Grandpa's joy

Grandpa's joy

'I would even stop reading newspapers to spend time with my grandson.'

The D-Day to welcome the new family member had arrived. The doctor who examined my daughter declared that the birth has to be through Caesarean section.

 I was nervous. After an hour of anxiety, I was told I have become grandpa of a baby boy. While all other family members were thrilled to see the new bundle of joy, I went to see my daughter first. Only after ensuring her well being, I saw the baby.He was very fair and tall. I was told that he was born under the same star and zodiac sign as I was and we both were born on the same day of the week. That indeed made him special to me. As it is customary for a daughter to spend few months at her maternal home, my grandson arrived at our home from the Hospital. He would be asleep during the day and awake during nights. Hence I couldn’t have much interaction with him in the first month.

In the later months his sleeping habits changed and he started recognising faces. My daughter would go to the internet and check whether her son is reaching the prescribed milestones. Once when I mentioned that the baby is not turning his face to the source of sounds, my daughter was worried. For the next one week, I would bring the bell from the puja room to the nursery, stand at different places in the room and ring it. If the child did not turn at the sound direction, we would both get worried. My daughter was also concerned that the child had not started turning or crawling on time. My mother and other elders were least worried about these so called ‘misses.’ Instead, they accused us of being paranoid and not worldly-wise.

Soon, the little one started uttering sounds, turning on his stomach and standing up. And also turning at the direction of the ringing bell! Each of these moments brought extreme joy and my wife would cook ‘payasam’ to celebrate each event. She would not hesitate to remind me and my daughter for being impatient about the child’s growth. Meanwhile, I noticed a change in me. I would spend more time at home than in office. Having hated shopping all my life, I started enjoying going to shops that sell kids’ goodies and spending hours buying things for the little one. I would even stop reading newspapers to spend time with my grandson. He became a focal point of our life.

The day for my daughter to go to her home arrived. I was reluctant to let go  my grandson. He had brought a new meaning to our being. When I told my daughter that I can’t live without my grandson, she told me, “Appa, when I was an infant, you were too busy with your work and even when I was admitted to hospital, you couldn’t spend time with me. You missed all the pleasures of rearing your children. Now that you have time to spare, you experienced the moments that you had missed. That’s why you are more possessive of your grandson than your daughter”. How true, I felt.