The grandson arrived screaming into the light at 7 pounds and 21 inches. I don’t think he was excited about leaving the warmth and coziness of his mother’s womb. Thank goodness we don’t remember being birthed; it would remind you -- if you could remember -- of a ride through a haunted tunnel at the county fair.
I know I shouldn’t use this space to talk about stuff like that but now that he’s calmed down a bit, he is a cute little guy. So, enough about him, let’s talk about me. I’ve found that 28 years is a long time to go without having a baby in the house. You forget some things -- and some of those things are good to forget. For instance, I’ve forgotten how to change diapers, get up in the middle of the night, swaddle, burp, walk around carrying a squirming object and breast feed. About the only thing I do remember is how to hold a baby in my lap while watching TV or reading a book. That would be my specialty.
If he poops I suddenly develop a case of amnesia and can only remember how to holler for help. However, “Little Harmon” has helped me “crystallize” my life in a way. I’m rather old, at 67, for a first-time grandfather, so there will be some things I probably won’t get to see, or if I see them, I probably won’t remember them. I can only hope his life will be as blessed as the one I’ve had.
I hope he marries well, perhaps a pretty girl, like his mom and grandmother who are both smart, caring -- and did I mention headstrong? Now I’m not saying looks are all that important, but a fellow can stand a lot more from a pretty girl when it comes to the strains of marriage than one who may be what we used to call “homely.” But, of course “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” so if he marries a homely one that would just mean he’s a little nearsighted and should stay that way.
His dad’s got 20/20 vision, but we do have a few males in this family who are visually challenged. But I digress.
I hope he learns the value of a hard day’s work and the fact that the work in itself can be rewarding and not just the monetary reward one might receive. Sort of like doing yard work for the wife or mowing the grass on the church lawn. Both can be considered a religious experience if one looks for it.
“Good Lord dear, are you ever going to trim the hedges?” I hope he stays away from the “drink.” Alcohol and Kool-Aid come to mind. One rots your brain and the other one rots your teeth, you figure out which one does what, both are loaded with sugar. I hope the only “weed” he’s ever in contact with comes from the yard and not a baggie. I hope he sees the advantages to being a reader of books instead of becoming a “thumb jockey” “gadget guy.” We’ve enough of those walking around these days, stumbling into fountains, and each other as they text their way through life. I hope he’s curious enough about life that he wants to know its “whys” and “wherefores.” I hope he sees the value of all life, from the beauty of a rose to the first cries of a newborn, from a small dog to a valuable racehorse, from the unloved guy down on his luck to the movie stars in love with themselves.
I hope he views the problems life throws his way as challenges from which he can learn. I hope he sees loyalty as a worthy virtue both at home and in dealing with other people. I hope he finds happiness in his life’s work, whatever that may be, so that getting up in the morning is a joy not a chore. I hope he sees the value in listening to others’ opinions and I hope he has the ability and courage to express his own thinking. And, I hope he votes often and just as soon as he can. Yes, I sure hope he votes.
Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at www.sharmon09.blogspot.com.