It was a time for reflection this week. My daughter Jessica gave birth to her first child. Brinley Lillian was born on the rare day of February 29. She is a Leap Baby which I believe should make her an excellent hurdler or high jumper since the Olympics happen every time there is a Leap Year. Throw in the fact that my dad was also born on February 29 and you’ve got a pretty unique four generation thing happening. My dad was not a hurdler or high jumper so I guess that Olympic theory gets thrown out the window. So there I was in the room with my father who just turned 92 (23 in Leap Years) and my new granddaughter who is one day old. (1 day in Leap Years.) On one hand you’ve got a man who has lived a full life with no regrets. On the other hand you’ve got a baby with a lifetime yet to come. (I’m pretty sure you can find an emoji for that.) In between is my daughter who is over the moon about her precious new life. She’ll learn along the way like all parents do. She’ll get frustrated, be worried, be proud and all the other emotions that go along with raising a child. And there’s me finding it hard to believe that my daughter has actually grown up and is psyched to take on the challenge that is before her. It seems like only yesterday I accidently locked her in the car when I went into a restaurant to do a quick Geetergram. Or I assembled a jolly jumper incorrectly to have her collapse while in the middle of gleeful jumping. (She wasn’t hurt, just shocked that her father was such an incompetent doofus.) There are so many things I wish I could have done better. And yet, Jessica managed to survive and find an amazing husband, Dan who is as committed as she is to doing all the parental stuff you’re supposed to do. (I never did figure it out.) At the very least, Brinley is going to grow up in a house where there will be a lot of love. Oh, I guarantee that there will be arguments and someone may end up sleeping on a couch once or twice, but at the end of the day, love will conquer all. (Even if Trump becomes president.)
At the other end of the age spectrum is my dad. While he is very healthy right now he does need a son who can pick him up for his appointments (my job) and be around every now and then when he gets lonely. As you can imagine when you’re 92 most of your longtime friends are meeting regularly for happy hour at Mountain View.
So there were a lot of emotions going through my mind: Overjoyed for my daughter and hopeful for my granddaughter as there are so many wonderful things to look forward to. There was also a little melancholy because I know that my dad probably won’t be around to see a lot of the stages that Brinley will go through. I’m going to remind her what a great guy he was. I know my mom who passed away 10 years ago would have been ecstatic about her new great grandchild just as she was when Jessica was brought into the world. (Brinley’s middle name, Lillian is named after her. I know she’s smiling right now over that.)
And for me? Who knows what’s in store. I’ll probably get the label, “The goofy grandpa.” I’m O.K. with that.