Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why It's Great to Be a Papa

Papa, Reese, and Grammy after her basketball game
On August 2, 2001, I became a papa.  Noah Scott McCallum said hello to the world and we said hello to him and hello to grandparenting.  While it was a little shocking to realize that I was suddenly married to a grandmother, it was and is still a very wonderful thing.  Since that day in August of 2001, four more grandchildren have been added to the fold: Reese, Hallie, Macey Jo, and Benjamin.  I fear I'm not near as good a papa as many are.  I still have a demanding job.  I work weekends.  I don't get to see them as often as I'd like.  It doesn't help that I am married to a woman who was born to be a Grammy.  She's so good at being Grammy that even if I was to papas what Joe Montana is to quarterbacks, I'd still fall miserably short.  But while I may not be the best papa in the world, I do have the best grandkids in the world.  And I love being a papa.

It's a great thing, and here are a few reasons why:  
  • It means neither you nor your kids died young.
  • It means you never killed your kids while they were growing up.
  • Dirty diapers?  "Oh Mom … my."  Or if she's not there, "Oh Gram … my."
  • No pressure: you mostly get to play with them and rarely have to discipline them.
  • As much as you enjoy your grandkids, at the end of the visit or the day or the week or whatever, you get to give them back. 
  • You get to tell your old stories and jokes to people who have never heard them before.
  • Your kid's college education: paid in full.  Your grandkids' college education: not your responsibility.
  • You are wiser.
  • You get a second chance to do things with or for your grandkids you wish you'd have done with or for your own kids.
  • You get to watch your kids shine as they raise their kids and enjoy in their kids what you got to enjoy in yours.
  • You get to teach another generation to love the Razorbacks.
  • You get to teach another generation to love and follow God.
Those are good reasons for sure.  But let me tell you about one more—the one that spawned this blog post.  On Monday morning as I was showering, Dayna got a text from the mother of our granddaughter, Reese.  The text included a picture of a little project Reese had to do for school.  Reese never showed it to anyone; her mother found it while looking through her folder, and she figured I'd like to see it.  She figured right.  Since I was in the shower I couldn't see it, so Dayna read it to me.  Talk about bringing a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye.  Reese's words did just that for me.  I had just been telling Dayna that I feel like I fall so short at being a good papa.  And then I get this:  

Reese might have written those words, but I swear I smell the fragrance of God's breath in them too—a little encouragement from Father God to one of His children who never really feels like he measures up when it comes to family.

Thank you, Father.  And thank you, Reese.  While you might have whipped that out in no time at all, I will treasure it forever.  I love you, sweet girl.

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