I’m finally getting the hang of this grandfather business.

For me, this confidence hasn’t come from a book; nor, has it come from a course in grand parenting. Rather, it’s come from being actively involved during the past six years with a handful of sweet little people who call me “Gan-daddy.”

Around Valentine’s Day, we expect another little fellow. He will bring the number of grandchildren in our family to a half-dozen.

I’m ready. Bring him on!

It’s true that my initial contributions got off to a rather awkward start. My son had entrusted me with his movie camera to shoot the video of his newly-born, first-born. When I first saw him walking down the hospital corridor, holding that sweet little girl who was to introduce me into grandfather society, my eyes fogged with tears. I couldn’t see to properly focus and frame. So that moment regrettably remains undocumented.

Through these past few years, though, I have improved.

Now I know all about rocking and napping. I know which part of the diaper is the front and which is the back. I know to have paper towels handy with the baby food. I know the TV schedule of all the good PBS children's shows.

I can sing silly songs and tell silly stories and play silly games. I can make a tent in the living room by moving furniture and using a blanket from the bed and I can get it ready as quickly as I can get a Popsicle from the freezer. I can give instruction on playing the music of drums and cymbals, using an empty oatmeal box, a wooden spoon, and the lid from a cooking pot.

No longer am I concerned that little hands will touch my stuff. I’ve put the irreplaceable items out of reach. And I’m no longer worried that the carpets will be stained from sippy cups. I’ve replaced the carpets with hardwood floors.

Yep, this next little one is going to get the new and improved granddaddy.

I just hope my son will give me another chance with the movie camera.

Of course, I can’t promise not to get a little teary-eyed again.

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