Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Thoughts on Becoming a Grandfather

Samatha Aeryn Ray-Wickersham, all 6.5 pounds of her, came into this world at around 6 pm on September 24 - four days earlier than the doctors had predicted.  Nearly two feet tall, er long, the kid had her eyes open and was looking around the room when she was barely 18 hours old.  Gonna be smart this one, and with those long legs and long fingers, I can see great things in her future.  Of course, all that is incidental to the fact that this little bundle of squawling joy has just made me a grandfather.

Everyone's been telling me that you change when that happens.  I'm still waiting.  Oh, I was happy that little Samatha, or Sam, which I've already decided fits her better, was born healthy, and that my daughter suffered no ill effects. It was nice seeing my son-in-law, Charles (maybe it's true about girls marrying their dads and boys marrying their moms, you think?) taking to fatherhood so easily - even to the point of volunteering to change a diaper.  But, I'm still waiting for that magic glow that's supposed to envelope you when you become a grandparent; the one that makes you overly indulgent and prone to spoil kids.  I'm sorry, but I don't feel it.

I will, of course, dedicate my next book to Sam.  Nothing unusual there; I've dedicated books to most of the rest of the family, and this is just my way of welcoming her to the clan.  But, I promise you, I will not spoil her.  Teach her to read and do math when she hits three - yes.  I did that for her mother, and she turned out okay.  Teach her to tie a knot and throw a baseball before she's six - yes, that too.  At the same time, I'll also teach her discipline and self-reliance - or, at least, model them.  It's up to her parents to be her primary teachers.  As a grandparent, I will play my secondary role to the best of my ability.  Most of the time I'll be trying to keep my wife from spoiling her.  Now, she's really bought into this magical grandparent thing, hook, line, and sinker. 

So, there you have it.  And, don't forget, you read it here first.