I’m Too Young For This

How does someone such as myself go about writing a "monumental" post - one that is likely to be viewed by family and friends - copied and pasted, linked to and e-mailed to extended family members (and maybe even non-family or "soon to be" family members) around the country - maybe even the world?

I have asked myself that very question.  I have had a specific topic in the forefront of my mind for the past two months.  I have gone round and round with how to best approach it.  I have concentrated, contemplated and considered.  I have started and stopped.  I have written and re-written.  Through it all, I have not found anything that I was overly pleased with. 

I have therapeutically wanted (maybe even needed) to broach the subject here many times, but due to careful consideration of the timing, there were consequences for sharing this info too soon.   After carefully considering all aspects of this topic - I think the time is finally right - and I have decided that I'm going for the straightforward approach on this one.  Quick and to the point.

I need to add "Grandfather of One" to my "Father of Five" persona.

Yes, the Mother of Five and Father of Five are going to become Grandparents of One.  Wow!  Big news huh?  MASSIVE news (at least in our world).  It does not end there either.  Along with the news of becoming grandparents, we are also adding yet another persona to the already growing list...  "In-laws to One"  That's right.  Not only is there a baby in our future, there is an impending wedding!

This is uncharted waters for us.  How are we as parents supposed to react when our 22 year old unmarried and only recently employed son comes home and shares with us the fact that we are going to be a grandparents, and that he is getting married?  That is a lot of change.  A lot of change in a short amount of time.

There are options...

    • There is always the "bury your head in the sand" approach.  We could wish, hope, and pray that what we are hearing is all a dream - all while pretending it isn't true.  This may work - for the short term.  I suspect it will all come crashing down around us somewhere around the ninth month though.

    • We could get upset.  We could rant and rave like lunatics - loud enough to frighten even the in-utero baby.  We could wail and gnash our teeth - disowning the young couple and yet-to-be-born child while we mourn the loss of innocence, lament the demise of society, and grieve the end of the world as we know it.  Perhaps a little dramatic overkill there?  Um...  Yeah.

    • We could be excited!  We could be so happy and enthusiastic that we run out buying cigars, champagne, balloons, and banners for our front yard!  We could shout from the rooftop how proud we are of our son and his girlfriend for their "choice" to procreate - proclaiming this is the best news we have heard in a LONG time!  But, is that true to how we really feel?

What's been going on over the past couple of months is something more akin to a "stew" of emotions.  A little bit of this, and a little bit of that.  Not wanting to speak for the Mother of Five, I can attest to, and share with you how I have been feeling...  I feel disappointment, but at the same time I also feel excitement.  I get angry at myself for feeling disappointed.  I start striving for acceptance.  That's when I start worrying.  Worrying leads me to fear and my uncomfortably with all things "change".  My worry and fear bring me back full circle to disappointment.  It's a vicious circle.  Sometimes it's one of those emotions.  Sometimes it's more than one (or all of them).

Having said many prayers for #1 of 5 and his betrothed, we have spent many hours discussing and reflecting upon the situation.  We have decided the best approach is to do as we feel God would want us to.  First and foremost - while we do not condone what has happened, and how it has happened - we are glad that they decided abortion was not an option.  This baby deserves all the love and support it can receive.  We both strongly feel the best way to do that is to help support this young family as best we can.  If a person's own "family" can not be supportive for them during trying times, who can they count on?  After all, they are happy and excited about this.  In the eyes of this young couple, this is good news.  Why start this baby out into a life of turmoil?  That does not make any sense.

So, we watch.  We have watched their excitement as they plan their future together, as they come back from prenatal doctor's visits (and show off the ultrasound photos).  We listen as they share some concerning news, and are relieved with them as things resolve themselves.   I can not say every one of the decision(s) they have made would have been the decision(s) I would have made, but - these are THEIR decisions to make, and THEIR decisions to live with the consequences (both good and bad) of having made.

I do have to give #1 of 5 some kudos.  He deserves a lot of credit for stepping up and assuming responsibilities of his new roll of parent.  I have seen him transform into a "work 5 hours a paycheck - video game junkie" to a "working two full time jobs to make sure my family will have what it needs" sort of guy.

We have reminded them ad nauseam (in preparation for parenthood) how difficult this is going to be (to the point that #1 of 5 has told me he does not want to hear it anymore - which means weather or not he UNDERSTANDS it, he certainty has HEARD the message), and the importance of their newly obtained responsibilities, but...  They're young.  They're in love.  Their heads are still in the clouds.  They are certainly in for a heapin' helping of some of life's best reality checks - and in very short order.

The question that really needs to be answered is..  What does all this confusion and contradiction mean in the end?  What's the bottom line?

We plan to be there to love and support #1 of 5 and his Fiancé as best as we can.

-- and --

We plan to be there to love and support our first grandchild as best as we can.

Wanna know one upside to being called a "grandpa"??  I can tease my parents (and in-laws) that they are soon going to be known as  "GREAT-Grandparents"!!  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!  That may be worth the price of admission (to grand parenthood) right there!!

