My daughter Rebecca called and said, “Hi grandpa!”
She had a little boy – 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 21 inches long.
He sounded so big.
A week later I was in Los Angeles to meet Noam.
I held him.
Such long and little fingers. Cute little nose. Lots of red hair.
He now seemed so – tiny.
In June I turn 65 and this is my first grandchild.
For a long time, I’ve had friends rave about their grandchildren and tell me I will love it. Friends get all gooey about their grandchildren on Facebook .
With three daughters, I felt my odds were pretty good.
But I was not obsessed with it.
I never, never, never was going to be one of those parents who asked their children “When are you going to give me some grandchildren?”
I knew Rebecca wanted to be a mom – and she will be an amazing one. The look of complete joy on her face the day I met Noam was such a joy to me.
Every time I see his name, I just get this big, goofy smile.
And now, every day I go down my prayer list I have a new reason to smile. I pray for a lot of things. On that list are my daughters, son-in-law and now Noam. Every time I see his name, I just get this big, goofy smile.
It would be great if Rebecca, her husband Chuck and Noam lived on the Llano Estacado.
Ain’t gonna happen.
And I can’t see me returning to my native city. The traffic alone after living in Lubbock for 13 years would kill me.
So Noam and his grandpa will enjoy visits at least a few times a year.
I can’t wait to take Noam to his first Dodger game, go on a hike, jump in the surf.
Maybe I’ll take him to a Lakers game if they ever get good again.
But in reality – I’ll do what Noam wants to do.
It’s slowly starting to creep into my noggin what this all means.
I want to be the quintessential grandfather – although I hope he calls me Grand Dude. Or El Grand Duderino if he’s not into that whole brevity thing.
(If that last one is completely lost on you, see “The Big Lebowski.”)
My dad never got a chance to be a grandpa – he died at 54 when I was still in college.
I had a great role model for what a grandfather should be … my ex-wife’s dad.
But I had a great role model for what a grandfather should be – my ex-wife’s dad.
My girls loved Norm – and he loved them.
We did the classic American summer vacation at lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
We’d catch tons of sunfish – even if the girls were disgusted about putting a worm on the hook – clean ‘em and have them with dinner.
He was once picking his nose when Rebecca was little. She saw it and said, “Grandpa!” Norm was not fazed and responded, “I was just trying to pick you a winner!”
Norm, what a card.
So what’s this all mean?
By the time we get to this age, grandparents should be the perfect example of unconditional love.
My mother is.
Her dad did it in a very quiet way.
My dad’s mom oozed unconditional love.
I found a Welsh proverb that said: ‘Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.’
I found a Welsh proverb that said: “Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. ”
I hope to live a long time and Noam and I have lots of fun times.
And I hope I’m a great example of unconditional love he’ll pass on down the line.
Because it’s not about extending your line if the values of your line are not worth passing on.