Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Am A Grandfather . . . What More Can I Say?

It is two thirty in the morning my time and I don’t think I’ve seen any sleep yet. In a few hours it will be time to go off to a busy day at work.

I am a grandfather. It seems surreal. My grandson Oliver William Jones came into this world (with some hesitation I may add) about an hour and half ago. Even in the grainy phone camera, he looks beautiful.

There is such a flood of emotions at a time like this . . . it is so hard to put into words. As I alluded to, it does not seem real or even possible. The fact that my son Bryan, and his wife Renee, live so far away makes it especially difficult. We want to be there. We knew when they moved from here and we felt the acute pain of that move, that there would be a time when that pain would be added to when we had grand kids coming into this world and the distance would keep them from us.

I can’t imagine the glory that Bryan and Renee feel at this moment, along with the exhaustion. Actually I can imagine it. Because some 26 years ago, Denise were laying in St. Joes Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan relishing in that same glory as Bryan himself came into this world.

Much of me feels so happy. Of course there is nothing that makes a parent more happy than knowing that their son or daughter is feeling intense joy. I want to share with them in the overflow of that joy.

Part of me, in a selfish way, feels some sadness. It is such a profound reminder to me of that magnificent night that Denise and I shared a long time ago. While the memory is of course still there, but clouded by time (I can’t remember exactly what I was wearing or the exact words Denise or I said) but the experience itself has been taken from me by the passing of time. If I could push a magic button and go back to that night, I would in a second. In a self-centered way, I want to once again relish in that glory.

I know, the first words out of anyone’s mouth would be to take that desire and fill it up in Bryan and Renee’s moment. I can do that. I can cherish this time and I bet there will be a day when I will long to come back to this very night when I first became a grand father. But still, the soft ache in the corner is real and I can not pretend it is not there . . . to be 26 myself again and to hold my son in my arms once more . . . who is now . . . holding his own.

I have to stop typing because the tears, whether they are of joy or sadness, but probably both, are making it impossible to see the lap top screen.

I know that Denise would be very disappointed in me for writing anything "negative" on a night like tonight, but, I can't imagine her ever having a desire to read this blog in the first place.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Words are inadequate to express the joy that a new life brings.
And for the record, I don't think that you wrote about anything negative or selfish at all. The beautiful love that is bestowed upon a parent/child relationship is intense and for that love to only grow stronger through the years to the point that you feel the longing to hold your son again as though he were little is wonderful not negative.
I only know too well the many parents that do not feel that love for their children and I pray that I never come to understand that lack. So please write on without any shame or guilt the love that you have for your children.
Perhaps I am stretching here and reading more into your words than you meant but I can only think that any part of what you would call a selfish love would be more of a protecting love because lets face it, nothing wakes us up to what the world has to offer in terms of hurt than being a parent and seeing you child go through their own growing pains that we cannot stop.
There are times when I want to squich my daughter down to the size of the peanut she was when she was born just to hold her again against all the battles that I know she is going to have to face.
Ahh... now I am writing too much.
So again, congratulations Grandpa, and thanks for sharing some of the glory with us readers.

MJ said...

I honestly grieve a lot about my kids getting older. I love them now they way they are, but I miss having them on my lap, wrestling with them, kissing them and hugging them. My men-childs will have none of that now and that hurts.

My wife is from the school of thought that we must always look just on the bright and happy side. When I told her that I had some sadness last night, I think that really upset her.

But I don't know how you can feel joy deeply if you don't feel sadness deeply as well. But that's just me.

PRS & ALS said...

Congratulations! Being a grandparent is an amazing experience, even from afar. My children and grandchildren have lived sometimes near, sometimes far and each carries with it a mixture of experiences and feelings. Right now 4 of our grandchildren live only 30 minutes away, but one lives thousands of miles away in France and another 2 live about 1200 miles away. I sometimes envy those grandparents living near us in this small rural area whose children and grandchildren live so close. They actually get to see them grow up. But then I remind myself that our relationship with our children, their spouses and our grandchildren is good. That doesn't make me miss them any less, but it is a good thing.

I too resinate with your feeling expressed about your children being grown and how you miss holding and cuddling with them. It is strange in many ways to see them being parents, holding and cuddling their kids. Taking on the responsibilities of parenthood. Seeing them struggle with discipline, sleepless nights, getting everything done, making good decisions for their children. I worry and pray alot. Wish I would worry less and pray more. Cherish each moment you have with them now.

God bless you as you enter this new adventure of grandparentings.

MJ said...

Thanks for the encouragement. It is nice to know that others have walked this path.

TaterBug said...

First I want to start with a congratulations to you for being a dad, now for being a grandfather. Many have said its very rewarding to have grandchildren, im unable to describe how it must feel to watch them grow up. The best of luck to you.

peaceofchange said...

Congrats on being a grandfather!! You'll have to let us know what you decide to be called or more likely what the child decides to call you..:) I remember my husbands parents arguing back and forth about what they wanted to be called...they settled on Oma and Papa...it's a fun time...but I know they've been sad too...we aren't close by either. Hang in there, I'm sure you'll be a great grandpa and that will bring much happiness.