It's been quite a January – snow, ice, record below zero temperatures, biting wind, slippery streets, broken furnaces, frozen water pipes. People will tell stories about their remembrances of this month for many years to come.
And there's one thing you can be sure about. Everything will be remembered as much worse than it actually was.
What's the fun of having memories if you can't exaggerate them! Some of my best memories practically never happened.
But in our family we have a story from last week to top them all. We don’t need to exaggerate it and we're going to talk about it for the rest of our lives. Last Sunday evening, January 12, right in the middle of Downton Abbey on PBS, our fifth grandchild was born. Her name is Anna Theresa. It's already written in our hearts.
The birth of a child is not unique. In fact, it's common. It happens somewhere in the world every second of every day. But when the birth is your grandchild it becomes the most important event in the history of the universe.
I immediately did what all grandparents do in the second decade of the 21st century. I raced my wife to see who would be first to announce the birth on Facebook.
Years ago grandparents carried wallets filled with photos of their grandchildren. But only so many photos could fit in a wallet. The most they could carry was maybe 10.
Today, we can carry hundreds of photos in our cellular phones and post as many as we want on the Internet.
Me: “Do you want to see a photo of our new granddaughter?”
Me: “Great. I have one right here on my cell phone.”
Friend: “This is number one of 1,862. You aren't going show me all 1,862 are you?”
Me: “No that would be silly. Just look at the first one.”
Me: “I'll put the rest on Drop Box so you can download and admire them all at your leisure.”
Anna was born to our son, Matt, and his wife Lisa. They also have a 19-month-old son, Alex, so their life has just become as exciting as riding an upside down roller coaster without a safety belt and bar. No hands.
Me: “Wouldn't it be fun to go back in time and have two children under 19 months old?”
Wife: “Yes, off course it would – provided you were an Earl, owned Downton Abbey and I could hire a fleet of nannies and someone to serve me breakfast in bed and cream tea at 4.”
I guess we're not going to have any more kids.
Little boys are wonderful. They give you hugs when you can catch them. But I'm glad our son and his wife now have a little girl as well. Here's what I know about little girls.
Little girls wrap daddy around their little finger and bend him like a rubber band.
Little girls melt their daddy's heart every time they smile.
Little girls ask daddy first because they know they've got a better chance.
Little girls are forever. Life brings change. Little girls grow up. But a man's heart stays the same. Daddy's little girl is always there.
In 1950 the Mills Brothers recorded a song titled Daddy's Little Girl.
“You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold,
“You're daddy's little girl to have and to hold,
“A precious gem is what you are,
“You're mommy's bright and shinning star.”
“You're the spirit of Christmas, the star on our tree,
“You're the Easter Bunny for mommy and me,
“You're sugar you spice and everything nice,
“And you're daddy's little girl.”
I'm thankful for the girls in our family. I'm thankful for the boys as well. I'm thankful for their health and their happiness, their energy and intelligence.
I'm thankful that when they wear me out I get to go home.
My wife and I are thankful for all the many ways our children and grandchildren bless our lives.
And one more thing we're thankful for today.
We're thankful Matt and Lisa have found the end of their rainbow in daddy's little girl.
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