Why was I so afraid to become a grandfather? Was it the sense of responsibility or was it just the word? Was the title making me feel mortal as in “Oh my god I’m old enough to be a grandfather”? I think in retrospect that the later was the case. So this blog is for anyone that might be feeling the same way. For me, it was Jackson who taught me how to lose that feeling.
Jackson is my first grandchild and with any luck, not my last. That is in fact a hint if my daughters happen to read this. I am Jackson’s Opa, apparently no one goes by the “grandfather” moniker anymore. Even though Opa is the German form, I think Jackson might be Italian. He has this knack of attaching the “a” sound to the ends of his important words like booma (puzzles, but that’s another story) and moona, his favorite sight, and so ona. Maybe its the “a” in Opa. But I digress.
Jackson taught me early on that my only responsibility, in fact any grandparent’s responsibility is to spoil your grandchild and teach them all sorts of clever but useless tricks. I cannot wait until I can teach him the many variations I have created for the great card game 52 pick up.
If I was worried about responsibility, Jackson left me know that it was he that was responsible for me. While rehabbing from knee surgery, Jackson sat with me every day. He was in charge of my rehab, and in his own little way, cared for me and oversaw my exercises and made sure I was kept fed. Grapes and cookies can do wonders for the healing soul.
And then there was that fear of being old. But Jackson sees no age barriers. When he wants to wrestle, we wrestle. When he wants to build Legos, so will I. And then there are the booma sessions. He will sit me down, get my computer and I will be given no quarter. We will do puzzles. Instead of the dread of age, he has taken me back to my youth. Thank you Jackson, for showing me that life really can start over at 60, for I am a grandpa. I am your Opa and I get to be young all over again. Lesson learned.
If you are still reading this and are not yet a grandpa, get ready to be born again. And if you already are …..well you get it. So pick me up Opa, I’m ready to show you how to play again.