My eldest son and his wife welcomed their first child two weeks ago. This, by implication, makes me a grandpa. Here’s the poem I wrote for David, Bonnie and Shari.
Weekend shoppers snatch the end of Black Friday sales,
And the cricket teams face off down the road.
While momentous transitions of life,
Happen hidden in quiet rooms.
We park in abandoned spaces,
That were but yesterday bustling with school pickups.
To walk past where we have parked so many times before,
But now only visitors, not inmates.
The son who held my babies,
Let me hold his own this day.
The rooms where I’ve oft been the tired one,
Is now his patrol to play.
The sleep-bereft early morning hours,
His soon-to-be-companion while I get to sleep.
And the all-exhausted new Dad look,
Lights his face today, not mine.
The bride who bore my children,
Tries on the crown of Nana.
She who was many times the mother on the bed,
Now stands by the door to encourage.
The new mother speaks the story and the pain,
Both have many new memories to create.
And once we’ve gone, the new Nana’s eyes are glued to the quickly snatched photos
Of her and this tiny baby girl.
We hold the child like many before,
But now our role a step removed.
It has been us to do all for them,
But this child is theirs not our own.
For while we can cradle and rock to sleep,
Our space to act much less.
We hand her back, and step aside,
As new Mum and Dad step in.