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Wife Sandy and I will become grandparents this August, and I’m still not sure what to think about it. Daughter Miranda and her husband Cam revealed the news of offspring in a novel (to me) way: they gave us scratch-off lotto-looking cards with the instructions, “Match 3 symbols to win prize,” and of course we got 3 matching symbols. When we scratched the prize box, we got the news, “We’re going to have a baby!”  This was over dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and, well, what do you do?  As for me, I immediately went into a daze.


Then last week we were invited to join the kids at the expensive crab restaurant they like to go to when special things are announced. This time the news was, “It’s a boy!”, but we had to guess the gender before they told us, which did not affect the sex of the child at all. They showed us the ultrasound photographs, and, yes, it was a baby all right. A name had been chosen, and there was some discussion about it. Sandy was asked what she wanted to be called as grandmother, and “Nana” was selected, though I’m not sure whose choice that actually was. I was asked what I wanted to be called as grandfather, and I said “Sir” would be all right until I got to know the baby a little better. Otherwise, just call me to dinner, and I will be fine with it.

The men in the family are thrilled and happy about the baby, but it is the reserved masculine sorts of emotions keep us calm. After all, it’s not like it’s a football game or something. The ladies, however, are thrilled silly! They are planning the gift registries, and which grandparent is going to do what, and baby showers and things, but there is wisdom in this. August will be here before we know it.

I did encourage my wife and daughter at the crab dinner to keep practicality in mind. The best gift to give new parents is sound advice. Our server was a wonderful woman who got excited when she noticed the pictures in Miranda’s hands. “Are you expecting?” she asked.

“Yes,” Miranda affirmed. The server responded with hugs and sound advice.  Her advice to our daughter was to rub olive oil on her belly twice daily after delivery, and wear a girdle “to keep from spreading out.” There were other things, but all of this was getting to be too much information for me. It was good advice; but this sort of thing perhaps needs to be served in a teaspoon, not a bucket.

And this statement provides a good stopping-point for this week’s column.

There’s birth, death and the stuff in between is life. Every one of us has a different story to tell, and each of us can hope ours is a good one. Let’s do our best and remember to keep the children in our prayers.

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