Biology — the mere fact that I am related to my daughter — made me a grandfather.
It was when my 13-day-old grandson baptized me down the front of my shirt and I wore it like a badge of honor that I knew I had become a grandpa.
Grandpa Cole. Wow.
It is a concept a young guy like me finds perplexing. How could this be when I am barely more than a lad myself?
Then again, I’ve cultivated aches and pains in my left ankle and right hip. It takes a large sigh to heave myself from the easy chair. I groan with those first few steps, hardly able to clear the lap afghan that cascaded to the floor.
This all started about nine months ago. I should have known then that something had altered my universe. I had become a grandfather-in-training, aches, whiter beard and all.
A few months ago came the first call: “Daddy, are you old enough to be a grandpa?”
“No,” I said. “No, I’m not.”
“Yes,” she said. “Yes, you are.”
When the next call I was expecting finally came on March 25, I danced with joy until my trick knee gave out and my back kinked. Sebastian Nicholas Cole, all 7 pounds and 12 ounces of him, checked into this world with the lusty cry of someone who had changed his mind about his destination. The group in the delivery room 530 miles away dialed my number at his birth so I could hear.
I hooted and hollered, then rubbed on some BioFreeze and went back to bed. It had been an exhausting minute and a half of celebration.
I tactfully waited until March 26 before begging my daughter to pack him into a shipping box and overnight him to me, just for six or seven or 17 years or so. She declined.
“But there’s so much I need to teach him — how to throw a football, the smell of Play-Doh, in which dresser drawer to place that frog so I finally can get revenge on you for that pancakes, Fruit Loops and VCR incident in 1988…”
“No!” she shouted into the telephone. “You’re not touching my baby!”
I had expected Sebastian to be late. He is my grandson, after all. Plus, Melissa was born eight days past her due date. So I scheduled my vacation for the week after the due date. Sebastian was born the week before.
It was a long, frustrating 12 days, but finally I was able to make a break for it and skedaddle to Virginia where the kidling awaited the wisdom of my gray hairs and knowledge of things that bugged his mother.
My suspicions were confirmed. Why yes, he IS the most perfect grandson ever.
Soft, sandy hair graces a beautifully rounded head. Honest-to-goodness baby blue eyes peer out from above cheeks made to be kissed. An expression of curiosity yet of refined sagacity plays across his face as he surveys the roomful of cooing idiots all reaching for him.
My precocious prodigy, naturally, does not need to be talked to with silly sentences such as, “You are just the cutest cute-ums ever. Yes, you is. What a snuggly little snuggiekins.” Nope. Melissa told me he is way beyond that, so I stopped cooing.
Sebastian has Poppa Josh’s and Momma Melissa’s ear dimples.
He stayed up all night the other night watching movies with his father. During the day, he just eats and sleeps. This means that while he has his father’s face, his mother’s ears, he definitely picked up his grandfather’s personality.
Yep, he’s my grandbaby. And soon, I had my hands on him. We bonded immediately. I sat down on the couch, held him against my chest and we both zonked out.
We’re going to get along just fine.