I became a dziadziu – Polish for grandfather – last week. My wife became a dzidzi – the Americanized feminine version of dzadziu. Our daughter Kathy and her husband Jim brought into this world Grace Irene Sabo at 9 pounds and 21 inches, with blue eyes and those classic Polish-American chubby cheeks. Mother and father and Grace are doing fine, except for the usual sleep deprivation. The grandparents are also doing fine, without the sleep deprivation.
Everyone we talk to who has become a grandparent says the same thing, it is the best stage of life. The joy that comes with holding a newborn in your arms, those tiny fingers wrapped around yours is simply the best. As an extra added bonus, there is that incomparable baby scent – pure, sweet and natural.
Being a grandparent is all about watching a young life grow up right before your eyes without the tensions and second guessing that you experienced as a parent. It is basically a free ride full of happiness and pride minus the stress of the first fall, the first fever, the first trip to school, the first report card and the first date.
Probably the most difficult part of grandparenthood is trying to recall how you did things as a new parent thirty years ago. Times have changed as a whole industry has evolved to make sure that baby and parents have everything covered. What that means is trying to get used to all the new fangled devices that are out there to make life with baby easier – the baby monitor ( now with a night vision camera), the strollers that are ready for any road challenge, and all those car seats, jumping seats, eating seats and playtime seats. Thank goodness I still know how to change a diaper.
Grace may not know it yet, but she possesses a great power – the ability to bring a family closer together. Holidays and birthdays will become major events as Grace provides the glue that seals the bonds of family life. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Sure there may be a few bumps along the way for Grace, that is life. But for dziadziu and dzidzi what will matter most is the unannounced hug or the little hand reaching out or the number one favorite , sitting on our laps and reading a book. Of all the stages in our life, this is the one that we have been waiting for.