No one prepared me for this. Sure, there were the way-too-frequent "once she gets here blah-blah-blah" testimonies from other grandparents, which I shrugged off. And, yes, I'd read all of the quotes and bumper stickers, e.g., "If I knew grandparenting would be this much fun..." But, my desire to experience this for myself caused me to ignore the vast majority of unsolicited advice I received.
Then, the blessed event came on Monday evening, late. Anxious moments in the waiting room, knowing that my daughter was in heavy labor. The cursory text from my wife (in the delivery room) which said "she's here." The hour spent waiting as nurses and doctor administered to our new mother and baby. Finally, I got to see our precious little bundle...and my life immediately changed.
I won't try to expound here on what being a grandparent means--it's far too early in my tenure to explain. I will say that I've never felt the emotions of seeing that little infant, in the arms of my daughter, that I experienced late on Monday. I've never felt more proud than when I saw our granddaughter in the arms of my wife, sitting next to our daughter.
Grandparenthood, I can tell, is a journey for which there is no rule book but one which contains more touchdowns, three-pointers and holes-in-ones than penalty flags, fouls or bogies. (Don't you love how I always have to bring life events back to sports?) It's a journey which I don't want to rush, yet can't wait to take the next "trip."
(Now, if I could convince everyone that they can quit calling me "Hey...grandpa"--a simple "congratulations" will do just fine, thank you.)