Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Great-Grampa Schmidt-Dog

Well, my dad and mom (aka stepmom) are officially great-grandparents. Grandson Seth and wife Mimi just had a baby girl.

It's difficult sometimes to think of my dad as a grandparent, let alone a great-grampa. I see him twice a year and each time I'm surprised by the man who runs to me like God to give me a hug as we pull into his driveway. A little older, a few more lines, he's a caricature of himself moving slower toward me each time.

I envision him as the room of my childhood that once sparkled in promising sunlight that bounced off my blue walls and frilly canopy bed, but has now faded with time. The wallpaper is cracked and peeling and the eyelet lace is yellowed and worn around the edges. But it's still the same room, and still the same gracious sun casts its hopeful light in the peppery dust.

And how must I look to him, his baby, a wife and mother approaching middle age with lines of my own? How fast my kids zoom by me to hug grampa and gramma, and rush to find presents of toys and DVDs, hidden as if by St. Nicholas behind the couches or desks. And, like the merry old elf, dad has a magical gleam in his eye as the kids squeal with delight over their bounty, which is then thrust at us adults, who spend the first half hour drinking wine and forcing Barbie or Optimus Prime from an ungodly unpenetrable package. For weekends at a time my kids slather my folks' calm retreat with a heaping spatula of youthful vitality and ear-piercing screams.

So, we have a new baby in the family. Another generation full of life and promise of a future better than our past. Another generation picking up the baton and moving forward in this great race of life.

My dad's a great-grampa, but I think he's just a great dad.

No comments: