I love kids. Especially other people’s kids, because they can feed ‘em and clean up after ‘em. Years ago after taking too much Tylenol I thought we should have some children of our own. So we did. They came one at a time, without manuals or mute buttons. But we loved them. About eight months ago our youngest and his lovely bride told us, “We’re expecting.” I said, “What are you expecting?” “A baby,” Jeff laughed. “A little bambino. You’re gonna be grandparents.” Now, please understand, in my mind I’m still 26. Grandpas have always been older guys who need bifocals and little containers with compartments to keep track of their medication. To make matters worse, my maturity level isn’t as high as many guys my age. Recently my married daughter said, “Dad, you haven’t changed since you were two.” How would she know? She wasn’t around when I was two.

 

Yesterday afternoon our son called, “The contractions are two minutes apart.” My eyes immediately dilated about eight centimeters. I said, “Honey, let’s go!” Our daughter-in-law comes from a wonderful family of rednecks. There were fifteen of us in the waiting room. A nurse asked us if we were okay. “No,” I said. “I’m about to be a grandpa. I don’t know what to do.” She laughed. “You’ll be fine,” she said. “Just breathe.”

 

At 8:30 PM Sophia Ramona Lynn Callaway came into the world crying like a baby. Her daddy cried too. Months ago he told me he’d be bringing the baby to me first. And when he finally handed her to me, I held in my arms the cutest, smartest, most well-dressed little lady you’ve ever met. She opened one eye and looked at me. I think she knew who I was. We had a thing going from hour one. I’m sure there’s a job description for grandparents, but not a solemn pledge for grandpas. Until now. Here’s mine:

 

As your grandpa I pledge to spoil you rotten. I was youngest in my family, so I am acquainted with spoiling. As a grandpa, I will allow Grandma to change your diaper whenever youneed it. I will keep current pictures with me at all times and will be the fastest draw in the West when it comes to producing them. I pledge to overspend and under scold. To be that babysitter your parents need who will not charge them for my services. I will gladly take down the nicest artwork in our home and replace it with your handprint in pink paint. We’ll pray together, read books, find mischief, eat ice cream and go for walks. I’ll even share my pancakes. And when you tell me I’m a good grandpa and that I should have some kids of my own, I will laugh and hold you close.

 

God bless you little Sophia. Welcome to our world. I wish it were in better shape, but Jesus is here with us. Sleep tight my dear. It’s gonna be okay.

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