So I’m gonna be a grandpa.
This will be entirely new turf for Ellen‘s mother and I. Perhaps it’s time to go to ‘Grandpa school’ so as to brush up on all the nuances of spoiling the child (a little girl), how to insist on an unannounced last-minute visit without seeming invasive, or what’s new in Caldecott Medal-winning children’s books.
I had a couple hours of advanced warning before the blessed announcement a few months ago. Ellen texted me in the afternoon to see if I had Skype (no) but could I download it pretty fast (yes). She and Tim would Skype me later that evening. All mental systems were immediately on high alert. The kids would never arrange a live webcast for something as mundane as a new car or bathroom makeover. No, this had to be big.
And it was. We have marveled at ultrasound images and news of the baby rolling around and moving.
Since there was no letter last week due to my laziness and Ellen and Reid being on the road for the holidays, I dug into the archives for a letter that celebrated some of Ellen’s earlier good news.
June 15, 2009
Ellen: I must admit that when you were a peanut I never once imagined walking you down the aisle. Now that time has come and you will be a beautiful, exuberant and composed (okay, let’s reserve judgment on the composed part for a little while longer) bride.
In the grand scheme of things, what all of this says is that you are mature, you are ready, and you have everything it takes to begin a loving family. For a long time, you have been incredibly responsible in just about every aspect of your life; work, play, finances, and more. If anything, that entitles you to the day you are about to enjoy and treasure. That you took your sweet time on this deal says a lot about who you are and how you approach things.
Your mom and I, and Reid and your grandparents and Nancy and Gordie and Kristin and Jeff and Ralph and Gayle, Joe and Andy, are incredibly proud of you. As you take that longest walk that will be over so quickly, be sure to soak in the admiring views and stares because what it means is that people love and respect you. And that is both friends and family alike. Just look at the “response rate” on your invitations; if that isn’t some sort of record, I don’t know what is. That is the sure sign of how people ultimately view you and Tim. They want to be with you both on your day of triumph. Not all couples can say that.
In no way shape or form do I view this as losing a daughter, but rather, it is gaining a family that includes a still-wonderful daughter and a great, great son-in-law. That is probably the best any dad and mom can ever hope for. Your mom and I could not be happier for you and your new life. Nothing I will ever experience will make me smile any more or make me any happier than walking you down the center line and then answering Angie: “Her mother and I.”
Way to go, kid. We love you.