Friends and family rallied at our home this past weekend for a coed baby shower. After more than 30 years since being a direct participant in such birth-related events, memories arrived decorated in strands of spider web and waves of fog.
As a first-time grandfather-to-be, we enjoyed receiving all the congratulatory messages over the past eight months. Participated in baby shower gift shopping. Assisted as we could in decorating and preparing for the party. Watched as our beautiful daughter-in-law bloomed with the glow of motherhood. Wondered what emotions might be passing through our son’s mind as we vaguely recalled the mix of expectant joy and angst that first time parents endure. Found yet another avenue of appreciation and respect for Jane as she readily and lovingly began her transition to grandparenthood.
Yet, although countdown to due date was less than thirty days, I couldn’t grasp with any certainty how to define my assumed euphoric state as grandfather-in-waiting. What was I really supposed to be feeling?
Then this weekend, I met 18-month-old Francis. He arrived at the shower like a miner’s headlamp in a coal-black tunnel. Granted that, at his age, Francis is many degrees of separation from sleepless nights, wailing communication, and myriad soiled diapers. Yet, he empowered my emotions like an SDG&E employee throwing a switch at a power station.
We spent only moments together, but enough time for him to open my eyes to the many wonderful facets of what grandparenting portends.
I’ll probably never see you again, Francis. You definitely won’t remember our shared time together, yet I will always be grateful. Thank you, my young man. May you live a long and happy life.