Saturday, November 12, 2016

For We Could Only Go So Far...

Whoever you've been 
and whatever you've been,
it never leaves you. 
I always picture it as a car.  
All your selves are in it.
And a new self gets in,
but the old selves can't never get out.
The important thing is 
who's got their hands on the wheel
at any given moment? 
- Bruce Springsteen 

Presuming I live that long, in February, 2017, I shall mark my fiftieth birthday.  Note that I did not say "celebrate".  The choice of language was one of deliberate design.  I bear no ill will towards getting older.  I simply choose not to "celebrate" an occasion over which I had little input.  It is for that reason that each year on my birthday I telephone Mom to wish her a happy day.

Through a half-century or so on the planet, I - with my over-sized head - have worn many hats.  I have been a son and a brother for the entirety of my life, an uncle for roughly eighty percent of it, and a husband and a father for approximately half of it.  Although I have played many parts, I am constrained to admit that I have not played any of the parts with particular aplomb.  The two skills I brought to bear on child-rearing were (a) driving the car; and (b) earning the income that guaranteed life as we knew it.  In that respect, I am my father's son.  Sad to say, I left much to desire in practically every other aisle of the parenting department. Suzanne and Rob are the well-formed, productive adults that each of them is because of their own hard work and that of their mother.  

But, now, an opportunity for redemption has appeared on the horizon. 

While the Irish in me would have preferred to have had no one mutter a word aloud about it until his arrival, as Margaret declared on her Facebook page Thursday morning (probably ten seconds or so after Suzanne gave her the go-ahead to do so), Suzanne is pregnant.  The tip-of-the-spear grandchild is expected to arrive in Suz and Ryan's life in the latter half of May, 2017.  

It is my sincere wish that I am a better Pop Pop to my granddaughter (and any and all other grandchildren that may or may not follow her) than I have been a parent to my children, a brother to my siblings, a husband to my wife, and a son to my mother.  It is also, at best, a secondary wish.  My principal wish for this little girl is that she arrives safely and in health equally good to that of her mother.  She and her father, both of whom already love her very, very much, are very excited to meet her.

So is her Pop Pop...


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