Wooooohoooooo! I'm a Grandpa! Welcome to the world, Maliyah Yvonne! My daughter, Jamie, is the proud Mom of a beautiful little 7 lbs. 1 oz. peanut.
Isn't she a cutie? Yes, she does come with arms and legs! They are just hidden in there for safe keeping right now. Doesn't she look like she's ready for a run with Grandpa?
Wait a minute! Let's back up for a moment...this was not part of the plan. At 44, the kids would be starting to leave the nest, and the wife (now ex-wife) and I would be exploring the world together. While all of our single or newly married Yuppie friends were out partying back in the late 80's, I consoled myself knowing that I would be "finished" with my parenting duties by my mid-40's. I would be retiring by 50, and living the good life. Wow, was I ever wrong!
I now have 2 daughters and a little bundle of joy at home. They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him what your plans are.....I must keep him rolling on the floor in tears!
Nevertheless, I have discovered that many of the joys in life come from the unexpected. The gifts in life are often disguised as challenges. If you know me well, you probably know that I love adventure and never shy away from a challenge. I have ideas that often take me down rarely traveled paths, and at a young age I knew what I wanted in life. I was confident and driven, and dug in hard for the long haul. I wanted a family with the Golden Retriever, the house in the country and the mini-Van. Things went according to plan (my plan) for a long time, and then the wheels came off the bus. I woke up one day to the realization that my marriage was over. Since then, I have learned that life is not always in our control and things don't necessarily go according to plan. I've learned a lot.
Life has been a great adventure over the past 5-6 years. Filled with both joy and heartache, I wonder what each day will bring...
This past weekend, it brought a little Granddaughter to me. I couldn't have been more proud of my daughter, Jamie. I watched the delivery (from my assigned spot in the corner of the room) in awe. Tara and Jamie's births are mostly a blur to me, so the unique perspective of watching from a distance this time was incredible. It's just amazing! Jamie was awesome, and her sister Tara has been there with her every step of the way. This morning, the two of them lay huddled with Baby Maliyah. Something tells me Maliyah is one lucky little girl :-)
Dawn and I went for a run the day after Maliyah arrived. I was aglow with pride and everything seemed right with the world. On the spur of the moment I decided to run up the icy 1/2 mile trail to the top of Pinnacle Rock. Dawn, despite her fear of the icy trail, was a good sport and came along with me. At the top, I acted like Rocky Balboa, and danced around and threw a few mock punches into the air. I raised my arms and announced to the world that Maliyah Yvonne had arrived and that everything would be OK now. I pronounced that life would get better for all, and people could relax and start spending money again. All was good due to the arrival of the Great One! Grandpas are permitted to do these things! We're just silly old men, aren't we?
I felt like an old man all week due to a cold, but managed to get out with my main man, the Goat, this morning. We did our usual 8 miles at the reservoir. The trails were super icy and we fell as much as we ran. It was pathetic at times. We talked about our grand plans as we usually do...God must have be rolling in the aisles in tears.
I do have one plan I think I can manage though....I want to be in good enough shape torun a marathon, climb a mountain, and ski the steep ones with my Granddaughter someday. We'll dance the tango and sing the blues. We'll travel the world and sample the local fare. So many possibilities... She may not buy into MY plans, but I'll be ready to support HER DREAMS when the time comes.
And so it goes...the circle of life rolls on...my claim to immortality takes another step forward...and I can't wait to see what life has to offer her! Welcome to the world, Maliyah Yvonne!