HOLDING NEW HANDS
Soon I will be another grandfather, when my daughter Kasumi brings her second baby into the world, a brother or sister for Kaya. In the same way that one is a new father for each of one's own children, one is a new grandfather for each new grandchild. Another grandfather is a remarkable thing to be, as anyone knows who's ever been one; it's a special experience never twice the same, like being an elephant now and then, or a giant redwood, or a choo-choo train, mountain, horsey or pogo stick, as required, and on through the endless list you now have time for.
It's not being full-time responsibly busy on all fronts, the way parenting was; now is when you get your chance at being that more flexible ancient continuous one we all are, layered over with being whatever you can muster up right now from the mythology: sort of post-graduate parenting. Being another grandfather is a newer thing than I expected. (And what if it's a boy?)
Still, it's not as though you have to learn how to be another grandfather; if you've managed to remain genuine, and still contain the magical savor of your own childhood and parenthood (you find that out with your first grandchild), then every subsequent grandfathering should come as naturally as holding a new hand. One is already familiar with grandfathering, and whatever you give in that capacity is returned in more than full measure.
One evening recently I was walking with 2-year-old Kaya in the light of sunset, when she pointed to the western sky and shouted: "Pink!" while jumping up and down. I hadn't looked at the sunset in that full-eyed, amazing-discovery way for 60 years and there it was again, fresh as the first time, because I was holding a new hand.
[Wrote this way back then (2003) but never posted it, because Kasumi had twins(!) girls(!) and it got lost in the ensument... Came across it putting the book (Monkeys & Onions) together... RB]