Well, I kid you not, we’re expecting. The news came at a Thai restaurant when she grinned, handed me a gift bag and said, “Congratulations!” Inside was a coffee mug, with these words on it: “Don’t mess with me, I’m the Grandpa!” My wife Ramona screamed. That’s when I realized they didn’t buy my mug because it was on sale. “Raelyn, you shouldn’t have,” was all I managed. There was hugging and congratulations. Jeff and I high-fived and I said, “Waytago!” So there you have it. Lord willing, we’re going to be grandparents.
Everyone tells me how magnificent this will be. I listen to grandfathers my age and they say, “You just wait it’s the bestest thing ever you will not believe how awesome they are you just feed them chocolate and send them home and let their parents deal with it and I hope you have twenty-five the more the merrier I have two dozen myself did I mention they’re the bestest?” And then they faint [ahhh] because they haven’t taken a breath in two minutes. After I resuscitate the poor fellows, I think to myself, what does a grandparent do? I can’t shake the feeling that grand-parenting is over-related. Hear me out. I have spent years around little kids. Yes, they’re cute. But they make messes and noises and trouble. Of course they bring joy, but they also bring frogs, insomnia and poverty.
My wife laughs when I talk like this. “You just wait. They’ll melt your heart.” But this is coming from one who is not thinking rationally since grandchildren were mentioned. Here is an actual transcript of a breakfast table conversation:
ME: “They want me to speak at a conference in November.”
RAMONA: “November? You know what November is. It’s when The Baby is due.”
RAMONA: “Yes, due! To be born.”
ME: “Oh, that’s right. November. Well, what am I supposed to do in November? Sit around in a snowdrift and wait for the baby?”
RAMONA: “Some pastors take six-month sabbaticals.”
Along about noon, Raelyn emailed us a video. I clicked on it and my heart stopped. I was watching a grainy image of a tiny little person moving about. I couldn’t stop grinning. This was my grandchild. And every single day now I pray for this baby. Sometimes at night I read Psalm 139 to Ramona, about how God is forming this child, body and soul. It’s awesome, breath-taking work. I visited my friend James who doesn’t know much about grandchildren. I’m not convinced he thinks they’re that great. I told him I was pretty sure this one was a boy and that the heartbeat sounded a lot like mine and that there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who can count and those who can’t and those who don’t care because being a grandparent beats them both. Next thing I knew, he was trying to resuscitate me.