In January, I got the wonderful opportunity to travel to Seattle to meet my newest grandson, our fourth grandchild. Here I am holding him for the very first time when he was just about two weeks old and over the next eleven days, I got to know him very well.
My wife actually got to hold him on the day he was born. To provide the greatest amount of help for our daughter and son-in-law, rather than travelling together, we split our trips to visit them separately so that one of us could continue to provide our grandparent support for our oldest granddaughter back in Memphis.
My wife was scheduled to arrive a few days before the due date to help my daughter get ready and to be available to watch our oldest grandson but the little fella just couldn’t wait any longer and my wife actually learned of his birth while changing planes in Atlanta.
For my first few days while our oldest grandson was at pre-school, I took every opportunity to hold our new grandson and wouldn’t even put him down when he was fast asleep. This allowed my daughter and son-in-law to catch up on some well needed sleep and me to do some reading. And it enabled me to hear his sweet cooing whenever he was awake and to catch a quick glimpse of a grin whenever he smiled in his sleep. I particularly enjoyed rubbing my hand on his small head gently brushing his soft blond hair. Whenever I burped him after a bottle, I also delighted rubbing his ultra soft skin on the back of his little neck.
In no time, I found it was a natural habit to just occasionally kiss him gently on his head and breathe in his sweet baby aroma—an action I found myself soon doing involuntarily.
But different from my visit to meet my first grandson over three years ago, this time I got a chance to play with my newest grandson’s older brother too. After pre-school, my daughter and I took him to one of their favorite spots—play café—where we could enjoy a great cup of coffee while he played with toys.
And not once, but three times I got to take our oldest grandson to his favorite museum, the Museum of Flight, once just the two of us and twice with my daughter as well.
Each trip we would dine for lunch in the museum café where the meal was always topped off with a chocolate-coated airplane cookie. Then it would be off to one of the many fun exhibits.
Over the time of my visit, we got into a happy routine. Each morning, I would arise early and get coffee going. Then when my daughter brought the little fella upstairs, I would take him and either hold him or feed him while we had a nice conversation over our coffee. Then soon, big brother would come bounding into the room gleeful to see all of us and upon being asked how he was, sweetly stating that he was great!
Our day would be filled with fun activities and then at the end of the day, I would get to enjoy a local beer as we prepared dinner.
About mid-week of my last week, I began to sense my pending departure with a tinge of sadness. I recalled how hard it was the first time my wife and I had left our daughter and son-in-law after our first grandchild was born, now the big brother to the this new little fella. I reminisced of the tears that flowed upon leaving them for the first time because departing was one of the hardest things I had ever done.
But on my day of departure, the day he turned just four weeks old, our goodbyes were cut short as my airport ride arrived much earlier than anticipated. So it was a quick kiss and hug to all as I hustled out the door with my luggage. My new grandson thankfully had his eyes open so I could gaze into his soft eyes one more time, breathe in his sweet baby scent, and give him one last kiss.
In transit, my feelings were put on hold as I focused my attention on my journey to the airport, although sensing a bit of joy while passing the airplane museum where much fun had been had by all. But once I had made my way to my gate for my upcoming flight, my feelings and tears unleashed as I typed these words awaiting my departure. But my tears were soon replaced with a peaceful happiness when I remembered this was just my first departure. Just like with our multitude of trips going to see our first grandson, there would be many, many more trips to spend time with this little family—my daughter’s family—with more fun-filled respites at the play café, the airplane museum and many more exciting adventures!