Friday, October 23, 2015

A Welcome To Grandson Tommy

This column appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Friday, October 23, 2015

GOUVEIA: A heartfelt welcome to Tommy (AKA grandkid Number 5)

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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 10:48 pm | Updated: 11:03 pm, Thu Oct 22, 2015.
When I began writing columns for this fine publication nearly eight years ago, only one of my two sons was married. I had no grandchildren. Life was simple, and I thought I was happy.
Fast-forward to the present. Both my boys are married. I have five — count ’em, five — grandchildren. And I realize now the life I had before was so much less than what I have been blessed with today.
Five grandchildren. That’s enough for a basketball team. It’s the number of Democratic candidates that had been running for president before Jim Webb dropped out. It’s more than double the number of grandchildren my mother had. It’s one more Super Bowl than the Patriots have won (so far).
My oldest grandchild (did I mention his name is William?) is now 7 years old, and his brother Sammy is 2. My oldest granddaughter Avery is 3 1/2 and her sister Addison is 8 months old.
And just last month, the newest addition to the family arrived. Thomas Alexander Gouveia entered this world on Sept. 21, just days before his grandparents were taking off for a two-week vacation outside the country. He is just as perfect as his four predecessors, and once again his grandmother and I have fallen totally in love.
Contrary to the belief of many who know his father well, Tommy is not named after Tom Brady (although if you would like to draw that comparison, it’s OK with me). His moniker is a fitting tribute to his maternal grandfather Tom, who I know is thrilled and proud.
Being away for the first couple weeks of Tommy’s young life was tough. We kept up with pictures and reports, but very much missed being able to hold him and just revel in his glow.
When we got back, we rushed to see both him and his brothers (our granddaughters live some distance away), and marveled at how much bigger he looked already. As I held and rocked him in my arms, I thought about how fortunate I have been in this part of my life.
In the second grade already, Will is smart, caring, loving and sarcastic — a perfect reflection of his father with the best parts of mom thrown in to boot. Sam is adorable and reacts with such pure joy whenever he sees us that it swells my heart.
Avery is the smartest 3-year-old I have ever met, clearly a mirror-image of her parents. And her sister Addison is just the happiest, most content child I know. To hold her is like enjoying a moment of pure happiness and bliss.
And now, Tommy. He’s very “chill” according to his parents, and his resemblance to his siblings at that age is amazing. He has been the object of considerable affection in his household, with his brothers fighting over who gets to hold him. It is wonderful to see.
Two weekends ago, we got to experience the pure joy of having all five grandchildren at our house together for the first time. I’m not gonna lie, it was frenetic and hectic at times.
But words cannot express what I felt gazing upon these beautiful children sitting, playing, and even occasionally fighting with each other. To have them come up and ask me to play, to sit in my favorite chair and hold the little ones while having conversations they will never recall, was wonderful.
Being a grandparent truly is a reward — some say for a life well-lived, but the fact I get to enjoy it might cast some doubt on that view. Still, there is little I can imagine that could top it.
So I’d like to officially welcome young Thomas Gouveia to our little family. You have a lot to look forward to Tommy, and I’m hoping to hang around long enough to show you a whole bunch of it.
Still to come is your first overnight stay with grandma and grandpa. Your first trip to the “petting zoo” (Will’s code name for going to the toy store) so we can get you a treat. Your first trip out to eat with all of us.
Prepare to be spoiled rotten Tommy. We have one job to do these days, and we are getting pretty damn good at it.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and proud grandfather of five. He can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

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