When the news came that Rachel was expecting, my mind automatically went crazy. Was I truly OLD enough for this? How did this happen? When did she grow up? Where did the time go? Was she ready? Was I ready?
Of course I wasn't given the choice of being ready or not, it simply was a fact and one that took my mind a little time to wrap around.
I was going to be someone's grandfather. Could I do this? Aren't grandfathers supposed to be old & wrinkly? I rolled to the mirror and saw the crows feet at the edge of my eyes. I had a few smile lines but do they count as true wrinkles? I rolled back into the kitchen and sat listening to the cheerful chatter as Rachel and the others talked of babies, binkies and blankets. I couldn't believe this was actually going to happen.
As I lay in my bed trying to sleep that night, my mind was active with scenario after scenario. Would the baby be a boy or a girl? What would they name him or her? Would the baby look like Paul or Rachel? Would he or she have Sarah's eyes? It all flooded over me and the next thing I knew, the sun blasted through the blinds into my eyes. Dawn had come before I even had a chance to close my eyes.
As the day progressed, I wondered what I could contribute to this child's life after he or she is born. I looked at old photos of Jacob, Rachel and Rebecca playing in First Beach. I leafed through old albums of our family outings, celebrations and traditions. I thought about all the milestones ahead for this baby who hasn't even been born. Would he/she have the shape shifting genetics? Would there be a need for new pack members when he/she came of age? Part of me hopes for that and another part of me hopes not. I thought about Jacob's struggles of coming to terms with shape shifting. The secrecy, the obligation and responsibilities. It's not something that everyone could handle.
I rolled the the couch after I came across an old photo album of my parents and my grandparents. I slid off my chair and layed on the couch, then it then dawned on me what the role of grandfather is here in the Quileute Nation.
I will be to him/her what my grandfather was to me. I will be his/her teacher. I will be his/her confidant, playmate & disciplinarian. Most of all I will be his/her mentor. I will instill Tribal pride, tradition and culture, I will support him/her with gentle yet firm guidance. I will boost his/her self confidence and teach him/her to be proud of who he/she is. I will life him/her high and he/she will be the center of my world.
I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face. Then the doorbell rang. It was Rachel bringing me lunch.
My nap would have to wait until after.