Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rough but Happy Winter for New Grandfather

This column originally appeared in the Sun Chronicle on Friday, February 13, 2015.

By Bill Gouveia

This has been a horrible, expensive, amazing and wonderful winter.  I can’t wait for it to be over, yet I never want it to end.

Let’s start with the bad part.  That shouldn’t be hard for any of you to figure out.  We are currently in the midst of what could be the most snow ever to fall in this area over a single winter.

I’m not a snow person.  I would be fine with a green Christmas.  I’m not into sledding, snow angels or sliding my car sideways into a Jersey barrier.

I have a 300 foot driveway that starts off uphill, a bad back, and an intense hatred of snow-blowers and shoveling.  One more storm and I’ll be able to claim my plow guy as a dependent.  There is currently more snow on the roof of my house than fell in my yard all last winter, and I now have to pay to have it all knocked down into said yard.

All that’s enough to depress a hyena.

But in the midst of the cold, white blanket of gloom – there has been intense happiness and joy.  While this could have easily been the Winter of the Empty Wallet, for me it will now always be the Winter of Wonder.

First, there was the little matter of the Patriots.  In perhaps the greatest Super Bowl ever played, the team I have faithfully followed for more than four decades prevailed.  They overcame a league that hates them, a distrusting public, and the best defense in the NFL to win their 4th title in the last 14 years – and do it in style.

I traveled to Kansas City to watch them early in the season.  They got beaten like a drum, and people were whispering that Tom Brady was all done.  They were trailing Baltimore by 14 points – twice – in their first playoff game, but came back for the big victory.  They hung tough, battled back, and eventually captured the ultimate prize.

And that wasn’t even the best part of this snow-covered season.

No, that came this past Monday.  On that day, the weather didn’t matter.  The Governor declared a state of emergency, the snow continued to fall like it was never going to stop, and the temperature dropped dangerously close to below zero.  But I didn’t care.

On Monday, I became a grandfather again.  For the 4th time – just like the Patriots.  And as Bob Kraft said after the Super Bowl:  “I never thought another could feel as special, but this one absolutely does.”

Addison Claire Gouveia made her debut on Monday, joining her sister Avery on the family roster coached by our son Nate and daughter-in-law Melissa.  She is already the odds-on favorite for Rookie of the Year, and as you read this her grandmother and I are on our way there to sign her to a lifetime contract.

So far we have only seen her perform on video, but that was more than enough to convince us she is a proven winner.  We’ve made some pretty good signings in the past, including the aforementioned Avery, our youngest grandson Sam, and of course our original superstar grandchild Will (did I mention his name is William?).  Clearly, the Pats are not the only organization building a dynasty.

And we are not sitting on our laurels.  Just like the Patriots are already out there searching for new talent, our front office is doing the same.  Son Aaron and his wife MJ are currently in the midst of yet another addition, and have even timed it perfectly.  The next new player is due just about the time the Super Bowl champs open up the new season in September.

But right now the focus is on Ms. Addison.  She is beautiful, obviously brilliant, and just what we needed to forget this cold, dreary, slushy winter.

As we watched our son hold her and smile, little else seemed to matter.  This weekend we will rock her in our arms and welcome her to the extended family that loved her before she was even born.

For the rest of you, this may be the toughest winter ever.  But for me, it’s one of the all-time best.

Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and proud grandfather of four.  He can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

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