Parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles are made more powerful guides and rescuers by the bonds of love that are the very nature of a family.”
Henry B. Eyring
Recently, I picked up my son and his wife and their new one month old son, Bennett Gary Larson, at the airport. It was the first time I saw my grandson in person and it was a very special moment. For the previous twenty years, as I traveled around with my 4 young children, I had occasionally received compliments from people who mistakenly thought they were my “grandchildren”. I guess it might have been my hair that started turning grey a little earlier than most but it still surprised me when it happened and almost offended me. I remember that I was in my forties when I was given a senior citizen discount at a local restaurant. I just look older than I really am.
I am here today to announce to the world that my greyness and wrinklicity (new word) is now appropriate for my new calling in life…I am a grandpa and it feels pretty dang good!! It is by far the best thing that ever happen to me that required no effort or work on my part.. no input, no advice, no late night ponderings. What an awesome event! …and it gets better. I am already planning the go carts and fishing trips and throwing the baseball and football. These are reasons enough to try to get and stay healthy.
The hardest thing has been to try to figure out my grandpa name. My four grandparents were: BeMa and PePa, and MoMo and PoPo. We have considered MeMe and PePe but my wife won’t let me use that name. Perhaps we are supposed to let the first baby mumble a few sounds that become our names but I have decided to take a more active role. My family likes to call me Gare Bear and so I have taken the liberty to make the connection between me and one of the most ferocious animals on the earth…my new name for the next two to three decades is going to be BearPa…and if the little kid starts calling me PaPa or Poo Poo, I will just gently nudge him back to the bear….the BearPa!
This is going to be fun. What will I do however if somebody comes up and gives me a compliment thinking these are my “great grandchildren”? I think a fierce look and a low growl from the Bear will make it clear they are messing with the wrong cubs. Being a grandpa is going to be the best thing in the world. I still have a few things to learn…like not calling my wife granny, but this is going to be a great honor. Young Bennett and the others that will follow don’t know it yet but BearPa, translated into baby talk, just means “your best friend and protector for ever.”
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