On Grandfathering: Daughter With Miss Pearl
I'm going to be a grandfather sometime in August, it's an as yet unnamed girl, born to my daughter Emma Span and her husband Jay Jaffe, both journalists covering the baseball world in New York. Jay blogs about baseball for Sports Illustrated on their website, and Emma is a senior editor at the magazine.
I got a bit of a jolt when I saw the photos of my granddaughter in the womb. I am also grateful that Miss Pearl, my beautiful Lab who went to live with Emma in Brooklyn, is still around to meet her. Pearl is old and creaky but doing well, Emma has taken wonderful care of her, re-furbished legs and all.
I was a bit shocked to hear of this, although I knew Emma and Jay were thinking about it. I'm excited, but also realistic.
We don't live too close to one another, and i don't think I'll be one of those grandparents who will be rushing to the city every week to take care of the grandkid. I don't think my life will change much, I think Emma's life will change a lot. I loved taking care of Emma, it was one of the great experiences of my life.
BuI don't think they will be spending too much time up here, they love the city and their lives there are very full.
I have a friend who drives hours to take care of her grandson three of four days a week, I can't see myself doing anything like that, my life is here and my work is full and intense.
Still, it feels good, it's a landmark and a passage. I respect that Emma and Jay will have their own ideas about parenting, as they should, and I have no wish to tell them how to do it. And I don't think I know how anybody else should do it, I could barely figure it out myself.
Nor, I am sure, are they expecting or wanting to me to offer much direction. We live very different lives, and that is the nature of the world. For all that, I think there is often a pure love when it comes to grandparenting, I think no one on the earth loved me more than my grandmother, and she meant the world to me. She saved my life.
I don't know what my grandchild will want or expect of me, but whatever it is, I hope to do as well as my grandmother did. August is not far away. I am happy for Em, she will be a great mom.