Not How I Imagined It

A couple of weeks ago I became a great-grandfather. This, of course, is impossible; I remember my great-grandparents, Glenn & Jenny Page; they were so OLD, and I’m still in my prime (or so my brain-in-denial likes to tell me). But here is the evidence: the photograph at the top of this page is Samuel James Horton-Walker, son of Haley Horton and my grandson Logan Walker, born July 15, 2023.

          But what about the "not like I imagined it" part? Logan is too young and immature to be a father! But, Jeff, look at the calendar, do the math; he was born June 26, 2001, so that makes him 22 years old (he is 12 in this picture). Yes…but his immaturity— he did not finish high school and his dad used to tease him for even flunking phys ed! The best job he has held has been at McDonalds, as far as I know. I have never met Haley; since Logan seems happy being with her, that is a point in her favor. But the curmudgeon in me still harrumphs that they have no business having a baby!

          At least, that is what I told people who congratulated me on Samuel’s arrival. But the strange thing is that none of those people agreed with me. They talked about the joy and hope a baby brings, that a child is a gift from God. Someone reminded me of how great a big brother Logan was and is to his twin younger sisters, that he has a deeply tender core. Several people asked me when Pat and I would be able to get to Tennessee to see this new family and meet the baby.

          Of course, they are right. Yes, there are many potential difficulties ahead for Logan, Haley, and Samuel; yes, they are very much on their own right now, just when I think that they need all the help they can get. But if we knew ahead of time what pains and trouble awaited us in parenthood, few of us would ever have had children. My children, Corrine and Aaron, were born during a time of instability, immaturity, uncertainty, and discord for their mother and me, and they have both developed into amazing and successful adults and parents (oh, dear, little Corrie is now a grandmother!).

          Reflecting backwards, very little of my life has gone the way I had imagined it would have; this development is but the latest surprise. Sitting, musing at my laptop today, I can see that those people that I treasure the most, those events and discoveries that give me the deepest satisfaction, and the memories that provide the greatest joy are, each and every one, things or people I never planned on, never imagined when I envisioned my life; they are far and away more spectacular, more fulfilling than anything I could have conceived.