It’s a well-known fact that grandparents are completely blind when it comes to their grandchildren and they just cannot understand why the rest of the world doesn’t see that this is the next President of the United States. [And just as a side note… Why is it that all babies look like Winston Churchill? That is, all babies except Ethan.]
Grandparents need no prodding to show off the latest pictures of what is sure to be recognized as the best grand-baby the world has ever seen. Granted, there was one child worthy of such accolades, but if I remember the account right, his parents spent most of the time hiding him from Herod and not showing him around Bethlehem.
But, as it is, grandparents are the primary publicists for these soon-to-be next generation Einsteins. And if you think I am overplaying the hand here about how we view our children and grandchildren, then all I need to do is remind you that Julie Aigner-Clark’s “Baby Einstein Company” had $25 million in annual sales when she sold it to Disney.
So, I swore I would never be one of those grandparents that showed off baby pictures of my grandchild. After all, I never did that with my children, so I figured I would be just as immune to the infectious grand-baby hype. But, I began to suspect there might be a little flaw in my thinking when I received the first ultrasound picture when Ethan, yet unnamed, was a few months in the womb.
“Look at my grandchild! He looks just like me!!”
Parents without children know for sure they will never subject their children to the 17.7 grams of vein-clogging saturated fat in a typical Big Mac. “My child will never eat such unhealthy food.” Then comes the screaming two-year-old who lives on McDonald’s french fries and his frazzled mother who would gladly trade her entire Limoges China collection for just one hour of uninterrupted peace while the little french fry monster diverts all his destructive energy to the McDonald’s playground. So much for healthy living.
And so it is with would-be grandparents who think that they will be immune to becoming the head of the propaganda department for their future grandchildren. Forget it, I say, just buy a couple Big Macs and pull out the pictures and start with the high school kid behind the register. I am sure she would be interested in my grand-baby pictures.
All these thoughts floated through my mind as Ethan’s little chest rose with every breath. He inhaled a lot of nastiness in the process of birth, so his lungs gurgled a lot for those first few hours. But to me, every breath was as glorious as an Olympic swimmer. “Go Ethan! One more breath! You can do it! You are the best breather that every hit planet earth. I am CERTAIN you will win the Olympics! Michael Phelps would have been crowned king if he could breathe half as well as you!”
And cheering him on I could just about stand in the hospital halls and shout, “Hey, do you want to see my grand-baby breathe?! He’s the next Olympic Gold Medalist and President of the United States!”
… And someday, Ethan, you might read all this. So, listen closely. Don’t listen to any of this. Pay no attention to the many behind the curtain. He’s just a proud grandpa in temporary leave of his senses. What you need to do is just breathe. Take a breath and after that take another one. That’s all there is to it. There will be times in life when just breathing will be hard, so remember I am proud of you every time you choose to take that next breath.
And remember most of all that God gave you that breath of life. That’s really all we are–one breath after another. So, breathe well and with each breath thank God who made you and loves you. You don’t need to win any medals or be President (though he has a cool plane). You just need to take one breath after another and give the Lord glory with each breath. Then all the angels of heaven will cheer you on and one day God will say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
As for Grampa, well, he will come back to earth soon, but for now, he is still showing your pictures to everyone.