I never thought I would become a father at the age of 46 …
by John Glass
Now I know what you are saying. Well, 46 is not too old to become a father, but what you have to understand is, that before I became “Father “, I was ” Grandfather”. Our Grand-kids had been part of our life since the day they were born and we did what most Grandparents do which is stand to the side and watch them grow, slipping in to take them for the weekend and spoil them rotten.
Oh what joy it was to take them into a toy store and let them go wild, picking out whatever they wanted and with the flick of the old credit card, our deed was done. Who cared about how loud, or big or how many little pieces it had, that’s Mom and Dad’s problems. Then Sunday afternoon we would deliver them back with a quick kiss and a “Love ya” and scurried away giggling, betting each other which was going to wear out first the batteries or Mommy and Daddy’s nerves.
Then things changed. Due to circumstances beyond our control, both parents choose to step away from their parental responsibilities. That’s when Grandma and Grandpa became Mom and Dad. Never was there a second thought about whether we could or should become parents again. That’s just what you do.
To keep ours and their sanity, we decided the best way to keep the kids entertained on the weekends and during the summer months were to go on what became known as our “Texas Photo Safaris”. Of course the Alamo, Galveston’s Sea Wall, The Big Bend, The State Fair and numerous County Fairs were visited, because, well because we were Texans, and that’s what Texans do …
Our best times though, were in the Hill Country and Central Texas back roads. The Photo Safari usually started with “We’re not sure, we’ll know when we get THERE.” Then came the early morning hay fields, fruit tree orchards, creek crossings with a stop for biscuits and gravy in the “seating capacity “ 12” café of a little main street town. You know the ones, where the folks are sitting on their front porch or the bench in front of the feed mill store, waiting to give you a wave as you pass by and trying to decide who you are. Don’t forget to wave back or your whole day will be cursed, at least that’s what we used to tell the kids.
Somewhere along the way there was always the Garage Sale or Thrift Store that had to be visited with the purchase of the “one of a kind” or “oh I don’t have one of these “ items. Which years later somehow became part of the “Man Cave”.
Only after a stop at the always found ice cream shop was it decided that we had reached “THERE,” and now it was time to head back “ Oh yea, and Thank God for Digital Cameras and portable DVD players to mellow them out in the backseat on that long ride home.
These were the backdrops we loved to see during our ventures into the Texas Unknown from a stuffed two headed calf to the giant fake twenty foot long sofa in front of the second hand furniture store we looked, we discovered, we laughed and we enjoyed being a family.
Now, ours are kids like most kids in their teenage years, who have come to the same common conclusion that no longer does Mom and Dad know anything. Sometimes these are the days when parents find the urge to just close their eyes, reach over and hit the fast forward. Unfortunately, some of us do that, some parents just say, OK, I’ve done my best and way too early, they set their kids free. In most cases, I myself don’t feel that this is a good idea, trust me, they still need you, remember, I’ve been here before.
As for my wife and I, one of these days, sometime in our future we will be able to step back a second time and say. OK, we’ve done our best, and let them go to enjoy life as an adult. Then, when their kids are picked up by Grandma and Grandpa we will be able to do again what Grandparents are suppose to do, whip out the old credit card, spoil ’em rotten and drop them off with a “Love ya”. Then we will turn away in our wheelchairs, riding off into the sunset snickering and wondering which will run out first the batteries or Mommy and Daddy’s’ nerves.
This post was submitted by John C. Glass.