It’s finally happened. That magical time in your life…no, not a lottery win – but, yes, a big win of sorts – we have our first grandchild! Wait, what? Are we really old enough?
I know you’re expecting the old line – “Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that…”
Well, guess what? The line makes perfect sense!
As a parent, you spend the early days with your child or children feeling like you are driving a car with no brakes. The first one is always the shocker right?
You boil everything, wash the baby’s clothes 3 times a week, jump up when you hear the slightest cry. You freak out when they start crawling, then walking – time to baby proof the house! Everything is on a shelf which is much too high to reach – you hope. You change babies in the weirdest places – kitchen table, car, last row of an airplane, bathroom at McDonald’s…and even your lap!
Whoops! Then it’s the teenage years…sports, cliques, school, video-games, friends in and friends out, funky fashion styles, and the ever-present line – “Hey Mom and Dad, why can’t I do this, ALL my friends are doing it?”
The kids do vanish a bit during the college years…you create a level of trust you knew you never had. You are still connected, and freak out for different reasons, mostly hoping that they are safe.
Then they grow up, get jobs, get into a relationship…and have a child. Where have the bloody years gone? And what’s this grandchild gig like?
“Indescribable”, one of my colleagues who is a grandmother said to me – “your life will change, and you don’t realize it until it actually happens.” I guess I just didn’t realize what happens to the grandparents and rest of the fam.
True – sure, when we heard the news and also did the gender reveal (all within the same 45-minute period last June) – using a blue martini by the way (fitting for our family) – it all seemed surreal. While during the pregnancy we didn’t see our daughter-in-law that regularly as they live away from where we are today – we were in touch often to check in on progress. Did you know there’s an app for that?
Our son operated his side of the responsibility coolly and calmly (on the outside at least) – operating with a “yeah, we got this guys” style. Joe Cool.
We started thinking about what the baby should call us – a variety of good name ideas, but I said anything but “grandpa” for sure. I thought “Sir” was a good start!
Then the day comes; well actually during the night – and these old fogy grandparents didn’t read their mobile phones until after the landline call first thing in the morning to let us know we are grandparents. Bad form.
Life has changed. This little guy named Tripp (yeah, he’s the 3rd Wally, god help him), has mesmerized the family. His aunt and uncle adore him and want to know what he’s up to everyday. His grandmother Grape (Grandma April for short) can just sit and watch him sleep for hours – but hey, she’s been doing that with me on the couch in front of TV for 38 years.
He opens his eyes and moves his arms…we’re all ensconced. We all want him to take his time getting older already as we love this time and him.
Tripp’s parents are seemingly cool – no visible panic per se; yes they boil everything, but they have great sophisticated machines for that now. They’re doing a great job of getting the lad into a proper system of operation, which we all know Tripp will try to mess it all up at some point!
As my colleague said correctly, life has changed. We know there are many more fun times ahead, but for today – we’re plotting ways to see him, checking in often, impulse-buying baby clothes and not a day goes by we aren’t speaking about him or wondering what he’s up to. Thank goodness for cell phones and Face-Time!
And look, if he wants to call me Grandpa – that’s ok with me!