￼Friends asked me, “Aren’t you excited that you are going to be a grandfather?” My answer was “Not really, maybe I’ll get excited as time goes along.” To myself I said “I don’t want to be old, I don’t want to give up my image of myself as a young man capable of anything, I don’t want to be Granddad.” I worked at becoming more excited and felt a gradual momentum start to build. I purposely talked to lots of people about grand parenting. One helpful suggestion was for me to think about what I wanted to pass along to my grandchild. I started to get passionate about sharing my love of baseball, railroading, and dancing. I began looking forward to buying children’s books and to reading to my grandchild, something I loved doing with my own children. I googled grand parenting and got useful suggestions from several websites. A young first time mother suggested I go to meet the baby separately from the grandmother, to give myself undivided time for bonding. All of this work paid off. I was overjoyed at hearing one of the first cries on the phone. The bonding trip was spectacular. My son and daughter-in-law are very relaxed in their parenting, allowing me lots of time with Alexa. This helped a lot.
Erik Erikson, a pioneer in human development, wrote about an adult developmental stage called “generativity.” Out of a sense of creativity, success, and having made a mark, one becomes concerned with the next generation and develops a love given without expectations of a specific return. I think I’m smack-dab into generativity.
I still feel like a young man capable of anything, some of the time, but my body keeps reminding me that I AM getting older. Last week, I had to give up 28 years of running because of knee pain. In my new stage of life, I’m looking forward to discovering all about Alexa and to teaching her about the game of inches called baseball, the beauty of a train whistle, and the joy of waltzing.