Friday, August 9, 2013

My new grandson and my Aunt Mary

This column appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Friday. August 9, 2013

By Bill Gouveia

            Some things never get old.  You can experience them again and again while still enjoying the same thrill and happiness you did the first time.  Now for those of you who might be worried where I’m going with this – I’m talking about the unmatchable joy and pride involved with being a grandparent.

            Last week I became a grandfather for the third time (amazing since I’m still claiming to be 39).  My oldest son and his wonderful wife are now the proud parents of Samuel Christopher Gouveia, who joined his older brother (did I mention his name is William?) and his beautiful cousin Avery in the pantheon of my own Grandchildren Hall of Fame.

            Sam checked in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces.  I immediately notified the Kraft Organization to hold a spot open in the offensive line on the 2035 Patriot roster.  By that time he will have graduated from whichever Ivy League school wins the bidding war.  Sam is just as good-looking and brilliant as his fellow grandchildren, something I have easily been able to determine during the first week of his young life.  And each of them is unique and special in their own way.

            Sam had a tougher road to get here than my other two treasures did.  I won’t get into the whole story because it belongs to my son and his family, but let’s just say it took a lot of work, sacrifice, love and tears to make it possible for young Samuel to join us.  I am so proud of what my son, my daughter-in-law and oldest grandson did and accepted in order to complete their beautiful family.

            For me, little changes in terms of my grandfatherly duties.  In essence, I have one more perfect child to spoil rotten.  That is hardly a difficult task, and only gets easier as they grow older.  Having our granddaughter in Delaware makes things a little tougher, but with the proper dedication my wife and I are already accomplishing that worthy ultimate goal.  Distance can’t stop the grandparent-grandchild bond.

            We are fortunate to have our two grandsons living in Norton, and even luckier their parents are so understanding of our obsession with them.  Well, understanding may be a bit strong – tolerance might be a better word.  They have been great at allowing us to be a big part of our oldest grandchild’s life, and we look forward to bothering them just as much over the newest addition.

            In turn, we are thankful for the computer age that allows us to communicate so often with our granddaughter despite the distance.  I am a little worried she will grow up thinking I’m that strange man inside the computer screen, but plan to see her often enough to ensure that doesn’t happen.  And thankfully her parents are fantastic about keeping us all in touch and visiting on a more than regular basis.  It’s not quite like they are around the corner, but it closes that distance considerably.

            You can’t have wonderful grandchildren without first having wonderful kids.  We consider our daughters-in-law to be our children too, and our boys are lucky to have them.  Being blessed with two amazing sons, I guess it only follows that our grandchildren would just as amazing.

            My grandson was born last week, and just days later my Aunt Mary passed away.  She came to this country as a child and lived the rest of her life on my grandparent’s farm in Norton.  She was a symbol of my early childhood, my Portuguese heritage, and my extended family. 

            Her passing made clearer than ever to me the circle of life.  One soul moves on, and another arrives as family ever changes.  It reminds me time is so valuable and fleeting, and wasting it is something none of us can ever truly afford.

            This September my oldest grandson will enter kindergarten, becoming the fourth consecutive generation of the Gouveia family to attend Norton schools.  I hope to be around long enough to watch him, his brother, his cousin and any future little ones grow up and start their own families wherever life may take them.

 Could I possibly ever become a great-grandparent?  Maybe in another 20 years.  You know, when I’m 50.

Bill Gouveia is an aging grandfather and local columnist.  He can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

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