, now marketed nationally and internationally by the Fat Brain Toy Company, an educational toy that can be assembled into geometric shapes.

Jonathan and Renee went on to Burlington, Vermont where Renee now researches, teaches, and practices pulmonary medicine at the University of Vermont.  Jonathan teaches senior physics and earth sciences at Essex Junction High School, and invents things.

Their children have done well in school.  Walker is now in the seventh grade, Emmy is in the fifth grade, and Orion is in kindergarten.  Walker’s cross country team has won every track race they have raced in, including the state championship; Emmy is supposedly reading at an eighteen-year-old level; and Orion has already been identified as gifted in mathematics.  Walker plays the piano, Emmy plays the violin, and Orion plays the violin.

I know it’s narcissistic but I could not resist posting this post.