Monday, September 10, 2007

Becoming a Grandparent

When my son and daughter-in-law walked into my office together on a Monday morning, I should have known something was up. When he asked me to settle an argument between them, I was still not suspicious.

“We can’t agree,” my smiling son said, slapping a small black and white photograph on my desk. It looked to me like a weather photo showing the eye of a hurricane. “Do you think that looks more like a boy or a girl?” he grinned.

That was how I discovered I am going to be a Grandfather.

Though it may be hard for those who know me to believe, I was temporarily speechless. Then I rose from my chair, hugged both parents-to-be, stepped into the general clerical area of my office and yelled “Excuse me – but I’m going to be a Grandfather!”

Now I know what all you good readers are thinking – that I am way too young and good-looking to be a Grandfather. Nonetheless, it is true. My oldest son and his beautiful wife are expecting their first child sometime in April.

I praised my son on his planning. The baby will be born after baseball’s Opening Day, but before the NBA playoffs. The birth avoids all potential conflicts with Red Sox or Patriots playoff game possibilities also. At least the kid learned something from his old man.

I always wondered exactly how I would feel if I ever discovered I was going to be a grandparent. Now I know. I am thrilled beyond words, excited at all the good times to come, and already impatient for the little bundle of joy to arrive. I want a grandson now – not in April.

And yes, I said grandson. I know I will be just as happy with either a healthy boy or a healthy girl, but make no mistake. This is a grandson. There is no doubt in my mind.

The proud expectant parents have decided they do not want to know the sex of the child until the birth, and I think that’s great. I have always hated it when parents want to know the sex early so they can paint the walls blue or pink, or so relatives know what kind of clothes to buy. Having a baby isn’t about being practical, it’s about family – and family seldom makes sense.

I have already made known my intentions of spoiling this expected child rotten. I am working on a list of things he (yes damn it, I said he) can do at my house that he can’t do at home. And I am preparing the forms for him to sign guaranteeing he won’t tell his mother.

I quickly figured out that when my grandchild graduates from high school I will be 70. By the time the kid graduates from Harvard I will be 74. I haven’t yet decided on a graduation gift.

As you can see, this is really all about me.

But in all seriousness this is one of the great moments of my life. I am happy for my son and his wife, who is the daughter I never had. They are a great couple, and they will make fantastic parents. I am so proud of the both of them.

I remember my own grandparents with great love and fondness. I was particularly close to my maternal grandparents, and they each played a major role in helping me grow up. They impacted what kind of person I became.

That is the kind of role I hope to play in my unborn grandchild’s life. It is a role I believe I was born to play, and I intend to earn an Academy Award.

Now truth be told, my lovely wife is slightly less thrilled with the idea of becoming a grandparent than I am. While happy for the kids, she feels too young to move on to this stage.

I don’t know what she is complaining about. After all, I’m the one that will soon be sleeping with a grandmother.

1 comment:

Bill Gouveia said...

Testing the comment section