As Twig is Bent


Yes, there will be a couple of pix of the most recent addition to the family tree, but the first little fruit here gets top billing this morning.

While in Rapid City, we’ve seen the Abbster play in two soccer games, and of course Grampa Grumpy played Sports Illustrated photographer and came home with a gallery of action shots. We’ll print a couple and send back to her momma for the Abby Album.

Hard to believe that in six years, 2 week old Taryn will be wearing the same cleated shoes. Or will she? They come so different from day one, don’t they? Abby was coordinated and fearless and strong from very early on; we could tell her first visit to Goose Creek that she was not going to be a squeamish, retiring sissy-girl. Her little sister may prefer to sit and watch and make daisy-chain necklaces while bigger sister scores goals or chases crayfish in the creek. So be it.

It’s best not to have rigid expectations, because the force of nature usually refuses to conform our charges peacefully by force of parental nurture. We’ll all be happy with whoever she turns out to be if she’s kind, inquisitive and honest. Beyond that, we’ll see what genes and environment make of these new twigs.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I have three children and how different they all are! I cannot agree more that every child deserves to be loved and valued for their strengths, likes and dislikes.

    The human fingerprint is individual to the soul.

    Nice blog Fred! Beautiful granddaughter! She looks like a go-getter!

  2. I know what your saying. I grew up with two brothers. One older andd one younger than me. So sports and outdoors is what I know best. Not the make up or dolls. But my family loves me anyways for being a great kid. Soccer was always my favorite sport too.

  3. As I have read through your blogs, it is easy to tell that you are a very proud grandfather. You should be, because both of them are very adorable. It is nice to find someone that still holds family values, and thinks of family as a very important aspect of their lives. Congratulations, and I hope both of your grandchildren continue to thrive.

  4. I know what you are saying. My child hood was growing up around 2 bothers my self. So I was an outdoor sports girl and not a girl that liked to play dress up or tea party’s.

  5. I was the oldest of 6 – 3 girls & 3 boys…..However, all the kids in the neighborhood my age were boys & since we had the biggest yard, my childhood was spent playing baseball & climbing trees & building forts……..and I could do it just as well (maybe sometimes better ) than the boys…………..what memories you have caused me to have!!