Last Thursday my wife and I welcomed our first grandbaby into the world. My oldest daughter Hannah (who leveled ACORN) and her husband Joe (who’s currently leveling other nefarious nuts) had a handsome little boy they’ve named, Hamish. Badass name, eh?
Obviously, we were elated for Hannah and Joe and the thought that we get to have a new little life scooting around occasionally at our casa felt pretty cool to us as well. But truth be told, it also freaked me out a wee bit.
So … what was perturbing to moi?
Well, it was largely the realization that I am officially … old. What the heck just happened to me? I know, I know, I should be rejoicing about the “new life” and “grand-baby” and yada-yada but when I drove away from the birthing center I was having a weird soul moment because it seemed just like yesterday that I was a 17-year-old hellion drag-racing my Z28 down Slide Road in Lubbock, Texas terrorizing blue-haired old ladies slow crawling their Delta 88s but now … I’m gramps.
I kind of knew I was getting up there in age by …
1. My age, 52. Duh.
2. The weird, long and gray, wiry hairs growing furtively from my ears, nose, back and brows to ludicrous lengths that, heretofore, never used to be present.
3. The fact I have urine flow envy.
4. The 17 pairs of reading glasses I have scattered strategically throughout my house and vehicles.
5. And the fact my daughter’s 26, married and now a mom but I still thought of myself as “forever young” ‘til the grandpaw moniker was affixed to me Thursday night.
“Geez, man. This is my end game,” I thought. What do I do now? Start shopping cardigans and coffins? Get a rocking chair and say, “I remember when” ‘til it drives everyone in my vicinity crazy?
How does one adjust to this new reality and role because this granddad stuff is new to me? How do I act? What do I wear? Should I opt for the Matthau/Lemon “Grumpy Old Man” motif or choose to live in denial like Mickey Rourke and wear T-Shirts that are too tight and confuse my grandson? How does one roll with this punch?
Here’s what I’ve decided. I’m going continue to be me. I’m not going to change squat. I’m not going to go quietly into the night and I’m going to try to be an example to little Hamish of a God-and-freedom lovin’, cantankerous old bastard/patriot, that’s what.
Yep, by God’s grace, I’m going to leave an imperfect wake of loving a perfect God and I hope to show this little rascal that granddad is an unapologetic adherent to the eternal verities of liberty, AC/DC music and justice, of course. Hopefully, the positive aspects of my constituent funk will help him navigate life’s ever-increasing, tricky glide paths and I will have left a positive mark on his psyche.
My prayer for Hamish, my other grandkids to come, and yours is that they overwhelmingly add to the human equation and not be a soul-taxing, money-draining and government-trusting stooge of the machine.
Yep, I would love nothing more than to leave a mark, as an “old man”, on my posterity that’ll fill that young man with courage, honor, loyalty, a hardwork ethic, selflessness and a sense of God and country that will further this grand experiment in self-governance and do all the aforementioned with hope and a big, devilish/confident grin on his face.
And that, my friend, is the granddad I’d like to be. If I can grow old doing all of that then I, personally, will eternally sleep the sleep of angels.
So, God bless Hamish and God bless your grandkids and may they never be big-government-politician beholden goons but rather liberty loving charges who live honorably, boldly, wild and of course … free.