I do not have photos for this post.  Perhaps in the not too distant future, #1 of 5 and his Fiancé can provide a copy of an ultrasound photo - and maybe a photo of themselves together for a future update??  I'll leave that up to them..   This could prove to be quite an exciting series of posts here on FOF... The "Grandchildren Posts"... (Man, I wasn't ready for that yet!)

Before I sign off here, I want to give a "shout out" to a few special folks out there...

There were a couple of different folks whom I confided in when this info first arrived on my doorstep (and knocked the wind out of my sails).  These special folks were my "sounding boards.  Each of them played different (but equally importiant) rolls in helping me remain grounded as I processed this development in our family history.  I can not thank them enough for having been there - for fulfilling the rolls they took.  They each played a little different part - but each part was unique, important, and essential in it's own special way.  Just letting me get this off my chest was a huge help, but these folks went above and beyond.  It was being there to listen to me, to sharing their own thoughts, ideas, and experiences, to just checking in after not hearing from me in a while...  The things these folks did for me was just what I needed, and just when I needed it too.  I don't feel it necessary to drop any names here.  The wonderful friends that I am talking about here all know who they are, and what they have done for us...  

Please accept our personal, deepest, most sincere, and grateful Thank You's.

11 comments:

  1. congratulations and best wishes. sometimes these things work out just fine. That baby is the most important thing to focus on, good you did your sorting. it's different viewed from this angle, isn't it?
    ~lisa

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  2. Congrats man! You were right, this is HUGE news!!! I understand what you're going through, not personally, but my parents too had to go through this experience a few years ago. They chose option 3 and it meant the world to me. The support of parents in difficult and uncertain times such as this one is more valuable than you could ever know.

    Have fun preparing for grandfatherhood

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  3. :) Great post David and very poignant. It's a scary time for everyone, but like you said, he's stepping up and at least moving in the right direction. Every parent alive looks back and wishes he or she had made a few decisions differently, but that's just the way life is. His new family isn't out there on its own-it has a HUGE support system back at home and I know you'll be behind them every step of the way.
    So, congratulations "soon to be Grandpa." Will it be "Granpa," "Pappy," "Big Daddy" or something else?

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  4. Whoo hoo Dave! I am happy for you! You will be a great big cuddly Grandpa! In my mind I see you in a great big bear suit (except for the face)....but that is just how I want to picture you :)

    Best wishes to all involved and although my faith with God has been tested over the years (and I am still not the greatest religious person) I will say a quick prayer to whatever higher power there is that the baby (and parents) remain healthy and everyone gets through this time in their lives.

    I also pray that I will learn how to not make such long run on sentences.

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  5. Kudos on a very balanced perspective. Congratulations as you embark on a new phase of life!

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  6. Your post has me all teared up (and that doesn't happen easily). It brings back the exact breaths I breathed when my sister told me she was 16 and expecting. Today, she shared that at the tender age of 34, she may become a grandmother.

    I see the other end of this road every day in public schools. When those precious grandchildren have one, Just ONE person to love them with Christ's unconditional love, they change the world!

    Cheers and Kleenex to Grandmother and Grandfather of ONE. Know that God has great plans for this child and your entire (growing) family.

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  7. Wow! That is incredible news. You can only teach your kids as well as you can and then let them make their own choices, after which you hope they learn from their mistakes and you love them anyway. Sounds like you and MOF have made the best possible decision to extend unconditional love and acceptance to this little baby grandson or granddaughter. I'm cheering for all of you! Congratulations.

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  8. As parents we have the "right way" in mind on how our kids should live based on the way we raised them. Based on my beliefs it's sometimes hard for me to truly be excited when I hear the news of a young unmarried couple expecting a child. Does it change when the baby gets here? Yes.

    Because you are excited, I am excited as well. Congrats GP of 1.

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  9. Congratulations! I can say that I know pretty much what you went through with this as I had almost the same thing happen to me when I was told that my son's girlfriend was expecting and I was going to be a grandmother at what I thought was much too young of an age.

    Five years later I've got a curly-headed blonde grandson who has more energy than two Energizer Bunnies combined and a son and daughter-in-law who have made a good life for themselves and their family.

    We do our best in raising our kids up right and then they go out into the world on their own and make their own decisions. We may not always approve of those decision or rejoice in the initial consequences of those decisions but throughout it all, we still love them and support them just as God loves and supports us when we fall short.

    You're going to be a grand grandfather and that's going to be one lucky little boy or girl who becomes the first grandchild.

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  10. Congrats FOF, GOO! Very exciting. It must have been a very difficult and emotional post to write.
    One thing is sure. That baby is going to be spoiled rotten by Grampa.
    Have fun!

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  11. Congrat's to you, MOF, and #1 of 5! Huge news for all of you. We all know how we want it to be for our kids. Take comfort that you raised him well and you are showing him what it means to be a family - you are always there.

    We all do what we think is right at any particular point in our lives. Kudos to you for supporting #1 of 5's choices and putting your new grandchild first. What a wonderful gift!

    I look forward to GOO posts :-)

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