Wednesday, April 30, 2008

...Then You Die

Granny-to-be and I have been watching a lot of our new favorite show, Two and a Half Men. One particular scene sums up the way I have been feeling lately.

The loser brother (not the character I identify with, of course) was curled up in a ball on a bed because his second wife had thrown him out and had taken everything he owned. The son came in and said, "You've been sleeping all weekend."

"I'm old now," said the dad. "That's what old people do. It's a dry run for death."

And don't even get me started about the episode featuring the bad back and painful testicles.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Top Ten Reasons I Should Not Be a Grandpa

10. I have a very low tolerance for anything that screams and/or poops.

9. I don’t know the words to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

8. If it walks on all fours, it should live in a doghouse in the backyard.

7. I am a world-class curmudgeon.

6. I believe children should be shipped to India, not heard.

5. I hate to share my beer.

4. The sight of Oscar the Grouch causes me to weep uncontrollably.

3. I prefer to sleep through the entire night.

2. I have, on at least one occasion, dropped a baby.

1. I play “Chutes and Ladders” to win.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And So It Begins

At what point did my simple life of drinking beer and watching sports on T.V. descend into chaos? I can pinpoint the moment exactly. Our 16-year-old daughter came to us and said “I’m pregnant.”

Maybe it was my fault for spending too much time playing Xbox. Maybe it was my wife’s fault for refusing to feed me meatloaf while I played Halo. Maybe it was my daughter’s fault for turning down birth control even though we told her we’d help her get it.

In any case, she is now about two months pregnant, and that is that. Try as we might, we cannot turn back the clock. (And I have tried, believe me.) The only way forward is to try to make her pregnancy as positive and healthy as we can for her and the baby. My wife has also told me that it is bad form—and possibly illegal—for me to castrate the father of this child. Where’s Shari’a law when you need it?

I’ve also got to get used to the idea that just months after I turn 40-years-old, I will become a grandfather. Isn’t it bad enough that while I’m contemplating the unfairness of a life that would give me only four short decades before I become 40, that I am also now forced to cope with being a grandfather, too? Come on, Life, throw me a bone here.

Sure, like any man with children, I want to be a grandfather someday. I want to be able to look with pride at my own adult (and “adult” is the key word) kids in the eyes and say, “See, I told you so.” I want to play catch with my grandchildren. I want to take them to the zoo. To read to them. To give them their first taste of beer.

In the natural order of things, however, that should wait until my own kids are married and have a place of their own. It should wait until they have the maturity level to understand that “I’m not hungry” or “I don’t like needles” are not important considerations when you’ve got a little one growing in your womb. It should wait until they can pay for their own room and board, not to mention their child’s. It should wait until they have learned how to drive, for heaven’s sake.

See what I’m saying? This is chaos. Somehow, though, our family will have to learn to make the chaos a life-giving, learning experience for all of us—especially for the little one who never asked for any of this.