68 years

There are 68 years between the youngest member of our family, my two-year-old niece, and my dad. With every new grand child, we get to see our parents and our kids bond. Each one a little differently. During the Easter egg hunt at Mom & Dad's, my niece soon sorted out the path to many an egg: Grandpa.

While Grandpa may have started out leading the way, he was soon working to keep up with her. I followed them snapping pictures. They were in their own little world, youngest and oldest. Both enjoying the thrill of the hunt, they were wide-eyed looking for the eggs.

My niece on little feet that bounced over the ground. My dad in work boots that lightened as he followed her bounce. When she spotted an egg out of reach, she turned, put her arms up, and Grandpa lifted her to the egg. Her big blue eyes spoke to his soft blue eyes with an occasional, "Up Grandpa!"

And when it came to counting the eggs and checking for the goodies, Grandpa was just as serious about the business as my niece was. With a few hundred miles between us, I'm not often privy to those little connections between my parents and all their grand kids. I don't know what their "thing" is. But on this day, it was Easter eggs.

When my boys were two, Will looked for surprises in Grandpa's bib overall pockets, and Liam learned how to hold a pencil under his nose by curling his lip up. While 50-pound Will doesn't sit on Grandpa's lap often to dig through those pockets, Liam still runs for a pencil when Grandpa is on Skype.

I don't remember my grandpa's voice. But I still have the little red pencil he gave me the last time we talked. I was 10. I remember walking through the barnyard with him looking for all the materials to make a corncob pipe. And I can nearly taste the Dairy Queen vanilla cone that we rode 10 miles in his Oldsmobile to get after school.