Living Out Loud

Not A Natural


I realize that I talk about my grandchildren a lot (partially because I have a lot of them - 13) I never intended to be a caricature, the old man with white hair who goes on and on and I probably haven't reached that stage yet, but I need to be careful. Every dance recital, rugby game, horse show and graduation give me something to share with the world.

I look back at the kind of father I was, and I wish I'd been a better one. I wasn't a natural at it. I got frustrated too easily and I wasn't known for my patience. But I love my kids and they love me back. It's a gift they give me. We communicate in some form or fashion every week, by text, phone call or email. One daughter lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, the other in the North Carolina piedmont. My son lives in Austin.

My wife also has two daughters, and they have kids, and I am just as attached to them as I am to my other grandchildren. Three of those little ones live nearby and they are my closest connection to hugs and kisses. They are the ones who spend nights at our house and knowingly demand pancakes for breakfast the next day. All these treasures, scattered around the country as they are, make me feel gratitude every day. Wait until your turn comes. You'll feel it too. And, if you aren't fortunate to be as blessed as we are, come see me some summer when they are all here and I'll share with you for a day.