When Leah was born, we were all a little afraid of her.  Here was this baby who cried and slept and pooped and ate very often and needed us for all of her needs.  It was a little daunting.  She would make these little weird faces, and we all wondered what she was thinking.  And now, at just about 2 years old, she still makes little weird faces and ohmylord-words, but it's not uncommon for us to still wonder what she's thinking.

I'm proud of Greg and I for making it this far with minimal issues, but the person who has surpassed all of my expectations is my dad.  Leah's Papá! 

Leah was born four months after my mom died, so we were all understandably still in mourning and shock.  And, despite the fact that Greg and I are the oldest of three children and had spent many years watching and caring for young siblings and relatives, it is very different when it's your own.  And it's right there, and very small and very real.  Greg's parents live in Myrtle Beach, and we don't have any other super close relatives nearby.  So, when it came to looking towards the older generation for information, guidance, and the everyday-grandparenting-role, my dad was the go-to guy.

He stepped up to the plate.  In leaps and bounds.  When you come from the hospital after having a baby, and you find yourself in your house with all of your things where they normally are and everything still looks like it did three days ago, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT THERE IS A BABY OHMYGOD, you are faced with some decisions on how you want to proceed.  Greg and I went with our instincts, and sort of just let Leah give us cues on what she needed. 

And for the times that I couldn't figure out what I was doing, I asked my dad.  I asked him to tell me stories about when I was a baby; I asked if he remembered if I had refused to sleep at night for the first 2 weeks of my life; I asked if I had as much hair as Leah had; I asked if nursing was as hard for mommy as it was for me. (Uh, that one I probably could have just kept to myself, you know? One of life's little mysteries, if you will.)

When it came time to ask my dad what he wanted Leah to call him, he responded with "Grandpa." And so Grandpa it was...until a year or so later she looked at him with her dark green eyes and declared him Papá! And, well, what Leah wants, Leah gets.  And so Papá! it was.  Accent on the second syllable.  Exclamation point at the end. 

And Leah and her Papá! are besties.  He buys her presents and gives her treats.  And she makes a mess of his house.  Total equality between Leah and her BFF Papá! 

And he wouldn't have it any other way.

1 comment:

mommy42lilChicks said...

This is my favorite post so far. As the apple of my popa's eye, still at 33 years old..... there is no better relationship than the one between a granddaugher and grandfather... even at 33. Beautifully written :)