Yesterday I had a bubbly meeting with new friends in their late 60s who were bouncing because they had just learned that they were to become grandparents for the first time. I remember this moment well with enduring appreciation.
When we first found out that we were to have another generation we were with our closest friends Bud and Lila Morgan. Bud was the manager of the Kahuku sugar plantation in Hawaii, and they had been closest friends for our entire married lives. They were our children's godparents. They, like us, had four children and were 15 years older than we. We fashioned all of our decisions up and down the range of importance to what they advised. They were our dearest mentors.
When we described our impending grandparenthood to them they flipped. They related with enormous enthusiasm " this new horizon portends a whole new life", "you haven't lived till now," "life-changing," "you will awaken to a broader horizon."
All of these predictions have come true. Now with nine grandkids in our litter I celebrate daily. They are all in their 20s, untroubled, and soaring widely.
I relate to this joy of grand-parenting. I acknowledged this euphoria when I wrote in my first book "We Live Too Short and Die Too Long" that the birth of a grandchild is my personal Easter. I was interviewed by Boston NPR when this book first came out, and I was startled with my interviewer picked out that line in her reporting. I retorted "My God you read my book" because most such encounters are vacant with no substance. But yes the birth of my nine grandchildren are all Easters, my reach into immortality.
I think Woody Allen remarked "some people seek immortality by doing great works, I disagree, I want to achieve it by not dying." Sorry Woody, that option is not available. I suggest grandchildren instead.
Last evening my daughter Danna and I were out to dinner with the male partner of one of our granddaughters Tenley. Sian was just hired by a local restaurant where he will serve as manager. It was a joy seeing him interface with all of his prospective helpers. The food was terrific, and bill was comped, my first payback of mega-bucks invested. I am looking forward to other future dividends.
As a long-distance runner I have tried to inoculate my grandkids into the habit, and have a standing $1000 bounty available to them for finishing a marathon. So far two have, only seven more to go. A very worthy investment.
As I search my daily horizon I see the grandchildren in bright display. I'm proud to be their "Bapu".