On a recent visit to my chiropractor, I ran into an old friend. Once the mandatory reminiscences had been dealt with, he whipped out his iPod Touch and showed me dozens of photos of his grandkids. A slide show, no doubt, complete with music. I’m not sure which he was more proud of, the new iPod or his grandchildren. I wasn’t the least bit impressed with the technological gizmo, regardless of the gigabytes. The kids? Now there’s another matter.
I wish I had grandchildren. Since my two kids grew up and moved on, the closest thing to a baby around our house is a dog that doesn’t listen and runs away at every given opportunity.
I guess I am fortunate in one way. My sister lives a couple blocks from me and she’s got the three cutest grandchildren one could imagine. I love visiting there when the little ones are present, but I can almost read their minds as soon as I attempt to pick them up. This guy’s not my grandpa. This guy’s not anybody’s grandpa. I think I’ll just scream my little head off. Great uncles just don’t cut it.
I need my own grandchildren. I can’t think of a single thing that would cure the empty nest blues more than having to wade through piles of Fisher Price plastic on my way to the bathroom. No sound is sweeter than the twanging of the doorstopper spring when a crawling baby first discovers it, and an infant’s smile will brighten even the gloomiest of days. Grandchildren are a gift, and I’m still waiting for mine to arrive.
No one’s ever accused me of being patient. The way I see it, I’ve got two shots at this thing, so I called my son who is attending technical school in Calgary. We chatted for a while about hockey, his schooling, and life in general. I then eased the conversation into my problem area, and explained he could help me out. He wouldn’t have to get married. Just, you know, reproduce. He said that didn’t fit in with his plans. HIS plans? Talk about selfish.
On to plan B. My daughter, in Sydney, Australia.
“I know it would mess up your travel plans. But you must be sick of travelling by now; you’ve been at it for several months. Besides, how about helping out your dear old dad?”
That’s about as far as I got before the line went dead. Funny thing is, I haven’t been able to get in touch with her since. These inter-continental cell phone connections are so unreliable.
It looked like there would be no grandchildren in my life. Not for a while, anyway.
Somewhere in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum, there lies a space where great ideas are born. Whether they are brought to the forefront of our imagination by circumstance, an act of God or illicit drug usage remains to be determined. My EUREKA moment arrived in the middle of the night, like a vision. It was too simple, why hadn’t I thought of it before? Not wanting to make a hasty decision on something so important, I gave the concept a good ten minutes of sober reflection before taking action. At that time, I awakened my slumbering wife and declared, “Shelly, we need more kids!”
• • •
I went back to the chiropractor again the other day, and he recommended I get a new couch. Sleeping on this one is giving me a kink in my neck.
“Curious” allspice1 @ flickr. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.