Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'm a Grandfather!

This column originally appeared in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle on Saturday, April 12, 2008.

I'm a grandfather.

It hasn't truly sunk in yet, but I am a grandfather nonetheless. And it is already one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Last Thursday my oldest son called to tell us his wife was officially in labor. Since the due date was not for another 13 days, we felt confident this was just a false alarm. But apparently no one told the baby about the due date.

Around 8:30 p.m. my son called again to say this was the real deal, and the baby would probably be born between 2-4 a.m. the next day. Coincidentally, that would be my daughter-in-law's 30th birthday. He told us to stay home, and when the time came he would call us to make the trip from Norton to Hyannis.

Then at 9:33 p.m. my phone beeped. It was a text message from my Aaron, my son. All it said was "Now!"

I ran to my wife, who is recovering from recent major surgery. I asked if she wanted to go and be there for the blessed event. She teared up and confessed she simply wasn't physically able to make the trip.

My heart ached for her, and I said I would stay home and wait with her. She looked up and said "Go Bill - if the roles were reversed, I'd leave you in a heartbeat for this!"

God, I love that woman. So I jumped in the car and sped off.

As I raced down Route 495 my mind was working overtime. Would it be a boy or a girl? The parents-to-be had chosen to be surprised. Most thought it was going to be a girl. I had steadfastly insisted it was going to be a boy.

I thought back to the night this baby's father was born. He took his sweet time and was three weeks late. My wife's labor with him had been relatively short, and all 9 pounds, 1 ounce of him had come quickly into the world.I remembered that night they handed him to me and said "Here's your son." There are no words to describe that feeling - the wonderment, awe and total joy. And now tonight, my child was going have a child of his own.

My phone rang at 10:14 p.m. It was my daughter-in-law's phone. I nearly drove off the road trying to answer it.It was Aaron. "Hey Dad", he said conversationally. I asked what was happening, and he laughed and said "You want to hear something pretty neat?"

Seconds later I heard the strong cry of a newborn baby, and chills ran down my spine. "That's your new grandchild," Aaron said with pride.

I managed to inquire as to the sex of the baby. My son - who is just way too much like his father - said "I'll tell you when you get here Dad."

I threatened him with grave bodily injury if he did not tell me right away. He laughed and said "Dad, just get here. That's your new grandson."

I asked him to repeat it. When he did, I proceeded to scream "I have a grandson!" as loudly as I could, while also managing to say I knew it would be a boy. I asked for the name, but he said he had to go and would see me in a bit.

When I got there I kissed my son and daughter-in-law, and then Aaron walked me over to the baby."Meet your new grandson" my son beamed. Then he looked at me and said "He's William - William George Thomas Gouveia, named after his grandfathers."

I heard nothing after he said William.

I was speechless (no small feat) and had to sit down. I had a grandson, he was beautiful, and he shared my first name. I was overwhelmed with emotion and love for my child, his wife, and their new baby son.

I have had much happiness in my life, but this moment will be special for as long as I live. I have a grandson, he is healthy and perfect, and all is right with the world.

Did I mention his name is William?

BILL GOUVEIA is a local columnist who - in case you hadn't heard - has a new grandson named William. Grandpa can be reached at


Matthew said...

Congrats!!!!!!! I bet you are very happy

Matthew said...

Congrats on becoming a grandpa.