I think I finally turned the corner last week when my daughter and family came for a visit. It’s taken a long time, but I am now officially just a Grandpa, nothing more or less.
Maybe it’s partly about letting go of all other pretentious aspirations. Maybe, the recognition that I have no career left. The “friends” I knew from 30+ years in business are long gone. What remains is my family. The fresh, young and renewing part of my life is in my kids and grand kids.
What a joyous time we had,
- Wrestling on the living room floor,
- Piling all of us onto our king sized bed,
- Enjoying the new tire swing, dubbed the “grandpa swing”
- Sharing the kid’s beaming smiles from the sense of power and accomplishment each one got doing some real work with the skid-steer, moving and smoothing dirt and digging up stumps.
- Its fun and so easy to impress little ones with little things like showing off the bees without a bee suit, knowing that I’m fairly safe from being stung because I’ve done it before and the bees are usually very gentle.
- Then there were the simple one-on-one moments when we rode out together on the 4-wheeler, then sat on each child’s special spot, their own lookout point perched above the majestic canyon. No profound insights shared or expected. No grandfatherly wisdom or advice given. Not even a photo taken because our spot is a secret. Just two people joined in the bond of family, enjoying God’s grand creations, together.
- Even the harder moments like trying to console an inconsolable grandson after a painful yellow jacket sting, knowing that where I was failing, my sweet daughter and son-in-law would make up the difference and, in the end, everything would be fine, an unforgettable memory in the life of a brave little boy.
I can tell you now, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
Yeah, I guess I’m just a slow learner. I still struggle with the question of whether I’m actually retired or not. It’s taken a long time to settle into my true calling in life. Maybe I’ll print up some new calling cards with the title, “Grandpa”.