My dad has a way with animals. Animals gravitate to him. He's on the same wavelength or something. He'll meet a new dog and within minutes it's just putty in his hands. He used to take my sister and me horseback riding every summer and every single time we went, by the time we left my dad's horse would be smitten with him.
Grady loves animals. His enjoyment of animals is exuberant and too big for his little body to contain. I took him to a farm yesterday and he was practically vibrating with joy. We held ten-day-old piglets and hung out in the goat paddock. Grady held a baby chick and a baby bunny, and told off a little girl for scaring the chickens. He told me stories about the mommy cow and the Grady cow and he was adamant that the sheep were really just funny looking goats.
It's one thing to see reflections of myself or of Shawn in Grady, but it's an entirely different level of cool to see glimpses of the people I love in Grady. I didn't think Grady would have the patience or the ability to sit still long enough to hold the baby animals but he surprised me. He cradled the baby bunny close to his heart and he whispered "shush shush shush" when it started to fuss. Grady has this little piece of my dad in him and it's so cool to see.