Facebook Twitter

IT’S WORTH BEING `GRAMPS’ TO ENJOY THE MIRACLE OF A NEW LIFE

SHARE IT’S WORTH BEING `GRAMPS’ TO ENJOY THE MIRACLE OF A NEW LIFE

I was in Provo when I found out. I had just completed a very interesting interview and was feeling high. When I walked into a medical office to take my daughter, Kelly, to lunch, she was sitting at a large desk, apparently presiding over a heavily populated waiting room.

In a loud voice, she said, "Hi, Grandpa!"Feeling instantly ancient, I took a quick scan of the room and saw everyone quizzically staring at me. But I knew what she meant.

My son Darrin's wife, Andrea, a delightful, flaming redhead, had delivered their firstborn - a delightful, flaming red-headed girl.

In pretty good time, too, for No. 1.

I knew because I had received a 6 a.m. wake-up call from Darrin, who said, "Dad, I thought you should know that the horses are on the track."

It was five days early, and we had planned to help him move later in the day from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom apartment.

Instead, he was on his way to the hospital.

So why not get it all over at once - have the baby and move on the same day? Life has a way of doing that to you.

When I got home that afternoon, my two younger sons shouted in chorus, "Hi, Gramps!" I was apparently getting older and older.

After a quick dinner, the family went to the hospital to visit the new mother and baby. Both looked terrific.

We all took turns holding sleepy little Kyra, examining her unmistakably red fuzzy hair, making the usual pronouncements about which side of the family she most resembled - then we left in our grubby clothes and headed for the moving party.

We hauled box after box, made trip after trip, occasionally stopping to guzzle ice water and check our bodies for potential hernias or slipped discs - until we were exhausted.

Then we worked some more.

The most enervated one of all was the new father, who, it seemed, didn't deserve to be both emotionally and physically spent on the same day.

Once we had all the boxes in the new apartment, the bed made and the crib set up in the baby's room, we left so Darrin could make one more trip to the hospital.

The next morning on the way to work I was thinking not so much about becoming a grandfather for the first time as I was about the miracle of life.

I found myself sentimentally remembering the circumstances surrounding each of our five children's births - at various hours of the morning or night - none of them, fortunately, in the middle of a move.

We enthusiastically welcomed each one, then marveled at how similar each looked in the beginning, but how unique each personality became.

This little red-headed girl's father was our firstborn too. He came during a snowstorm in April.

We changed his diaper at odd times andplaces, fed him in the middle of the night, watched late-night television when he was not in the mood to sleep - took picture after picture of his antics.

We noticed we took fewer and fewer pictures as we got more and more children. That's the way that goes too.

Now he's having kids of his own, and I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea. Sure - I'm on the receiving end of joke after joke at home and at the newspaper because of my new advanced status.

But I can handle it.

I can cuddle little Kyra and watch her grow - but never in the middle of the night.

That's the beauty of being a grandfather.