Larrry Banman: Grandparenting is a process not an event
September 15, 2008
There is really nothing that prepares you to answer the question, “How does it feel to be a grandparent?”
Early on Saturday morning, Silas Nathan Hergert made his arrival in a Greeley hospital. He was a couple of days early, his mother (my daughter) endured about four hours of intense labor and he has passed all of the early tests with flying colors. By the second night of his life he was living at home and soaking in his new environment.
He now knows that in addition to a mother and father he shares his new digs with a cat and a dog. In addition, there are numerous loving hands to give him an embrace whenever needed.
In answer to the question about the new role I have in life, I haven’t been able to formulate a good answer. The weeks leading up to the birth are filled with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety. A prospective grandparent doesn’t have the day-to-day issues that are reserved for the parents. The news about each checkup and progression is relayed but the daily joys as well as the aches and pains are reserved for the parents. As a grandparent, you want to be in a supportive role, as you watch the blossoming of the family of one of your children.
For my wife and I, the birth day for Silas couldn’t have been scripted better. We received “the call” at about 5:45 a.m. from our son-in-law who informed us that “it was time.” We packed, stopped for a quick breakfast and were winding our way down the I-70 corridor when my cellphone beeped. Flipping open the phone, we were greeted with the picture of our new grandson and the message, “Silas is here.”
There are certain inalienable truths that immediately become apparent to a grandparent. The first realization is that environment, genetics and intervention from Heaven have conspired to present to the world the perfect child and that child is your grandbaby. In our case, we immediately saw that Silas was the shining star of the nursery. I am quite sure that his name is already being etched on the Nobel Peace Prize as well as a Heisman Trophy or two.
I have always been amazed at the ability of people to memorize the details of the measurements taken at a child’s birth. The measurements role off of their tongues like water over a waterfall. I no longer am amazed. For the next few weeks, 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20-inches long will be a mantra which I can repeat at a moment’s notice.
Over the years, I suppose those numbers will be replaced by other numbers that grandparents put in their memory banks and trot out at the slightest provocation.
Obviously, I am still new to the roll of being a grandfather. I really don’t know much of anything about the topic. I still don’t have an answer to how it feels to be a grandparent.
So, I will cling to what I do know. I know that I look forward to seeing his inquisitive eyes. I enjoy seeing the smile on his mother’s face. It was priceless to see Silas bring his father to a standstill when he reached out and grabbed his finger and wouldn’t let go. I also enjoy watching the transformation of my wife and daughter as they hold him and listen to his coos and squeaks.
I anticipate this will be a fun ride and a wild ride. The answer to my question will constantly change. Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever found the answer to a question I heard about 24 years ago, “How does it feel to be a daddy?”
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