Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Pa, and I am your maternal grandfather. I’ve been quite excited about your arrival and was glad when you got here a week early.
My wife is Nana, your grandmother. She is a much better grandmother than I am a grandfather, but we both love you bunches and bunches.
I hope you’ll like coming to see us. We have a lot of toys for little boys. You might mistake our living room for a toy store. Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t have any toy stores anymore. I’ll explain that to you when you get a little older.
For about three years, we have devoted ourselves to spoiling your older brother, Walter. We’ve done a pretty good job. We have a giant collection of things from “Toy Story” and “Sesame Street,” to name a few.
Now, you’ve come into the picture and we’re not going to cut our love in half. We have enough for both of you. Pa likes to sing, and I hope you will, too. I know lots and lots of songs for little fellas, and some of them are downright funny. When you get to the point you can start eating real food, Pa will make pancakes for you and Walter. I think pancakes are the official breakfast food of little boys.
I hope you and Walter will be buddies. Yes, he’ll always be the big brother, but I think he will help you learn some of the things he is learning.
Walter is fond of playing outside, and I hope you are, too. I hope you find dirt, mud and sandboxes to be wonderful places to play and get dirty. I hope you enjoy games like hide-and-seek. You’ve got enough cousins to start your own team in just about anything outdoors, and I know it will be a blast.
You will wear out countless pairs of shoes running in the yard. That’s OK. Sometimes, I hope you might just lay in the grass and watch the puffy clouds go sailing by or try to count some of the stars that seem to be hanging right above your head.
One day, I’ll tell you about God, who made all of this and about his wonderful son, who we celebrate this time of year.
God gave us this wonderful book called the Bible. I hope to read you stories about Moses, Samuel, Joseph and how Jesus came to Earth as a baby just like you. One day, you and Walter will go to Vacation Bible School, just like Nana and I did when we were kids. I hope they bring back marching and saying the pledge to the flag and the Bible.
I hope you love your family. You have two sets of grandparents who love you tremendously. Up the street, you have a great-grandmother and grandfather who have a boatload of experience in the grandparenting arena.
But most of all, love your mama and daddy. They brought you into this world and they will shape into the fine young man we all want you to be.
Just remember I’ll enjoy watching this wonderful show we call life.
Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the weekend Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.