The grandparent experience defies verbal/written description. Until becoming one myself I would flee from an oncoming grandparent wielding scores of pictures of their own newly minted grand-offspring. I would appear to be superficially interested and verbalize such worn out comments as anyone would. I would often silently swear to myself that I would never become that kind of grandparent. So now that I have had the experience I try to be very selective in who I reveal pics of the truly brilliant, beautiful and ultimately talented grandson (s) I have. All kidding aside words, either spoken or written do not adequately describe the feeling, or any powerful feeling, for that matter, of the experience itself.

But there is a paradox to the entire phenomenon. My dark side speaks from a place of existential truth. Becoming a grandparent only brings our ultimate demise into stark reality. Fortunate individuals (like myself) retain great memories of particular grandparents and their love. They died decades ago. Now that I have become one the realization comes fully– I’m next in line to fulfill by mortal directive. As my wife’s wise grandmother shared with her when she was small, the older generation must make room for the next. My ancestors did so for me so it is only fair.

I’m OK with that, I guess. There is no option as birth comes with an expiration date stamped somewhere, invisibly on our soul. But just remember you ecstatic grandparents as you lift your bundle of joy into the air–you’re holding your genetic replacement up to the heavens. Enjoy the experience fully as you take a deep, soulful sigh.

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