Seven years ago my granddaughter was born. I didn’t know then that one tiny little creature could possess such transformative powers. But then I became a grandparent for the first time. And although my life had been blessed up to that point, nothing could compare to the joy I have experienced as a grandfather. Charlise was born in Florida; she was a month early and weighed only 3-1/2 lbs. Deb had made a quick trip to Florida shortly after her birth but I couldn’t get away from work obligations as quickly. We had planned to travel after the baby was born, so we went back to Florida together near what should have been her birth date. By this time she was nearly a month old. I will always remember “meeting” her for the first time.
When we arrived at their house my daughter-in-law was at the door. She greeted me with the most beautiful words that I have ever heard: “Would you like to hold your granddaughter?” My granddaughter! She was so tiny. So beautiful. So precious. She was my Peanut! And I was her grandfather. Her granddad. Her grandpa. That memory is permanently imbedded into my psyche. I was forever changed.
Of course in time I became Pawpaw, Charlise’s word for Grandpa, and it has stuck. I love being a grandfather no matter what the name. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that Charlise is now seven years old. And I love her big girl ways. She’s all about school and friends and clothes and the latest movies and fads. All things 7 year-old girls love!
But there are times when she’s still my Little Peanut. Sometimes when she spends the night she’ll still crawl up on my lap and watch one of her favorite movies – one that she’s seen so many times she has memorized most of the dialog. We eat popcorn and laugh at the same lines over and over. There’s great comfort in the familiarity of it all.
And on those special nights sometimes I remember that day seven years ago when I held her for the first time and I fall in love all over again…
Happy Birthday Peanut!