There are people throughout Humana and the world who have been following the stories I write about my granddaughter since the day she was born. Once I was walking in the park across the street from my office when a woman shouted at me from her car. She said, “Aren’t you Chloe’s Paw Paw”? Chloe’s popularity and name recognition became greater than my own. Today is Chloe’s birthday and she is now officially a teen-ager. Trust me when I say she has the attitude to prove it. I know many of you will find this difficult to believe. It is mind blowing for me as well. After my children were born I assumed that one day I would be a grandfather but I never realized the joy and occasional worry it would give me. Most grandparents would feel this way. It is now difficult to remember a time when Chloe was not part of my life or our family. She and I bonded from the very beginning. She was only three weeks old the first time she stayed overnight at my home. My wife and I were in our early 50’s then but very out of practice caring for a newborn child. I was up every hour getting a bottle, holding her, or rocking her back to sleep. She used to grab on to my beard with her tiny fingers. At first it was a little embarrassing how much she preferred me to anyone else, even my wife. As she got a little older she would wake me up at the crack of dawn so I would go downstairs with her to “play the game”. “Playing the Game” was the two of us sitting in the middle of the floor with every doll and stuffed animal she owned. I have a Jerry Garcia doll. She would grab it, bring it to me and say, “You be Jerry”! At one time she was the only child in the daycare who had a Jerry Garcia tee shirt. However, now that Chloe is no longer a child but a blossoming young woman, she and my wife are a lot closer. She talks about girl stuff with my wife and philosophical stuff with me. Chloe knows twice as much about life at age thirteen than I did at age thirteen. That is not necessarily a good thing. I hope I have a long enough life to see her grow up and become an adult. She needs me as much as I need her. For now I will enjoy every moment I have with her even if we are disagreeing about whatever the drama of the day happens to be. Next week she will be going on vacation with the old folks. She keeps us young plus I want to give her as many enjoyable experiences as I can before life get too serious and demanding for her. You only have one childhood. She’s already had her share of challenges and soon enough she will be an adult. Someday I will also need her to break me out of the nursing home.
P.S. Prepare yourselves. She will be driving a car in three years. I wonder if Dad will let her borrow his prized Corvette?
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