The Grandpa Effect
I have never been one to fawn over babies. It’s not that I dislike babies or think they aren’t an incredible thing but I just didn’t go all googlie eyed when one was in the room. I typically avoid holding little babies, not due to any type of phobia other than to not cause the little one any undue stress. Babies can be fickle creatures and prefer known entities rather than gruff unknowns.
I never could understand the obsession with them that some seem to have. I could never see myself as that guy who would do anything to win an infant’s approval or stand on my head to make them smile for a moment. Babies are best left to be cared for by their parents, yes sir and thank you kindly.
As I type this, my just turned 3 months grandson is asleep after I spent 3 hours playing, dancing and generally acting a fool to make him smile. You know what? I have never felt more alive, more hopeful and more joy than right now. I fully expect tomorrow to be better and the day after that better still.
We live in a world which to us seems to be in turmoil. We hear bad news daily and terrible news regularly and sometimes we just do not see a light in the darkness. We all know someone who is sick or has lost their job or sees their child running off the rails. We hear of violence across the globe, diseases running roughshod and leaders committing crimes to increase power. We can sometimes become so focused on these things that we lose sight of good. Of personal peace. Of happiness. Of love.
Yes, there are bad things in this world. There have been horrors since the world was created and there will continue to be for a time. It is a good thing to be aware and know about such things but we cannot let those things consume us, destroy us, ruin our joy. I have in the past been so concerned with evil that good was out of my sight. I have been so focused on being ready to live in a world skidding off the road that I was failing to live now.
Three months and six days ago that all began to change. 8 pounds and three ounces of pure unbelievable joy was gifted to me. My grandson was sent straight from a dream and into reality. My hard shell began at once to melt. My impatience with the world at large began to heal. My focus began to shift from the known and unknown worry of Earth to the wonderful little person who was smiling back at me from his first day in the light.
We humans are so subject to fret and worry. We have an uncanny knack for picking the worst out of every circumstance and seeing the bad in every day. Life is but a moment, a breath in time. We are here, now, yet we seem to always be more concerned with another time. The past, the future but never now, this moment, this joy.
For me the spell has been broken. I want to live now, feel now, love now. I want to see that smile looking back at me whatever the cost. I want to impart what knowledge and dreams I have to this little human and see him grow and dream too. I still believe in being knowledgeable and understanding this world but I am simply done letting those cares drive me, control me.
His peaceful rest as I watch him sleep is deeply moving. While the world seems to be raging with hate, here in this moment is deep love. Worry has been replaced with something which seems foreign yet also familiar. Care is swept away, peace takes its place and for the first time in a good while a new realization emerges, hope.
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