God knows I'm not the first man to be a grandfather, but I am a grandfather for the first time. And there's some things I've learned:
- Every cliche' about being a grandparent may be trite but could not be more true. Anyone who's watched the unreserved posting of Facebook pics on my page knows this already. And I'm just getting started. If that's too much for any of you, feel free to unfollow now. And if you're of the mind that you're likely to roll your eyes or say "here he goes again" when more Mia shows up, drop me now. I'm not bothered by it. Pleasing people who are my "friends" on Facebook is not the barometer by which I measure my happiness. Showing off my girl is.
- I was asked before Mia came by someone who knows me very well what my first words would be to her when I held her for the first time. I hadn't thought of that. But what came out of me when I finally got to hold her (apparently in the pecking order of family systems, grandmothers get first dibs...not sure if that's right or fair, but it just is.), with eyes welling and my breathing labored because she took mine away, was this: "You're who I've been waiting for." That's deeply loaded for me, probably more than even I can recognize at this point, and certainly more than I'm willing to speak to through this medium. At a minimum I know what my Granddaddy meant to me (I only knew my grandfather on my dad's side), As if I didn't need it before Thursday, I've another compelling reason to be the man I'm called to be, for Mia.
- Given my vocation and the community of those who share in that work as well, there's nothing like a baby being born in December for "Advent" references to come fast and furious. Baby, December, Advent....I see what you did there. Enough.
- And then there's my son, Andrew. Watching him go through what I did with him over 22 years ago wasn't at all strange. It was more "circle of life" like. It's not that I'm proud of him, although I am. I just watched him be who he is--loving, attentive, present. He's a great father. That doesn't mean he won't make mistakes, he will. And he will learn. He will grow.
Since Andrew was a little boy up to now, we've had this father/son banter when I'd tell him I love him he'd say "I love you more."
And I'd say, "not possible."
Yesterday, watching him buckle Mia into the car to drive away from the hospital (and I was a blubbering mess about that), all I wanted him to do was let us know when they got home and that they were OK.
I gave him ample time to get home and settled when I texted him:
"Home? Everyone OK?"
His response: "Yes sir, Just finished settling in. Nap to ensue while Mia sleeps."
Andrew: "Love you so much."
Me: "Love you son. And now you know how much."
Truly, now he does.